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Russian, Kiev financial authorities discuss Ukraine’s debt

May 11, 2016, 14:17 UTC+3

Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak says representatives of Finance Ministry met new financial authorities of Ukraine to discuss Ukrainian debt, coop

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Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak

Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak

© Sergei Karpov/ITAR-TASS

LONDON, May 11. /TASS/. The representatives of Russia’s Finance Ministry have met new financial authorities of Ukraine to discuss the situation with Ukrainian debt, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak told reporters.

"Yes, we met the new financial authorities of Ukraine. We discussed the situation with that institution," he said when asked whether the restructuring of Ukraine’s debt to Russia was considered.

The sides also discussed cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

"The issues related to partnership and cooperation with EBRD, were discussed at the meeting with Ukrainian finance ministry’s top management. The issue of the debt on eurobonds was not raised," he said.

In end-April Russia’s Finance Ministry confirmed that Russia had agreed to postpone the court hearing on its $3-bln debt claim to Ukraine. Russia decided to give the new Ukrainian government some time to prepare for and start honest debt payment negotiations with Russia.

Storchak said earlier that Ukraine had asked London’s High Court of Justice twice to postpone the hearing on Russia’s $3-billion-dollar debt claim to Ukraine. Some suppositions made earlier suggest that the hearings on Ukraine’s state debt to Russia could begin at the High Court of Justice this spring.

Ukraine’s previous government set a moratorium on the payment of the state debt to Russia on December 18, 2015. The then Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk explained that the move had been prompted by Russia’s refusal to strike a debt restructuring deal with Ukraine on a par with private creditors. Meanwhile on the previous day, December 17, the executive board of the International Monetary Fund recognized Ukraine’s $3 billion debt to Russia as official and sovereign, which means that a sovereign borrower is under obligation to pay off the debt.

In December 2013, the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovich, agreed that Moscow would issue a $15-billion credit to Kiev by offering Ukrainian securities. Under the program, bonds worth $3 billion were placed at the Irish Stock Exchange on December 20, 2013. Russia repurchased them by using the money from the National Welfare Fund.

On December 20, 2015, Ukraine exceeded the time limit for paying off its debt to Russia. The Russian Finance Ministry filed a lawsuit against Ukraine to London’s High Court of Justice.

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