Ukraine recognizes its $3bln debt owed to Russia — finance minister

украина россия долг

Ukraine acknowledges its $3 billion debt owed to Russia like any other Eurobonds, Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko said on Tuesday at the Swedish-Ukrainian business forum.

«We recognize this debt of $3 billion like any other Eurobond,» the minister said.

Jaresko stressed that this debt needs to be restructured. «We have enough programs and we have to achieve the goal of the debt restructuring,» the minister added.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said in an interview with Bloomberg on Monday that he believes Russia’s $3 billion loan to his country in December 2013 was a «bribe» sealed by ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.

According to Poroshenko, the whole situation around the money which Russia loaned to Ukraine was dubious. He assumed the loan was a bribe that followed immediately after Yanukovich had refused to sign as association agreement with the European Union in Vilnius.

In comments to the statement, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said if Russia’s loan was compared with a bribe, then Kiev’s talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) could be called a «large-scale embezzlement.»

«If the three-billion-U.S. dollar sovereign loan Ukraine received from Russia is a bribe, according to Poroshenko, then the billions Ukraine’s leaders are seeking to obtain from the IMF can be seen as an organization of a large-scale embezzlement,» Medvedev wrote on his Facebook account on Monday.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday the Kremlin wanted Kiev’s current authorities to say it definitely whether they consider themselves as a legal successor to the former government or they turn down its liabilities.