The Russian finance ministry on Friday said it will be suing Ukraine for defaulting on a loan of $3bn (€2.76bn) after the former Soviet country failed to meet a 31 December 2015, repayment deadline.
“As a consequence of Ukraine’s payment default…a formal legal complaint against Ukraine will soon be filed in an English court,” said a statement from the Russian finance ministry.
In December, Kyiv announced it would be putting a moratorium on repayment to Russia, saying Moscow refused to sign a restructuring agreement despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vow to sue the country if it defaulted on the loan.
The debt dates to 2013 when Moscow offered the loan to Ukraine under former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russia politician ousted from power during pro-European protests.
However, the ministry statement noted that the legal action did not “preclude” talks to negotiate the terms of repayment.
“The Russian Federation would carefully examine any meaningful proposal from Ukraine and believes that the commencement of legal proceedings does not preclude a constructive dialogue with a view to reaching an acceptable solution,” the statement added.
Ukraine has struggled with an economic downturn and a conflict against pro-Russia separatists in the country’s east.
In 2014, Russia annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea, placing the Kremlin at odds with Kyiv’s pro-EU government.