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BREAKING: Russia wins Judgment against Ukraine in London High Court

High Court Judgment to expedite case clears way for Ukraine to be declared in default, legally requiring IMF funding of Ukraine to cease.

Alexander Mercouris

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The High Court in London this morning granted Russia’s request for an expedited hearing (ie. summary Judgment) of its claim against Ukraine arising from Ukraine’s non-payment of the $3 billion loan Ukraine owes Russia.

This is not the final Judgment in the case.  That is however probably no more than a few weeks away.  Reports say the High Court rejected all of Ukraine’s arguments that it should not be required to pay the loan for political reasons, and this together with the High Court’s decision to grant Russia an expedited hearing makes it now a virtual certainty that the High Court will shortly decide the case in Russia’s favour, and declare Ukraine in default on its loan.

As those who have followed my writings on this question will know, this is what I have argued was likely to happen from the start.  Indeed on strict legal principles it is difficult to see what other possible Judgment the High Court could have made.

Ukraine is saying it will appeal today’s Judgment, presumably to the Court of Appeal and, if it loses there, presumably ultimately to the British Supreme Court.  In English law an appeal does not however automatically delay implementation of a Judgment, and since today’s decision is procedural I cannot see what grounds for appeal there are, and I expect Ukraine’s appeal to be refused.

This means that a final Judgment in the case may now be no more than weeks away.

The big question therefore is what will happen when the High Court finally decides the case in Russia’s favour, and finds Ukraine in default of its $3 billion loan to Russia, as it is now almost certain to do.

Will the IMF recognise that this is a legal declaration from the world’s most powerful commercial court that Ukraine is in default to Russia, which since Russia is a member of the Paris Club should mean that any further IMF lending to Ukraine must cease according to the IMF’s own rules?  Or will the IMF find some way to ignore its rules so that it can continue lending to Ukraine despite the High Court in London declaring Ukraine in default?

My guess is the former, and my guess also is that it was the pending decision made today by the High Court in London rather than Ukraine’s transport blockade of the Donbass which caused the IMF Board on 20th March 2017 to postpone its decision on further lending to Ukraine.  See my full discussion here.

The political implications – and the potential economic consequences for Ukraine – of the country being declared in default and being cut off from all external funding, including IMF funding, are however immense, and Western governments which have invested so heavily in supporting Ukraine will be increasingly anxious.

POSTSCRIPT: Since writing the above the High Court in London has published the High Court’s Judgment granting Russia summary Judgment in the case of Ukraine’s $3 billion Eurobond.  The full Judgment, together with an executive summary, can be found here.

It is clear from the Judgment that the judge – Mr. Justice Blair, who is incidentally former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s brother – gave consideration to every part of Ukraine’s Defence.  As I expected he also accepted without qualification Ukraine’s claims about Crimea’s “annexation by Russia” and about “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine”.  However in the end – as I predicted – he had no hesitation deciding that these “defences” are non-justiciable (ie. they lie outside the jurisdiction of the High Court) and decided the case in Russia’s favour.  The words, which best summarise the whole Judgment are arguable these at the very end of the full Judgment

……ultimately, this is a claim for repayment of debt instruments to which the court has held that there is no justiciable defence. It would not be right to order the case to go forward to a full trial in such circumstances.

Though the Judge’s discussion is very detailed and makes many references to case law, those familiar with my previous discussion of the case should be able to follow it.

It is clear from the Judgment that Russia has in fact been granted Summary Judgment.  In other words the High Court has decided the case in Russia’s favour and against Ukraine.  There are some technical issues still left to be decided but essentially, unless Ukraine succeeds in getting the Judgment set aside on appeal (which I think is extremely unlikely) the case is over, Ukraine has lost, and Russia has won.

The one thing the Judge did do for Ukraine is grant Ukraine a 1 month’s stay of execution of the Judgment.  Presumably this is to allow Ukraine time to appeal and in order for the Court to deal with the remaining issues (eg. decide the exact amount Ukraine owes and the legal costs it must pay).  These will apparently be decided in late April, at which point unless an appeal is granted Ukraine will formally be in default.

