11:23 Apr. 23, 2016
Moscow gives Ukraine's new government time to "assess the situation"
Russia temporarily suspended its demand for full repayment of a disputed USD 3-billion loan to Ukraine. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Moscow wanted to give Kyiv some time to ‘assess the situation'
"We have given the new Ukrainian government an extension to assess the situation with a clear head, to reevaluate its position and open negotiations with Russia on its debt," Interfax news agency quoted Siluanov as saying.
He added that the move followed "a request from Ukraine" and that it took current "political instability" into account.
On February 18, Russian Finance Ministry announced that it had filed a lawsuit against Ukraine after Kyiv failed to repay the disputed USD 3 billion bond, which reached maturity in December 2015.
The debt in question is the bond Russian President Vladimir Putin bought from former Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych two years ago, just months before he was ousted.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has repeatedly said that Russia's loan to Yanukovych was a reward for abandoning plans to sign the cooperation agreement with the European Union.
On December 18, 2015, Ukraine announced a moratorium on any payments of the Russian debt as a response to Russia's unwillingness to find compromise on debt restructuring. The moratorium was extended ‘indefinitely' on April 12.
Based on reporting by AFP