KIEV, Ukraine, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Ukrainian utility Naftogaz announced it hired Credit Suisse to help restructure some $1.7 billion in debt amid a push to reform the national energy sector.
Naftogaz has sunk along with the Ukrainian economy, which saw an 18 percent drop in gross domestic product during the first half of 2009.
A January dispute over gas contracts and debt to Russian energy monopoly Gazprom has haunted the European energy sector, which gets most of its gas from Russian through pipelines in Ukraine.
Naftogaz had secured substantial financial assistance from international lenders in exchange for sweeping reforms in the banking and energy sector. Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said she aimed to restructure Naftogaz debt as part of those reforms.
In a statement on its Web site, Naftogaz said the role of Credit Suisse was part of those government reforms.
"The appointment of Credit Suisse further demonstrates that the company is striving to restructure its debt in a transparent way that is both appropriate and fair to the company and its creditors," a statement read.