Russia to adopt tough position if Ukraine defaults: PM Medvedev

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev delivers a speech at the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War at the Poklonnaya Gora War Memorial Park in Moscow, Russia, April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia would adopt a tough position if Ukraine decided not to pay off debts owed to Moscow by its previous government, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview broadcast by Russian TV on Saturday.

Russia has spoken out against a new Ukrainian law allowing a moratorium on foreign debt repayments, threatening to take Ukraine to court if it fails to repay $3 billion that Russia lent it in 2013.

In his interview, Medvedev called the new law “contradictory”.

“Probably they are talking about private debts, but at the same time they are hinting that they aren’t prepared to pay off the debts of the (former Ukrainian president Viktor) Yanukovich government,” Medvedev said.

“If it is actually formulated in this way this would undoubtedly be a default of Ukraine … We would adopt as tough a position as possible in this case and defend our national interests,” Medvedev told the Vesti on Saturday program on state TV channel Rossiya…

We haven’t posted on it yet, but the Ukraine is having a debt crisis of its own: to Russia. It is not the first: this has happened on and off over the past few years, but it is the first since Russia seized the Crimea.

That photo — showing Medvedev with flags bearing the hammer and sickle is ‘interesting.’ Reuters picked it (not me).