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Situation for buying back eurobonds, VRIs favorable – Finance Minister

KYIV. May 6 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Buying Ukraine’s eurobonds and VRIs (value recovery instruments) is currently inappropriate, despite the really attractive market situation for these instruments, Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

"Firstly, there are no funds for this, and secondly, our partners will have a question – where do you use our money. But the situation is really favorable to buy back VRIs and eurobonds. We are working on this. We cannot say that the Ministry of Finance constantly rules out this. But so far it does not look appropriate at a particular point in time," Marchenko said.

He noted that Ukraine plans to continue servicing its debt obligations.

Commenting on from time to time sounding proposals for restructuring the state debt, the minister stressed that this issue is quite sensitive.

"I don’t like it when people who are not involved in such issues, who are not experts in this area, express some positions. This is an internal issue. A matter of reputation, trust. You can take advantage of the moment, but in the future it will hurt us a lot. Even talks about potential restructuring are very harmful to us and our plans," the minister said.

He said that in the short term he does not see any problems with servicing external debt, in particular, for May, all external payments of Ukraine – a little more than $ 200 million, the same applies to June, July, August.

"Yes, the question of September will arise: we are waiting for a payment of $900 million on eurobonds. We are currently working on this, but I would not like to say that we are preparing some kind of decision, whether we are ready to offer anything," Marchenko stressed.

In early February of this year, the Ministry of Finance announced that it had recently bought back approximately 10% of eurobonds maturing in September 2022, reducing their outstanding volume to $912 million.

In addition, the Ministry of Finance carried out several operations to buy back GDP warrants, bringing their volume in state ownership to about 20% of the total nominal amount of securities.