Tal como se preveía, Ucrania entró en default. Con Rusia, por 3.000 millones de dólares. Pero probablemente con el resto del mundo a breve plazo. El FMI ya les había dado una ayudita modificando su normativa para que este default a Rusia no pase realmente como default, porque viste que a los rusos les podés hacer de todo, no? En fin. Así cuentan la noticia el diario español El País, Russia Today y Zero Hedge, respectivamente:
Título: Ucrania deja de pagar deudas a Rusia por 3.000 millones de dólares
Subtítulo: La ayuda del FMI corre peligro si no hay cambios en los Presupuestos para 2016
Texto: El Gobierno de Ucrania ha anunciado este viernes que no pagará a lo largo del fin de semana un vencimiento de deuda que vence con Rusia, lo que profundiza la crisis entre los dos países. El primer ministro Arseni Yatseniuk ha informado de que su Gobierno impondrá una moratoria en el bono de 3.000 millones de dólares que vence el próximo domingo 20 de diciembre, un título emitido hace dos años por el entonces presidente ucranio y que fue comprado por Rusia como forma de rescate del país. Moscú ha anunciado recientemente que llevaría a Ucrania a los tribunales si impagaba su deuda.
El impago no impedirá que el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) mantenga su programa de asistencia financiera con Ucrania. Recientemente, el organismo aprobó un cambio de estatutos que permitía al Fondo seguir prestando asistencia a un país aunque hubiera declarado una suspensión de pagos con alguna entidad oficial, como sería este caso, siempre que hubiera "buena fe" en proceder al pago de sus deudas. Kiev entiende que su voluntad de incluir a Rusia en la reestructuración de la deuda demostraría su voluntad de pago.
La suspensión de pagos se produce después de que Rusia rehusara participar en la reestructuración que planteó Kiev a principios de año sobre los 18.000 millones de deuda pública con acreedores comerciales. Moscú argumentó que el titular del bono de 3.000 millones es el Fondo Nacional ruso de Bienestar y que debería ser considerada una entidad soberana, con carácter de acreedor oficial, y no una entidad comercial. La moratoria decretada por Ucrania también afecta a los 507 millones de dólares que el país adeuda a los bancos rusos en deuda emitida por dos empresas públicas ucranias.
El programa del FMI con Ucrania, sin embargo, no está exento de tensiones. El Parlamento ucranio rechazó esta semana el nuevo reglamento tributario exigido por los dirigentes de Washington, así como el borrador del proyecto de Presupuestos para 2016. Sin esas exigencias, el Fondo podría suspender los desembolsos. "La aprobación de un presupuesto que se desvía de los objetivos previstos en el programa de asistencia para 2016 y para el medio plazo supondrá la interrumpción del programa y, con ello, de la ayuda financiera internacional", advirtió este jueves el FMI.
Las relaciones entre Rusia y Ucrania se han deteriorado desde que el presidente ruso decidió anexionar el territorio de Crimea a su país, en marzo de 2014, y apoyó una rebelión separatista en las regiones del Este de Ucrania.
Título: Ukraine defaults on $3bn Eurobond to Russia
Texto: Ukraine has imposed a moratorium on the $3 billion Russian debt repayment, said the country’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk at a cabinet meeting on Friday. The announcement comes ahead of the December 20 deadline for the debt redemption.
"Considering that Russia has refused, despite our efforts, to sign an agreement on restructuring and to accept our proposals, the cabinet is imposing a moratorium on payment of the Russian debt worth $3 billion," said Yatsenyuk.
The payment is halted "until we make restructuring proposals or a relevant court decision is made," added the Prime Minister.
According to Yatsenyuk, Ukraine has also halted debt repayments by state-owned companies to Russian banks.
“The government is imposing a moratorium on the $507 million debt payment to Russian banks of two Ukrainian companies Yuzhnoe and Ukravtodor. From today all payments are suspended till our [government – Ed.] or a court makes a decision,” Yatsenyuk said.
Late on Thursday, Ukraine's Ministry of Finance said Kiev couldn’t pay off Russia’s $3 billion Eurobond loan without breaking a debt restructuring deal reached with other international creditors.
The country “remains committed to negotiating in good faith” with Moscow over debt restructuring, said the ministry in a statement.
In August, Ukraine agreed a restructuring deal with a creditor committee led by Franklin Templeton (which owns about $7 billion of Ukrainian bonds) providing a 20 percent write-down on about $18 billion worth of Eurobonds.
