Russia refuses to restructure Ukraine's $3bn debt

10th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

Kiev has requested a restructuring of its debt to Russia but Moscow is expecting its $3 billion loan to be repaid in full this year, Russia's finance minister said Tuesday.

"Ukraine asked us to review the issue of restructuring its debt," Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told Russian media on the sidelines of the G20 summit of finance ministers and central bank chiefs in Istanbul.

Siluanov said that Russia is unwilling to defer the repayment however, expecting Kiev to comply with the deadline.

"We are not ready to accept delay or payment in instalments," he added. "We are expecting and awaiting fulfilment of all obligations by Ukraine to Russia this December."

Russia had agreed to provide a massive $15 billion bailout loan to Ukraine in December 2013, before pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych was toppled. Russia froze the loan after the first $3 billion instalment.

Russia is not in the position to defer repayment, particularly in a foreign currency, Siluanov said, referring to Russia's own budget crippled by the falling ruble and plunge of oil prices.

"Any budget income in foreign currency is important to us," he said.

Siluanov made no mention of demanding early payment of the loan, which the government mooted last month, citing Kiev's violations of loan conditions.

© 2015 AFP

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