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Lawmaker: Russia will charge back $3 bln debt from Ukraine in court

December 18, 2015, 18:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Earlier on Friday, the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers imposed a moratorium on payment of debt to Russia
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MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Economic Policy and Entrepreneurship, Anatoly Aksakov is confident that the international court will issue verdict in favor of Russia in its dispute over $3 bln debt with Ukraine.

Earlier on Friday, the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers imposed a moratorium on payment of debt to Russia.

"Of course, now our government will have to go to court. I am sure that we will win the case and we will charge back the money. If we don’t charge it back, Ukraine will have to declare default on its debts. And in this case problems will emerge for many creditors who gave money to Ukraine and continue to do it," he said in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV channel.

"The court decision may be received next year, most likely in the second half of the next year. As I know, our lawyers have already taken some steps in this direction and after Ukraine officially said it is not going to return the money, they will submit documents to the international court," Aksakov said.

In December 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich reached an agreement that Moscow would extend a 15 billion U.S. dollar loan to Kiev through placing Ukrainian securities. Under the deal, three-billion-U.S. dollar worth of bonds were listed on the Irish Stock Exchange on December 20, 2013 and bought by Russia from its National Welfare Fund.

Later on, Ukraine tried to challenge the loan’s status and reduce it to that of commercial credits subject to restructuring. Russia objected to this approach. However its suggestion that this loan be restructured under reliable Western guarantees was ignored.

In November 2015, Putin said Russia was ready to restructure Ukraine’s debt in case the United States, the European Union or any big international financial institute gave its guarantees to Russia. No guarantees were granted.

On December 17, the IMF board recognized the official status of Russia’s $3 billion loan to Ukraine.

The deadline for repayment of the Ukrainian debt is December 20. In the event it fails to do that, Russia will go to law ten days after that date.

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