Appeal court in London to start hearing Ukraine vs Russia dispute over $3 bln eurobonds on Jan 22
The start of the hearing of Ukraine's appeal against the decision of the High Court of Justice in London on Russia's lawsuit regarding the debt for $3 billion eurobonds is scheduled for January 22, 2018, the press service of the Finance Ministry of Ukraine has told Interfax-Ukraine.
The ministry said that it is expected that the appeal would be heard for four or five days. The jury could consist of Lady Justice Gloster, Lord Justice David Richards and Lord Justice Sales.
The hearing will begin no earlier than 10:30 London time. It is expected that the lawsuit will be heard in an open court session.
As reported, in December 2015, Ukraine defaulted on $3 billion in eurobonds the country had bought from Russia shortly before a change in government in Kyiv, along with $75 million in the final coupon payment. Ukraine proposed that Moscow accept the same debt restructuring terms reached with Ukraine's major commercial creditors, but Russia rejected the idea, insisting that the bond was sovereign debt. Ukraine was to clear the debt before January 1, 2016. However, Kyiv imposed a moratorium on servicing this debt in December 2015 and failed to pay a total of $3.075 billion before January 1, 2016 toward servicing and clearing the eurobonds belonging to Russia.
After that, the Russian Finance Ministry filed a lawsuit in High Court on February 17, 2016, seeking to secure repayment of the debt. The High Court ruled on March 29, 2017 to endorse a quick procedure for hearing the suit, in fact rejecting Ukraine's principal objections and agreeing that it had a debt on eurobonds. The court recognized that the transaction was a standard one, even though it was concluded in unusual circumstances. However Russia is unable to collect debt on the $3 billion eurobond until a decision is pronounced on an appeal lodged by Ukraine.