Russia Files Lawsuit Against Ukraine Over $3bn Debt In London Court
Russia filed suit against Ukraine in London High Court over default on $3 billion in bonds. According to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, the lawsuit was filed after repeated unsuccessful attempts to encourage Ukraine to talk on debt restructuring. Furthermore, Russia seeks to regain the principal plus $75 million in accrued interest and legal fees. The Finance Minister Siluanov is confident the London court will be open and unbiased. “I think the hearing in the English court will be open and transparent, and the protection of the rights of the Russian Federation as a creditor will be carried out by an independent, authoritative court, which will impartially consider the dispute between the two sovereign states regarding debt default on Eurobonds,” he said. He also submitted that Ukraine was not ready to negotiate in a “spirit of goodwill”.
It is pertinent to mention at this point that relations between the two neighbours have been fraught over a conflict between pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine and Ukrainian government forces. Ukraine’s sovereign debt to Russia dates back to a deal between President Vladimir Putin and former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich that was struck in 2013 and envisaged Moscow buying $15 billion worth of Ukrainian bonds. Russia bought $3 billion on December 20, 2013, and the debt was supposed to be repaid by December 20, 2015.