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Russian Prime Minister Vows Tough Response to Kiev's Failure to Repay Debts

© AFP 2023 / YURI KADOBNOV Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev - Sputnik International
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia will have harsh stance to protect national interests if Kiev fails to repay its debts to Moscow.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia will assume an extremely harsh stance to protect national interests if Kiev fails to repay its debts to Moscow, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

"We will take a tough stand and will protect our national interests," Medvedev said in an interview with Rossiya-1 television to be aired on Saturday.

The prime minster commented on a recent law passed by the Ukrainian parliament that allows Kiev to impose a moratorium on repayment of the country's foreign debts. The law will be in force until July 1, 2016.

The bill, which is yet to be signed into law by President Petro Poroshenko, can be applied to Ukraine's payments on the $3-billion Eurobond issue bought by Russia in late 2013.

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On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the bill is a de facto announcement of default, demonstrating that the level of responsibility and professionalism of Ukraine's leadership appears to be low.

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.

Kiev has received several aid packages from international financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (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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