Has Ukraine doomed itself to default?

Has Ukraine doomed itself to default?

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that the government has imposed a moratorium on payment of the debt to Russia, the deadline of which will expire on 20 December.

"Due to the fact that Russia has refused, despite our efforts, to sign an agreement on restructuring and accept our proposals, the Cabinet is imposing a moratorium on payment of the Russian debt worth $3 billion," he said.

According to the Ukrainian prime minister, the government is imposing a moratorium on the payment of $507 million by two Ukrainian companies, Yuzhnoye and Ukravtodor, to Russian banks. "From today, all payments shall be suspended until the adoption of our proposals or a court decision," TASS cited him as saying.

Yatsenyuk also stressed that Ukraine is ready for a judicial process with the Russian Federation.

Earlier, the Board of Directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recognized the official status of the Russian loan to Ukraine of $3 billion. The decision of the Board automatically entered into force on December 16 in the absence of an objection.

The head of the department of stock markets and financial engineering of the Faculty of Finance and the Banking Business of RANEPA, Konstantin Korischenko, said in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza that the moratorium shows that Kiev is preparing for a default, signing the necessary documents. "The default will be held only on December 20. There is a certain period, during which it will be recognized as technical, and only after the necessary procedures are followed will it be recognized. It will take about 10 days. And after that it will be possible to go to court," the expert noted.

According to him, if a default is announced it won't affect the citizens of Ukraine, because the judicial procedures will take months. "If there is any decision, it certainly won't happen in the near future. Another thing is that Ukraine, in fact, will be in a state of sovereign default, and it will affect all its possible actions on the markets. But, again, Ukraine practically does not enter any markets and the IMF has agreed to lend money even in the case of a sovereign default," Konstantin Korischenko concluded.

An associate professor of stock markets and financial engineering of RANEPA, Vasiliy Yakimkin, in his turn, said that the Russian authorities will declare a default, but its role will be reduced due to the IMF policies. "Earlier, this automatically means that such organizations do not give loans to the state, but now the IMF has still decided to lend to Ukraine. Kiev only needs to adopt the budget for 2016 for this purpose," he said.

The expert drew attention to the fact that this step won't ruin the state image greatly. "Ukraine has no reason not to pay us, except for the fact that they really do not have money. So it will be necessary to sell the property in the West and pay in instalments," the associate professor of stock markets and financial engineering of RANEPA said.

According to him, the trial will drag on for years. "That's why the commercial structures agreed to write off 20% of Ukrainian loans," the expert noted, adding that Kiev's foreign exchange reserves have the required amount, but it just does not want to spend it.

"If they would pay us, all the creditors which signed a commitment to write off 20% may terminate their obligations. There is another point, that the Ukrainians also cannot pay their debts to anyone else," Vasily Yakimkin concluded.

In his turn, the associate professor of the department of finance, money circulation and credit of RANEPA, Maxim Safonov, expressed doubt that the general obligations of Ukraine cost more than $ 3 billion.

At the same time, the analyst noted that Ukraine has no chance in the international courts on the issues of its debts to Russia, but Moscow will not get the money immediately, but in accordance with the payment schedule. In addition, Maxim Safonov emphasized that the Cabinet imposed a moratorium on paying its debt to Russia primarily for political reasons.