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Russia challenges UK court decision on Ukraine's debt case

The decision of the UK Supreme Court will bring the case on "Yanukovych's debt" amounting to $3 billion to the end
10:27, 15 November 2018

Open source

Russia filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom Supreme Court in the case concerning Ukraine’s debt amounting $3 billion, which fugitive president Viktor Yanukovych borrowed, as Russian Finance Ministry reports.

“On October 26, 2018, The Law Debenture Trust Corporation company which represents the interests of the Russian Federation, as the sole owner of the indicated issuance of the Eurobonds, filed an appeal to the UK Supreme Court under the request of Russia’ Ministry of Finance against the decision of the UK Court of Appeal regarding the fourth argument of Ukraine,” the press office reports.

In December 2015, Ukraine defaulted on Eurobonds purchased by Russia in December 2013 with the funds from its national sovereign fund (the issue itself was worth $3 billion, whereas the last coupon payment was valued at $75 million).

Related: Prosecutor's office presses charges against ex-head of building inspection of Kyiv for Yanukovych’s helipad

Kyiv has suggested debt restructuring on conditions for general corporate creditors. However, that idea was declined by Moscow, it insisted on the sovereign character of the debt. The debt was supposed to have been recovered by 1 January 2016. However, in December 2015, Ukraine implemented a moratorium on financing this debt. Therefore, the total amount of $3.075 towards the recovery and financing of euro bonds belonging to Russia.

After that, on 17 February 2016, Russia’s Ministry of Finance filed a lawsuit to the High Court of London seeking the recovery of the debt. On 29 March 2017, the court approved the accelerated hearing of the litigation, thereby denying Ukraine’s counter-pleas and confirming its own obligations regarding these Eurobonds. The court admitted that the transaction was a standard debt payment, although carried out under unconventional circumstances.

Related: Ukrainian court to hear last plea of accused Yanukovych on November 19

Nevertheless, the court ruling pointed out that some of the definitions included in the judgment needed clarification and there was a number of important issues that the court needed to consider.

On 26 May 2017, the High Court of London granted Ukraine’s petition to suspend the implementation of the ruling made on 29 March 2017 till Ukraine’s appeal was dealt with in the Court of Appeals.

Related: Ukraine has no evidence that Russian Salisbury suspects helped Yanukovych flee to Russia

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