"Yanukovych's debt": British court affirms Ukraine’s stance in $3B case

The UK Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Ukraine in a $3 billion bond loan case: the case will now go to a full trial to investigate Russian aggression.

“Today Ukraine secured another decisive victory against the aggressor, this time in the UK Supreme Court in the $3bn bonds case. The Court has ruled that Ukraine’s defence based on russia’s threats of aggression will have a full public trial. Justice will be ours,” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Twitter.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, in turn, said in a Telegram post that the British court "recognized the strong position of Ukraine’s defense regarding Russia's coercion and threats to use force, which Russia made back in 2013 to force Ukraine to issue these Eurobonds."

"Now the Kremlin will have to disclose all information regarding the actions against Ukraine in an open court hearing. Justice will definitely win. Russia will definitely answer for all its illegal actions and crimes," the Prime Minister wrote.

“Great news in the legal arena. The UK Supreme Court has affirmed the stance of Ukraine's legal team in the $3 billion bonds case. The case will now go back into the merits, and we will persist in defending our position,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

In December 2013, then-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia would provide Ukraine with a loan of $15 billion through the placement of Ukrainian securities, which will be bought by Moscow. Later, the first part of these bonds worth $3 billion was placed on the Irish Stock Exchange, and then bought by Russia.

In the autumn of 2015, Ukraine agreed on the restructuring of its debt obligations, including the write-off of part of them, with most of its private creditors - except for Russia, which did not agree to the terms. Moscow believes that this debt is the sovereign debt of the Ukrainian state. However, Kyiv insists that this is a private debt of the former Ukrainian government and, therefore, it should be restructured on general grounds.

In December 2015, then-Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk announced that Kyiv was introducing a moratorium on the repayment of the $3 billion debt to Russia, which Yanukovych took two months before his escape from Ukraine.

Russia filed a lawsuit against Ukraine in the High Court of England over the repayment of these funds, because the Ukrainian bonds it bought were issued under English law. Ukraine objected to the claim.

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