Ukraine PM calls debt deal a blow to ‘enemy’ Russia
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Thursday that the crucial debt deal struck between Kiev and its private creditors had delivered a blow to "enemy" Russia.
“The default that our enemy was awaiting did not happen,” Yatsenyuk told a government meeting after Ukraine’s biggest commercial lenders agreed to a 20-percent write-down on the face value of their debt.
Russia had refused to join talks on ways Ukraine could save on the repayment of $15.3 billion (13.6 billion euros) over the next four years.
The sum is part of a global $40-billion rescue package that the International Monetary Fund patched together for the cash-starved former Soviet republic in February.
Ukraine on December 20 is scheduled to repay the principal of a $3-billion Eurobond that Russian-backed ex-president Viktor Yanukovych issued months before his ouster by pro-European street protesters and lawmakers.
Kiev believes the sum should be treated as a commercial loan that should be restructured along the lines of Thursday’s agreement with Franklin Templeton and three other global financial titans.
But Moscow calls the $3-billion a government-to-government loan whose repayment is mandated by international law.
“The Russian Federation did not join the creditors’ committee,” Yatsenyuk told a televised government meeting.
“And for this reason, Ukraine officially announces that Russia under no circumstances will receive terms better than those received by the other creditors.”
Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov reiterated this week that Moscow still expected to see the full December repayment.
“This is their decision,” Yatsenyuk told the Ukrainian cabinet meeting. “Accept our conditions because you will never get better ones.”