Ukraine has not given up its Russian debt liabilities worth $3 billion. A moratorium on the repayment of the debt was dictated by objective circumstances and the nature of that loan, Ukraine's Ambassador-at-Large Dmytro Kuleba said.
"We haven't given up that debt: the moratorium is one thing, and the refusal to settle the issue is the other. Thus, we do not violate [international laws]," he told TV Channel 5 on Wednesday.
In his words, the decision to impose the moratorium on the payment of the debt to Russia "was taken with due regard for a number of objective circumstances, in particular, the national interests of Ukraine, and the nature of that debt. And that nature is quite specific – we all know who received that money late in 2013 and why," he said.
"Therefore it is not considered to be a conventional debt," Kuleba said.
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Speaking about certain statements that diplomatic relations with Russia need to be served by Ukraine, he said that the issue was not on the agenda at the moment.
"I think that one should answer one important question in those debates: do we need a symbolic act or an advantageous effect from the termination of the diplomatic relations? And if we answer that question – the situation gets clearer. It seems that most of the advocates see a solution to it as a symbolic act," he said.
"In my view, this issue should be addressed practically and pragmatically. As they say: one should keep a bullet in the pocket, but a diplomatic shot must be done on time," he added.