The Court of Appeal of England will deliver its verdict on Ukraine’s $3 billion debt to Russia by August 1 this year, said Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak.
“We are waiting for the court ruling. They will finish the cycle before going on vacation, the ruling must be announced during this period,” TASS cites Storchak as saying.
According to the court’s website, the Court of Appeal will go on leave between August 1 and October 1 this year.
Storchak said that the Court of Appeal will first prepare a draft verdict, which will be distributed to the parties. The parties then have the opportunity to comment on the verdict in writing, and only then will the official verdict be delivered.
In December 2015, Ukraine defaulted on a $3 billion eurobond purchased by Russia in December 2013. Kyiv advised Moscow to restructure the debt on the same terms as commercial creditors, but Russia refused to discuss this option, insisting on the sovereign nature of the debt. The repayment was due by January 1, 2016. However, in December 2015, Ukraine issued a moratorium on the servicing of this debt, and did not repay it by the due date.
On February 17, 2016, the Russian Finance Ministry filed a lawsuit at the London High Court of Justice to collect the eurobond debt from Ukraine. On March 29, 2017, the court agreed to expedite the revision of the case, effectively dismissing Ukraine’s primary objections and confirming Ukraine’s obligations according to the eurobonds. The court recognized that the transaction was a standard debt operation, although it was carried out under unusual circumstances.
At the same time, the court decision noted that several of its definitions were in need of clarification, and that there were many issues which the court needed to look into.
Thus on May 26, 2017, the London High Court of Justice approved Ukraine’s motion to halt the implementation of its ruling until Ukraine’s appeal has been considered by the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal’s ruling can be appealed only at the Supreme Court.