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Ukraine says it can save nearly $5.5 billion by postponing debt repayments

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KYIV — Ukraine can save 200 billion hryvnias ($5.45 billion) for priority needs by deferring its external debt repayments, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Tuesday.

Ukraine has launched a formal consent solicitation to holders of its international bonds, proposing a two-year debt freeze on most of its bonds and giving creditors until August 9 to vote on the proposal.

Shmyhal also said the Ukrainian government had approved a request to the U.S. government for a “gas lend-lease” arrangement to help Ukraine through what he said would be the toughest heating season in its history.

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Yuriy Vitrenko, chief executive of Ukraine’s state oil and gas company Naftogaz, said last week the company was working with the government to raise $8 billion in funds to buy 4 billion extra cubic meters (bcm) of gas needed for Ukraine’s 2022/23 heating season.

Vitrenko said on July 18 that Ukraine currently had reserves of 11.5 bcm and had secured funding for imports to get reserves up to 15 bcm, but that a higher target of 19 bcm had been set by the government due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

($1 = 36.7000 hryvnias) (Reporting by Max Hunder, Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets, Editing by Timothy Heritage)



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