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London High Court rules Ukraine must repay $3 bln to Russia

According to Russia’s Finance Ministry, London's High Court recognizes Ukraine has no arguments against Russian debt recognition

MOSCOW, March 29. /TASS/. Russia’s Finance Ministry believes that by its judgment on the expedited procedure of examining Russia’s lawsuit versus Ukraine on the $3bln debt recovery the High Court of London has obliged Kiev to repay debt and interest to Moscow, the ministry’s press office said on Wednesday.

"On March 29, 2017, London’s High Court passed a judgment after examining Russia’s request for hearing its lawsuit versus Ukraine in an expedited procedure that Ukraine is obliged to pay Russia the Eurobond nominal value of $3 billion and the relevant amount of accrued interest," the Finance Ministry said.

"The court pronounced its final verdict obliging Ukraine to pay to Russia its eurobond debt in full. No extra hearings on this issue in the London High Court are due," the Finance Ministry said.

"The High Court of London has acknowledged that the defendant lacks any arguments that reject the claimant’s reasons about the existence of the Eurobond debt and, as a consequence, there is no need to examine the arguments provided by the counsel for the defense in the course of a full-scale judicial process. In particular, the court pointed in its judgment that the talk was about the demand to fulfil obligations under a debt instrument and the defendant lacks any arguments for the court in favor of recognizing this claim as unsubstantiated," the Finance Ministry said. 

Meanwhile, Ukraine has said it will appeal against the London High Court’s judgment.

Russia purchased Ukraine’s $3 bln Eurobond in December 2013, using money of its National Welfare Fund. After paying the first three Eurobond coupons, Ukraine refused to repay $3.075 billion as the Eurobond’s principal and last coupon in December 2015.

After numerous attempts to settle the issue out of court, in February 2016 Russia requested The Law Debenture Trust Corporation acting as the Trustee on the Eurobond to initiate judicial proceedings against Ukraine in the High Court of London.

London’s High Court has ruled to hear the case of Ukraine’s $3 billion debt to Russia in an expedited procedure, Judge William Blair said on Wednesday.

Judge Blair presided over a three-day court session on this issue in January.

"The Trustee is entitled to summary judgment," the judge said, reading out the ruling.

As the court said in its ruling, "Summary judgment is the procedure by which the court may decide a claim without a trial, where the claimant can show that the defendant has no real prospect of successfully defending the claim."