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Ukrainian Ministry of Finance

Ukraine Achieves Historic Debt Restructuring

APCO was able to help me and the Ministry of Finance and the government of Ukraine overall to communicate to the market just what a complex situation we were facing in-country.

Natalie Jaresko

Minister of Finance for Ukraine, 2014-2016


Securing a Historic Debt Restructuring Deal for Ukraine—Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance with APCO Worldwide

Securing a Historic Debt Restructuring Deal for Ukraine—Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance with APCO Worldwide

The Holmes Report

Facing Economic Collapse

Fallout from the global economic crisis, combined with inflation and the serious decline of economic output caused by commodity price deflation and conflict, had pushed Ukraine to the brink of economic collapse. Its Ministry of Finance and new finance minister, Natalie Jaresko, urgently needed to make Ukraine’s case to the world that the country deserved both International Monetary Fund support and the chance to restructure its debt with international private sector creditors.

An Effective Message

Financial communications at this level is very delicate. As the minister’s communication advisors, APCO had to strike a fine balance between highlighting Ukraine’s importance and need, while not driving negative market sentiment which would only make a bad situation worse. APCO’s communications strategy was to swiftly build Minister Jaresko’s profile as a credible and authoritative international stateswoman and to help her foster a network of influential third party allies around the world prepared to publicly support her debt restructuring negotiations. We worked in close partnership with the Ministry’s legal and financial advisors to carefully craft the right messages and plan the most effective international communications plan.

APCO helped Minister Jaresko launch her campaign at the World Economic Forum at Davos. Then, over the next 10 months of complex negotiations, we supported her as she took to her message directly to leaders, policy-makers and other influential audiences in more than 10 capital cities around the world. APCO helped Minister Jaresko build a network of influential third party allies willing to speak out publicly about why Ukraine deserved this chance; and we regularly briefed top-tier reporters and editors to secure positive coverage in almost all of the major U.S. and European financial and political news outlets.

A Fresh Start

The campaign enormously increased positive, top-tier media coverage of Ukraine’s issues, successfully raised the international profile of both Ukraine and Minister Jaresko, and informed the views of influential stakeholders around the world on Ukraine’s situation. It was instrumental in bringing the debt-holders to the negotiating table and ultimately helped Minister Jaresko secure a very  favorable debt-restructuring deal, saving Ukraine US$3.8 billion and rescuing the country from the threat of economic collapse.