Russia filed suit against Ukraine on Wednesday over Ukraine’s default on $3 billion in bonds. Filed in the London High Court [official website], Russia seeks to regain the principal plus $75 million in accrued interest and legal fees. Russia bought Ukraine’s debt, in the form of a Eurobond structured under English law, from then-president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych [BBC profile] in December 2013. Yanukovych was subsequently ousted, and multiple efforts to restructure the debt have failed. Anton Siluanov [official profile], Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, stated [Reuters report] that he hopes that “the protection of rights of the Russian Federation as a creditor will be carried out by an independent, authoritative court, which will impartially consider the dispute between the two sovereigns.”
Russia and Ukraine have been in conflict since the annexation of Crimea [JURIST backgrounder] in March 2014. A Ukrainian official said in January that the nation plans to sue Russia [JURIST report] in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] on claims of financing terrorism. In December the UN issues a report about serious human rights concerns [JURIST report] that persist in Ukraine. In August a Russian military court sentenced [JURIST report] two Ukrainian activists to substantial jail time for the charge of conspiring to commit terror attacks. In March the EU committed to stand by [JURIST report] its policy of refusing to recognize Crimea’s annexation, as they purport the illegality of Russia’s referendum. In February Russian liberal political activist Boris Nemtsov was shot in the back four times [BBC report] in the middle of busy downtown Moscow. Nemtsov was openly politically opposed to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its role in Ukraine, and many believe Vladimir Putin ordered the killing.