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Ukraine urges debt restructuring talks with international creditors

May 15, 2015, 18:28 UTC+3 TBILISI
Ukraine’s $15.3 billion debt restructuring is a critical part of the plan for financial stabilization in the ex-Soviet republic, the Ukrainian finance minister said
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© ITAR-TASS/Dmitriy Rogulin

TBILISI, May 15. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Finance Ministry has urged international creditors to start sovereign debt restructuring talks to alleviate the country’s debt burden and normalize the economic situation in Ukraine, Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko said on Friday.

"We have no other possibility for achieving economic stability without successful debt restructuring," Yaresko said at an annual conference held by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

"It is important that our creditors should understand this. I would request them to be constructive, sit down to a negotiating table in an open manner and responsibly. We need to hold negotiations in the near future," the Ukrainian finance minister said, adding the debt restructuring required trimming coupon payments and payments at face value along with extending maturity dates.

Ukraine’s $15.3 billion debt restructuring is a critical part of the plan for financial stabilization in the ex-Soviet republic actually equaling the IMF’s aid program, she said.

The IMF approved a $17.5 billion loan facility for Ukraine in March as part of the international aid package estimated at about $41 billion and intended for four years.

Ukraine received the IMF’s first loan tranche of $5 billion in March and needs to restructure $15.3 billion in sovereign debt to private investors to qualify for the second installment.

Russia does not plan to participate in the Ukrainian debt restructuring program and expects Ukraine to repay its liabilities in December 2015.

Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said on the sidelines of the EBRD’s conference Russia’s position on the Ukrainian debt restructuring remained unchanged.

Storchak said Russia expected Kiev to make next debt payments in June. Kiev’s debt to Russia stands at $3 billion.

Ukraine’s external debt hit $72.9 billion as of late 2014 while its internal debt stood at $29 billion and its gold and foreign currency reserves were less than $10 billion.

Russia made a decision in late 2013 to invest up to $15 billion in Ukraine’s sovereign Eurobonds. Soon afterwards, Russia bought Ukraine’s first Eurobond tranche worth $3 billion with a two-year maturity and a coupon rate of 5% per annum and coupon payments every six months.

Russia subsequently decided against investing the other $12 billion in Ukraine’s bonds.

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