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