KIEV (TIP): Ukraine’s premier warned Friday that Kiev would freeze its debt repayments if no immediate deal was found with private lenders because it had to fund its escalating campaign against pro-Russian fighters.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on his return from a crunch visit to Washington that the International Monetary Fund had given his embattled government a few weeks’ reprieve to enact laws needed for the release of new loans.

But the Western-backed cabinet leader said the Fund had signalled its willingness to let Ukraine restructure debts at its own pace — and that interest payments to Western commercial lenders and Russia may stop as early as next week.

“Today, Ukraine spends as much on foreign and domestic debt servicing as it does on defence,” Yatsenyuk told a government meeting.

“The budget can no longer afford it — and not just the budget. The Ukrainian people can no longer live like this,” he said.

To Advertise Call us @ +1 646 431 4064special-issue

“We will not take money out of¬†Ukrainians’ pockets to pay foreign debts.”

An upsurge in fighting that has claimed at least 40 lives since last week has rattled a shaky truce deal the foes and Russia had signed off on under strong EU pressure in February.

Foreign monitors have since accused both sides of pulling their heaviest weapons back up to the front in apparent preparation for a return of full-scale warfare in the 14-month eastern campaign.

Growing security concerns have been compounded by seemingly deadlocked talks with foreign creditors who soaked up Ukrainian Eurobonds in far more peaceful times.

Kiev is up against seasoned financial heavyweights such as Franklin Templeton and other titans who believe that Ukraine has the funds stashed away in its central bank to repay its debts in full.

Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko has firmly refused to do so — a position that has left the private lender increasingly anxious and Russia visibly irate.

“We are deeply concerned about the stance (Jaresko) is taking, which is not in the interests of Ukraine,” Kiev’s four biggest commercial lenders warned in a joint statement yesterday.

And Russia said it may ask the International Court of Justice in The Hague to declare Ukraine in default if it fails to make a scheduled USD 75-million (66.5-million-euro) interest payment on June 20.

Jaresko and Yatsenyuk mainly want to see the IMF back the quick release of a USD 1.7-billion loan that forms part of a USD 40-billion package the Fund and Ukraine’s foreign allies have patched up for the coming four years.

- Advertise Here Call +1 646 247 9458 -

Trending (48 Hours)

BJP wins over old Congress hand Rita Bahuguna in UP

NEW DELHI (TIP): Senior Congress member from UP Rita Bahuguna Joshi joined BJP on Oct 20 (Thursday) and attacked Rahul Gandhi's style of functioning...

Volume 10 Issue 40 | New York | Oct 14

- Advertise Here Call +1 646 247 9458 -