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Russia has every reason to demand early repayment of Ukraine's $3 billion debt - Siluanov

Russia has every reason to demand early repayment of $3 billion in debt owed by Ukraine, but no decision has been made yet, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Saturday.

Siluanov noted that Ukraine had violated the conditions of the Russian loan, allowing its total state debt to exceed 60% of its annual gross domestic product.

Earlier on Saturday, a Russian government source said it was likely that Russia would be forced in the near future to demand from Ukraine early repayment of the loan.

"Russia has actually every reason to demand the early repayment of the debt. But the decision has not yet been taken," the minister said, adding that he was surprised by the fact that no provision had been made in Ukraine's state budget for the Eurobond's repayment.

Russia bought the two-year bond in December 2013. It was the first tranche of a $15 billion rescue plan agreed with Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovich but abandoned after the coup in February that brought the opposition to power and forced Yanukovich to flee the country.

Under the terms of the loan, Russia is entitled to demand early repayment if Ukraine's overall debt exceeds 60% of its gross domestic product.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 10Jan15]

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