Ukraine Wins UK Top Court Case Over $3 Billion Bond Default

Ukraine won a significant boost in its attempt to set aside a $3 billion defaulted bond after the UK Supreme Court ruled that judges need to consider the backdrop of Russia’s campaign of threatening behavior in the run-up to the annexation of Crimea, Bloomberg News reported. Britain’s top court declared that a judge should pore over Russian attempts to strong-arm Ukraine into issuing the bond, giving the green light to a full-blown London trial. The long-awaited decision allows Ukraine to argue that the bond, sold in 2013 on the eve of the revolution in Kyiv, was part of unlawful political and military aggression from Moscow. “The success of Ukraine’s defense turns on whether it can establish that Russia threatened the use of force and that those threats were a reason for Ukraine’s decision to enter into the agreement,” Judge Robert Reed said in the ruling. “That question can only be determined after trial.” The judges gave their decision Wednesday in a ruling that knocks out Russian attempts to win the case and allows Ukraine to stave off any further repayments. Ukraine’s push to postpone debt repayments has already won support at an international level from key government creditors as well as private bondholders. Ukrainian officials have since been exploring ways to restructure the nation’s debt as funding options dry up, with Russia’s invasion destroying industry and depleting foreign reserves. Read more.