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Finance ministry: Ukraine to firmly press for its interests in debt litigation with Russia

February 18, 2016, 15:36 UTC+3 KIEV KIEV February, 18. /TASS

Earlier Russian Finance Minister said that Russia had filed a lawsuit at a London court against Ukraine over its $3 billion debt

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© Alexandr Demyanchuk/TASS

KIEV, February 18. /TASS/. Ukraine is determined to firmly press for its interests in court litigation over its $3-billion Eurobond debt to Russia, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

Ukraine’s representative in a British court is The Law Debenture Trust Corporation PLC, the trustee of the lender (Russia) for the Eurobonds maturing December 2015.

On Wednesday, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that Russia had filed a lawsuit at a London court against Ukraine over its $3 billion debt. Siluanov also said Russia was demanding the extra interest on the bonds charged since December 20.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich in December 2013 agreed that Moscow would lend Kiev $15 million dollars, to be invested in Ukrainian securities. A $3-billion issue was placed on the Irish Stock Exchange on December 20, 2013 and bought out by Russia with National Welfare Fund money.

The Ukrainian government on December 18, 2015 froze payments on Russia’s debt. Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk claimed he had taken the decision because Russia had refused to sign a debt rescheduling agreement on the same terms private lenders had agreed to. In the meantime, one day earlier, on December 17, the IMF directors had recognized Ukraine’s debt to Russia was sovereign, for which the borrower country was entirely responsible. Ukraine preferred to default on the debt, and not enter into negotiations on the basis of proposals the Russian president made at the G20 meeting in Antalya in November.

On December 20 Ukraine breached the debt payment deadline. The Russian Finance Ministry initiated legal proceedings.

The two countries held their latest debt talks on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank session in Peru last October. Since then all contacts between the two sides have been conducted through mediators, including Germany’s Ministry of Finance.

Russia on February 17 took Ukraine to London’s High Court demanding repayment of the $3-billion debt.

Earlier on Thursday Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said he would tell the court that the $3 billion dollars Russia had lent Ukraine was a "bribe in form and content.".

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