“Yanukovych’s money”: London court to hear Ukraine’s appeal on 22 January

Ukraine’s appeal against the decision by the High Court of London pertaining to Russia’s charge to recover Ukraine’s debt for euro bonds worth $3 billion (the so-called “Yanukovych’s]”) is scheduled to begin on 22 January 2018. The Ministry of Finance’s press service has informed about this, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
The institution’s press service said that the appeal will be reviewed by an institution’s panel within a period of four-five days.

It is expected that the panel will include lady judge Gloucester, lord judge David Richards and lord judge Sales. The case is expected to be heard at an open court hearing.
As reported earlier, 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).

Kyiv has suggested debt restructuring on conditions for general corporate creditors. However, that idea was declined by Moscow, who 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.

Nevertheless, the court ruling pointed out that some of the definitions included in the judgement needed clarification and there is a number of important issues that the court needs 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 is dealt with in the Court of Appeals.
A ruling by London’s Court of Appeals may be then further contested in the Supreme Court.
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