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Russia will take tough position in case Ukraine refuses to repay debts — PM Medvedev

May 22, 2015, 21:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Medvedev said Kiev's refusal to pay foreign debts would mean Ukraine’s default and will influence agreements with the IMF

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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

© Yekaterina Shtukina/TASS

MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. Russia will take a maximally tough position in case Ukraine refuses to repay debts, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.

"The statement made by the Verkhovna Rada [Ukraine’s parliament - TASS] is highly contradictory. They appear speaking about private loans but at the same time hinting they do not intend to repay debts of Yanukovych’s government. It looks like the refusal of the Bolsheviks to repay debts of the tsarist government. If this is indeed formalized in such a way, it will definitely mean Ukraine’s default and will influence their agreements with the IMF," Medvedev said.

"We will take the toughest position in this case and will defend our national interests," the prime minister added.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s parliament approved the law granting the government the right to impose moratorium on foreign debts payments, including the $3 bln debt received from Russia in 2013. The document was upheld by 256 MPs. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Ukraine was to pay $30 bln of foreign debt and $17 bln of domestic debt within 4 years. He added that the moratorium concerns only private creditors, holding the debt of Ukraine. He also called on the country's Western partners to grant it real financial assistance.

Kiev regards its $3 bln Eurobonds held by Russia as a private loan, which is thus subject to the moratorium. Moscow insists the loan cannot be considered private and should be paid back in due time - in December 2015.

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