The ball has now been passed to the IMF.  It now has a difficult decision to make, deciding what it must now do.  On balance I expect it to accept that Ukraine is in default to a member of the Paris Club and to stop lending to Ukraine.  As I have said previously, the legal implications of the IMF not doing so are awesome, and despite the political pressures I suspect there will be too many people in the IMF bureaucracy who counsel against it for it in the end to happen.  However I could be wrong, and since the IMF’s decision is ultimately a political one rather than a legal one, it cannot at this stage be predicted with absolute certainty.

Back in June Ukraine was saying that the case in the High Court would “take years”, and undoubtedly it was Ukraine’s tactic all along to try to drag out the case for as long as it could.  I always doubted Ukraine would be successful in doing this given how clear the case is, and in the event Russia has obtained Summary Judgment less than a year since Ukraine was saying that, and just a few months after Ukraine filed its Defence.

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Putin, Trump meet in Helsinki for first bilateral summit

The Helsinki summit is the first ever full-fledged meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Their previous encounters were brief talks on the sidelines of the G20 and APEC summits in 2017.

Vladimir Rodzianko

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are meeting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki for their first bilateral one-on-one meeting.

Trump arrived in the Finland capital a day early, while the jet of Putin, who wrapped up his nation’s hosting of the World Cup Sunday, touched down around 1 p.m. local time and the Russian president’s motorcade whisked him straight to the palace where the two world leaders are meeting.

Trump signed an August 2017 law imposing additional sanctions on Russia. The law bars Trump from easing many sanctions without Congress’ approval, but he can offer some relief without a nod from Congress.

Almost 700 Russian people and companies are under U.S. sanctions. Individuals face limits on their travel and freezes on at least some of their assets, while some top Russian state banks and companies, including oil and gas giants, are effectively barred from getting financing through U.S. banks and markets.

The agenda of the summit hasn’t been officially announced yet, though, the presidents are expected to discuss global crises, such as the Syrian conflict and Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations.

Stay tuned for updates…

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“Foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx): Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails was hacked by foreign actor, and it was not Russia.

Alex Christoforou

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A stunning revelation that hardly anyone in the mainstream media is covering.

Fox News gave Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) the opportunity to explain what was going on during his questioning of Peter Strzok, when the the Texas Congressman stated that a “foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Aside from this segment on Fox News, this story is not getting any coverage, and we know why. It destroys the entire ‘Russia hacked Hillary’ narrative.

Gohmert states that this evidence is irrefutable and shows that a foreign actor, not connected to Russia in any way, intercepted and distributed Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via Zerohedge

As we sift through the ashes of Thursday’s dumpster-fire Congressional hearing with still employed FBI agent Peter Strzok, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller plucked out a key exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) and Strzok which revealed a yet-unknown bombshell about the Clinton email case.

Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her homebrew server went to a foreign entity that isn’t Russia. When this was discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), IG Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Ruckner and an attorney to notify Strzok along with three other people about the “anomaly.”

Four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz “never returned the call.” Recall that Horowitz concluded last month that despite Strzok’s extreme bias towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump – none of it translated to Strzok’s work at the FBI.

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton’s email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity – while IG Horowitz simply didn’t want to know about it.

Daily Caller reports…

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

Gohmert continued..

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn’t remember the “specific” content of their discussion.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

According to Zerohedge “Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said – and Horowitz wouldn’t return the call.

And while Peter Strzok couldn’t remember the specifics of his meeting with the IG about the giant “foreign entity” bombshell, he texted this to his mistress Lisa Page when the IG discovered the “(C)” classification on several of Clinton’s emails – something the FBI overlooked:

“Holy cow … if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”

Via Zerohedge

In November of 2017, IG McCullough – an Obama appointee – revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton’s emails and other anomalies.

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue.

“It’s absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information,” he said. Fox News reports…

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an “adversarial posture” from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

“I expected to be embraced and protected,” he said, adding that a Hill staffer “chided” him for failing to consider the “political consequences” of the information he was blowing the whistle on.

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Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

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