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Russia Steps Up Pressure On Ukraine Over Debt

Russia has threatened to challenge an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout loan with Ukraine if Kyiv doesn’t pay back its $3 billion bond due in December.

"We will turn to the relevant judicial bodies” if Ukraine fails to make the payment, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in Moscow on September 7. "Also, we are members of the IMF and we will question the validity of the IMF program to Ukraine."

A creditor group that owns half of Ukraine’s sovereign bonds agreed last month to accept new terms that include a 20 percent principal writedown and a four-year maturity extension.

Other bondholders such as Russia are to vote on the agreement this month.

The restructuring is part of a $17.5 billion IMF loan aimed at easing pressure on Ukraine’s economy, which is expected to shrink nearly 10 percent this year due its war in the east and the loss of coal mining and steel factories in areas held by Russian-backed separatists.

Based on reporting by and Interfax

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