Russia refused to participate in the debt restructuring, claiming its bond purchase was a state loan not a commercial one.
In November, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered a three-year restructuring plan for Kiev’s debt, provided loan guarantees were in place from the US, the EU and the International Monetary Fund. Under the offer, Russia would forgo payment this year and Kiev would pay $1 billion a year for the next three years.
The deal fell through after Ukraine's Western backers were unwilling to provide such guarantees.
Last week, President Putin ordered the Finance Ministry to file a lawsuit against Ukraine if Kiev fails to repay Russia's $3 billion Eurobond loan within a 10-day grace period after the December 20 deadline.
Ukraine’s sovereign debt to Russia dates back to a deal between President Putin and former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich struck in 2013 which envisaged Moscow buying $15 billion worth of Ukrainian bonds. Russia bought $3 billion worth in December 20, 2013, and the debt was supposed to be redeemed on December 20, 2015.
Título: Ukraine "Crooks" Default On $3 Billion Bond To Putin
Texto: Back in August, Ukraine struck a restructuring agreement on some $18 billion in Eurobonds with a group of creditors headed by Franklin Templeton.
Under the terms of the deal, Kiev should save around $4 billion once everything is said and done. That was the good news. The bad news was that Ukraine still owed $3 billion to Vladimir Putin. Here’s what we said at the time:
“..owing Vladimir Putin $3 billion is not a situation one ever wants to find themselves in, but this particular case is exacerbated by the fact that Putin did not loan the money to Ukraine as we know it now, he loaned the money to a Ukraine that was governed by Russian-backed Viktor Yanukovych. Of course Yanukovych was run out of the country last year following a wave of protests (recall John McCain’s infamous speech at Maidan)."
Ukrainian finance minister Natalie Jaresko offered the same restructuring terms to Russia that it offered to Franklin Templeton and T. Rowe. In effect, Jaresko was attempting to tell Vladimir Putin that Ukraine would allow him to take a 20% upfront loss on the $3 billion he loaned to Yanukovych who was overthrown by the current Ukrainian government with whom Moscow is effectively at war.
As you might imagine, Putin was not at all interested. Last month, Moscow "generously" offered to accept $1 billion per year from now until 2018 (so, a "restructuring" at par). Kiev refused, noting that such a deal would violate the country's agreement with its other creditors.
Earlier this week, the IMF ruled that the debt to Russia was intergovernmental (as opposed to private). “In the case of the Eurobond, the Russian authorities have represented that this claim is official. The information available regarding the history of the claim supports this representation,” the Fund said, in a statement.
"The decision means that under new IMF rules Ukraine will now have to demonstrate 'good faith' in at least attempting to negotiate a restructuring of its debt with Russia if it wants to secure the next instalment of a $17bn IMF-led rescue programme," FT noted at the time. "But the 'good faith' bar is one that senior IMF officials do not believe Ukraine has yet met."
That ruling effectively set the stage for Ukraine to declare a default and that's precisely what happened just moments ago.
As Bloomberg reports, "Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Kiev is imposing a moratorium on the note due Dec. 20. Yatsenyuk announced the payment freeze at a government meeting in Kiev on Friday."The finance ministry warned Russia on Thursday evening that it could not make the payment (due by Sunday).
"Considering that Russia has refused, despite our efforts, to sign an agreement on restructuring and to accept our proposals, the cabinet is imposing a moratorium on payment of the Russian debt worth $3 billion," Yatsenyuk said, adding that Kiev "is also imposing a moratorium on the $507 million debt payment to Russian banks of two Ukrainian companies Yuzhnoe and Ukravtodor. From today all payments are suspended till our government or a court makes a decision."
And it looks like a court will have to make "a decision" because Putin is probably going to sue. "Russia said as recently as last week it would take Ukraine to court if the payment was missed," Bloomberg notes.
Earlier this month, Putin ordered Finance Minister Anton Siluanov to file a lawsuit against Ukraine in the event Kiev defaults. “It is strange. If they are so confident in the country’s solvency for the next year, then they could somehow participate during the last four years to share the risks," Putin said, referencing Washington's unwillingness to back Ukraine's guarantees. "Fine. File the lawsuit," he concluded.
So, the stage is now set for what will surely be an amusing court battle between Russia and Ukraine which, you're reminded, are still essentially at war. In a preview of the kind of chuckle-inducing soundbites you're likely to hear in the months ahead, we close with the following quote from PM Dmitry Medvedev:
“I have a feeling that they will not pay us back because they are crooks.”