Saturday, January 10, 2015

Bloomberg: Russia May Demand Payment of its Ukraine Bailout Bond

This Bloomberg article describes another move in the chess match. The Ukraine owes Russia $3 Billion on a bond that is now callable by Russia because the Ukraine has not met the requirements of the bond contract. They may demand immediate payment even as the IMF tries to figure out how to keep the money flowing to the Ukraine from the West. Here are some quotes:

"Russia said it may seek early repayment of a $3-billion loan to Ukraine, as the war-torn nation races to secure more International Monetary Fund aid to avoid default."

"The government in Moscow can demand repayment as Ukraine’s public debt has exceeded 60 percent of gross domestic product, violating the terms of the loan, state-run Ria news service reported today, citing Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. TASS, another state-run agency, quoted an unnamed Russian official as saying the country will probably demand repayment “in the near future.”

"The threat adds to concerns expressed by Moody’s Investors Service and some bondholders that Ukraine will have to restructure its debt, after a war with pro-Russian rebels worsened the country’s recession. IMF representatives are in Kiev to review Ukraine’s austerity measures before releasing additional funds from a $17-billion bailout package."

As we have noted here on the blog, the pressure is ramping up and the clock is ticking for both sides. Meanwhile, no one seems to care very much what happens to the regular citizens of the Ukraine. It seems like gaining a PR and political victory is more important.

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