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UK High Court orders Kiev to pay back Russian debt

On Wednesday, the British High Court in London ruled that Kiev had no justifiable defense for failing to pay its debt to Russia.

Published: March 30, 2017, 10:20 am

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    London

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Moscow considered the ruling as “final and obligatory”.

    “After reviewing the Russian request for quick hearings of the Russian lawsuit, the High Court in London ruled that Ukraine must pay off the nominal sum of the Eurobonds in the amount of $3 billion, as well as the accumulated interest,” the statement read.

    The debt dates from late 2013, and Russia has repeatedly stated that Ukraine’s failure to pay back the debt should be classified as a default.

    In February 2016, Russia filed a lawsuit against Ukraine with London’s High Court of Justice, demanding that the Ukrainians pay back the loan.

    “Ukraine has some arguments, but all of them are feeble and related to politics, not to legal norms. Of course, the majority of financial transactions in Ukraine are currently related to politics. Neither the World Bank nor other financial institutions would unveil a loan to such an economically and politically unstable country as Ukraine. This is why the government and the Ukrainian National Bank hope that the argument will work again,” a Russian official told Radio Sputnik.

    However, he suggested that this time, the “we don’t have money scenario” will not work out.

    “Ukraine has no choice but to pay it back. Otherwise, this case would undermine prospects for any future loans. Of course, Kiev will drag its heels. But the ‘we don’t have money and won’t pay’ scenario will not work out. I can’t rule out that some international financial institution may provide Kiev with money to settle the debt. Ukraine always borrows to repay other debts,” he added.

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