Ukraine can defend $3 bln Russian Eurobond case – UK top court
Ukraine can defend a $3 billion Eurobond lawsuit brought by Russia on the basis it was forced to assume the debt in 2013 because of threats of force by Moscow, the United Kingdom’s top court ruled on Wednesday.
The long-awaited ruling on the lawsuit, which was brought in 2016 and long predates Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, paves the way for a full trial of Ukraine’s case that it had to accept the money in the face of Russian aggression. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy described the ruling as a “decisive victory against the aggressor”, writing on Twitter: “Justice will be ours.”
Alex Gerbi, Ukraine’s London-based lawyer, said in a statement: “Ukraine greatly welcomes this opportunity to present its case on duress to the English court on the merits and to have a full public and impartial judicial consideration of that case, with the requirement for full disclosure by Russia in respect of its conduct towards Ukraine.” Law Debenture Trust Corporation, which brought the lawsuit on behalf of Russia, said in a statement the ruling found that “none of Ukraine’s defences to the claim is arguable except a limited part of its defence of duress”.
“We take our fiduciary obligations seriously and all action taken to date has been in the proper discharge of those duties,” the statement added. The case centres on billions of dollars borrowed from Moscow by pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, months before he was toppled in a popular uprising in February 2014 and shortly before Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Ukraine says the debt was procured…