Ukraine will not pay off disputed 'Yanukoych' USD 3-billion debt to Russia - Finance Minister

Ukraine will not pay off disputed 'Yanukoych' USD 3-billion debt to Russia - Finance MinisterUkraine's finance minister Oleksandr Danylyuk reiterated that his country is not going to pay off a disputed USD 3-billion debt it owes to Russia.

The debt in question is the bond Russian President Vladimir Putin bought from former Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych in December 2013, just months before he was ousted.

Top Ukraine's officials have repeatedly said that Russia's loan to Yanukovych was a reward for abandoning plans to sign the cooperation agreement with the European Union.

"Our position is as follows – that was a compulsion, Ukraine took the money under political coercion. That is why we do not have to give them back," Danylyuk said while speaking to Espresso.TV channel.

Finance Minister underlined that Ukrainian Crimea was annexed as a result of Russia's aggression; Ukraine lost a major part of its economy in the ongoing Russia-fueled conflict in Donbas.

"I cannot see a single reason why Ukraine has to rerun the money. That is how our position in court looks like and we are going to assert it in court," Danylyuk added.

In February 2016, Russian Finance Ministry announced that it had filed a lawsuit against Ukraine in the High Court of London.

Russia has refused to participate in Ukraine debt restructuring programme, arguing its debt should be classed as bilateral rather than commercial.

In December 2015 Ukraine announced a moratorium on any payments of the Russian debt as a response to Russia's unwillingness to find compromise on debt restructuring. The moratorium was extended ‘indefinitely' on April 12 this year.
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