LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Britain’s court of appeal has found that Ukraine’s defence of duress in a dispute with Russia over a $3 billion Eurobond should be the subject of a trial, Ukraine’s legal counsel said on Friday.
The disputed debt was raised in late December 2013 by then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich - less than two months before street protests in the ex-Soviet republic toppled his Moscow-backed government.
Ukraine was appealing against a previous UK court ruling that it did not provide a “justiciable defence”.
Ukraine disputed the validity of the loan on various grounds, particularly on the grounds of duress arising from Russian aggression, including with regard to Crimea and the eastern Ukraine, a statement from Ukraine’s Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan UK LLP said.
“The Court of Appeal ... has in allowing Ukraine’s appeal unanimously overturned the decision of Mr Justice Blair, and found that Ukraine’s defence of duress is justiciable and should be the subject of a trial,” the statement said.
That means the case can now go to the UK Surpreme Court.
However, Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the court had backed only one of Ukraine’s four arguments in the case. (Reporting by Claire Milhench; editing by Sujata Rao)