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Russia To Adopt 'Tough' Position If Ukraine Defaults

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says Russia would adopt what he calls a tough position if Ukraine decides not to repay debts owed by its previous government.

Speaking to Russian TV in an interview broadcast May 23, Medvedev says if Ukraine were to default on its obligations, Russia would "defend its national interests."

Earlier this week, Ukraine's parliament approved a law that would give the government the right to miss payments to its international creditors as it renegotiates payment terms.

Russia holds a $3 billion Ukrainian eurobond whose full repayment is due by the end of the year.

Medvedev also says the Russian government was right to allow its currency, the ruble, to float and that it was "optimal" to achieve a balance in the foreign-currency market.

The ruble has lost about a third of its value with respect to the U.S. dollar in the past year.

Based on reporting by Reuters