S&P downgrades Ukraine credit rating, warns of default

S&P downgrades Ukraine credit rating, warns of default

PanARMENIAN.Net - Rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Ukraine’s long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating by one notch to CCC with a negative outlook on Friday, Feb 21, citing the political turmoil there that has left at least 77 people dead this week.

According to RIA Novosti, the agency, which last cut the former Soviet country’s long- and short-term foreign currency ratings less than one month ago, said in a statement that it believed “it is likely that Ukraine will default in the absence of significantly favorable changes in circumstances, which we do not anticipate.”

S&P said the fading chances of finding a way out of the current political standoff had jeopardized a $15 billion loan package promised by Russia after Ukraine backed away from signing association deals with the EU in November.

“As a result of the intensifying political turmoil in Ukraine, we consider that continued Russian support up to the committed $15 billion is increasingly uncertain. Should Russian financial support fall short of Russia's commitments, we expect the government of Ukraine to default on its foreign-currency obligations,” the agency said.

Large-scale street protests that first ignited after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych pulled away from the EU deal descended into deadly pitched battles between anti-government protesters and police in Kyiv this week.

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