SYDNEY Feb 21 Standard & Poor's on Friday cut
Ukraine's sovereign rating for the second time in three weeks,
saying the political situation in the country has deteriorated
substantially and seeing an increased risk of default.
S&P lowered its long-term foreign currency sovereign credit
rating on Ukraine by one notch to 'CCC' and gave it a negative
outlook, reflecting the view that Ukraine has yet to secure
funding to avoid default.
"The downgrade reflects our view that the political
situation in Ukraine has deteriorated substantially. We believe
that this raises uncertainty regarding the continued provision
of Russian financial support over the course of 2014, and puts
the government's capability to meet debt service at increasing
risk," the ratings agency said in a statement.
"We consider that the future of the current Ukrainian
leadership is now more uncertain than at any time since
the protests began in November 2013."
S&P said the negative outlook meant that there is at least a
one-in-three chance that it could lower Ukraine's ratings over
the next 12 months.