Bonds News

UK court says Ukraine has no "justifiable defence" in $3bln Russia bond case

LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) - An UK court ruled on Wednesday that Ukraine did not provide “justifiable defence” in a $3 billion Eurobond case brought by Russia against Kiev and that it would not be right for the case to go to full trial.

Judge William Blair said in the pre-trial hearing that the court had given the case careful consideration but added:

“Ultimately this is a claim for repayment of debt instruments to which the court has held there is no justificable defence. It would not be right to order the case to go forward to a full trial in these circumstances.”

Russia had requested a summary judgement - a move often used to speed up procedures - meaning the court after examining Ukraine’s defence arguments would decide if they are likely to stand up in court. Both sides can appeal the judgement.

Ukraine’s lawyer asked the court for an interim stay of execution.

The case centres around a $3 billion Russia lent in December 2013 to Ukraine under former President Viktor Yanukovich in the form of a Eurobond governed by English law. Moscow wants the bond to be repaid in full but Kiev insists Russia should have participated in a 2015 restructuring of Ukrainian Eurobonds.

Reporting by Sujata Rao