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    Poroshenko Signs Moratorium on Foreign Debt Repayment

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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a law allowing Ukraine to impose a moratorium on repayment of its foreign debt until at least July 2016, a press release on Poroshenko's official website said Thursday.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — The Ukrainian parliament approved the bill, which could affect repayment of the country's $3-billion debt to Russia on May 19.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier the bill de facto was an announcement of a default, casting a negative light on the professionalism of Ukraine's leadership.

    Moreover, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that Moscow would turn to an international court if the Ukrainian president signed a moratorium on the repayment of foreign debt.

    Ukraine's total debt is estimated at about $50 billion, of which $30 billion are external and $17 billion internal debts, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

    Yatsenyuk said that the suspension of payments could only relate to private loans, but Ukraine considered its $3-billion debt to Russia also as a private one, a position Moscow totally disagreed with.

    Kiev has received several aid packages from international financial institutions, including the IMF, which has pledged to transfer $17.5 billion to the country over the next four years, with the first $5-billion installment being received.

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    Tags:
    moratorium, foreign debt, Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine
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