Western countries agreed to defer Ukraine's payments on their government bonds, thus Kyiv managed to avoid problems with financing its international obligations, up to a default on securities. This was reported by Reuters with reference to a single statement by representatives of creditor countries.
Representatives of the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Great Britain announced their consent to the debt restructuring. They also called on other creditors to join them in order to help Ukraine in the war against Russia.
“We, as official bilateral creditors of Ukraine, intend to ensure a coordinated suspension of debt servicing,” the creditors said in a statement .
The support of Western countries does not nullify the default risks for Ukraine, but it significantly reduces them, since servicing obligations in a war becomes much easier. The Ministry of Finance of Ukraine has previously stated that the state is ready to fulfill all its obligations even without an agreement, but this would significantly complicate intrastate transfers in the context of hostilities and reduce the effectiveness of countering Russian aggression.
On Tuesday, July 19, the government of Ukraine made a request to international creditors to defer payments on the public debt. It was about bond issues, coupon payments for which were already provided in September, as well as about the so-called GDP warrants - a special type of security (derivative), which, in the case of public debt, is tied to economic indicators. In the case of Ukraine - to GDP, that is, the warrant holder receives his income if the Ukrainian economy achieves certain successes, which are expressed through economic growth.
The Ministry of Finance of Ukraine will try to agree among all holders of government bonds a two-year deferment and a year for holders of warrants. Moreover, Ukraine offers its creditors compensation in case of agreeing to a deferment: bondholders will receive interest on interest, that is, coupon payments will be indexed to the government bond rate and paid in two years. The document also provides for the maximum amount of overpayment on government bonds, it cannot exceed $3 billion for securities denominated in dollars, and no more than €300 million in euros.
Warrant holders are invited to partially ease the conditions: for 2023, the payment should be reduced from 1% of GDP to 0.5%, but further payments may be much higher. Ukraine also asks to add a clause on early redemption of warrants with compensation tied to the rate of economic growth. According to Ukraine's proposals, warrant obligations will be valid until 2039, and payments on them will be valid until 2041.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine hit the economy hard. According to the authorities, in 2022 Ukraine's GDP will fall within the range of 35-45%. The country is experiencing a shortage of liquidity, funding for many programs is frozen or impossible due to the invasion.