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Pro-US Ukraine govt blinks, will make Russian debt payment

Ukraine's finance minister said on Friday that Kiev would make the next interest payment on a disputed Russian loan it had threatened to stop servicing. "Two days ago, we paid USD 39 million (34 million euros) for (Western-held) Eurobonds, and we will also pay USD 75 million to cover the so-called Russian bonds," Natalie <g data-gr-id="18">Jaresko</g> told reporters.

Russia had warned it would ask the International Court of Justice in The Hague to declare Ukraine in default if it failed to make a scheduled USD 75-million interest payment on Saturday. <g data-gr-id="15">Jaresko</g> said the money would be delivered on Monday because Saturday was a bank holiday.

The coupon covers a USD 3 billion loan Moscow extended to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in the wake of his shock December 2013 decision to ditch a landmark EU alliance and preserve closer ties with Russia. The pro-Western leadership that emerged after three months of protests over that decision has denounced the loan as little more than a Kremlin bribe and recently tried to delay its repayment.

But Moscow -- already accused by Kiev and the West of orchestrating and supporting the pro-Russian uprising in Ukraine's separatist east -- has refused to negotiate and still expects the bond's principal returned when it matures in December. 

CII inks MoU with Russian biz chamber 
Industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Friday signed a pact with its Russian counterpart to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation between the countries. The MoU was signed during the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

A CII CEOs delegation led by its President Sumit Mazumder is in Russia accompanying Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
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