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Ukraine refuses to recognize $3 bln debt to Russia as sovereign — source

On December 18, 2015 Ukraine’s government imposed a moratorium on debt payment to Russia

KIEV, October 18. /TASS/. Ukraine holds the position that its $3 bln debt to Russia is not a sovereign one, representative of Ukrainian Finance Ministry told TASS on Tuesday.

"Our position, including the one in the court, is that it is not [the sovereign one - TASS]," the source said. Negotiations with Russia in respect of this debt are not planned for the nearest future, the ministry’s representative added.

The basis for negotiations with Ukraine on its debt to Russia is recognition of it as sovereign and conditions for restructuring are better than commercial, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told journalists earlier on Tuesday.

In December 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the then President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich agreed on a $15 bln loan to be extended to Kiev through placing Ukrainian securities. Under the deal, three-billion-US dollar worth of bonds were listed on the Irish Stock Exchange on December 20, 2013 and acquired by Russia using the funds from its National Welfare Fund.

On December 18, 2015 Ukraine’s government imposed a moratorium on debt payment to the Russian Federation because of Russia’s refusal to sign a restructuring agreement on an equal basis with private creditors as Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said. Meanwhile, on December 17, the board of directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recognized the official status of Russia’s loan to Ukraine as sovereign. On December 20, 2015 Ukraine failed to make a payment on its debt to Russia. The Russian Finance Ministry filed a lawsuit against Ukraine to London’s High Court of Justice in February 2016.