Ukraine's debt woes during wartime

To match Special Report UKRAINE-WAR/FRONTLINE

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ukraine said on Monday it had reached a preliminary agreement with a group of private holders of its $19.7 billion of outstanding international bonds, closing in on an unprecedented debt restructuring deal for a country in the midst of war.

The debt rework would be Ukraine's second in a decade triggered by its neighbour: Kyiv restructured in 2015 following Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

Here is a timeline of events related to the debt impact of Russia's conflicts with Ukraine.

2014

February - Russia invades Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. The invasion, as well as the war in Donbass, trigger an economic crisis that makes debt payments unaffordable, forcing a restructuring.

Earmarked for restructuring are all international bonds issued before February of 2014 - including a $3 billion Eurobond that was issued under English law and is owed to Russia, and still subject to court proceedings.

2015

November - Ukraine completes its debt restructuring which results in 13 bonds in dollars and euros being issued that currently have around $20 billion outstanding as well as a $2.7 billion GDP-warrant - all of which are in scope for the current restructuring.

2022

February - Russia invades Ukraine, setting off the deadliest war on European soil in more than 70 years. Ukraine's economy and finances implode, driving the country to request a freeze in its debt payments to avoid a full-out sovereign default.

March - Ukraine begins issuing domestic market wartime bonds.

July - Naftogaz becomes the first Ukrainian government entity to default since the start of the Russian invasion after creditors did not support a two-year deferral. Kyiv asks holders of $1.5 billion in bonds issued by state agencies Ukravtodor and Ukrenergo to defer payments -and they agree.

August - Ukraine's overseas private creditors back the country's request for a two-year freeze on payments on almost $20 billion in international bonds. Global rating agencies S&P and Fitch consider the exchange "distressed," triggering a short-lived downgrade to default. The country now owes nearly $24 billion on those bonds, including interest.

September - Ukraine and its bilateral partners finalise a memorandum of understanding to implement a two-year debt service suspension announced two months earlier, which was later extended.

2023

March - The Group of Creditors of Ukraine (GCU) including Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Britain and the United States provides financing assurances in support of an expected loan from the International Monetary Fund. This includes the extension until 2027 of a previously-agreed payment moratorium.

March - The IMF board approves a four-year $15.6 billion loan program for Ukraine to support the country's economy.

November - In its 2024 budget, Ukraine details an expected $44 billion deficit.

2024

March - Reuters reports Ukraine's overseas bondholders are in talks to form a creditor committee ahead of debt rework talks. The formation of the group is made official in April.

April - A sweeping foreign aid package passes in the U.S. Congress after months of delay, clearing the way for $61 billion in funding for Ukraine.

May - Ukraine pushes to agree on a restructuring with its private creditors ahead of expiration of a payment freeze.

June - The Group of Seven wealthy nations agrees to provide Ukraine with $50 billion in loans by using interest earned on frozen Russian assets.

June - Ukraine says it was unable to reach an agreement during formal talks with a group of bondholders over restructuring its commercial debt, pushing the country closer to default. Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko says talks will continue and he expects the government to reach an agreement by Aug. 1.

July - Ukraine and a number of holders of its international bonds enter a second round of formal talks and reach an agreement in principle with a group of creditors.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; additional reporting by Karin Strohecker; Editing by David Gregorio and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)