Russia claims to have made the first payment of the debt, thus avoiding “default”, i.e. defaulting on payment.
“The payment order on the payment of interest on the bonds…in the total amount of $117.2 million…has been executed,” the Russian Finance Ministry headed by Anton Germanovich Siluanov said in a statement.
The Russian Finance Ministry reportedly sent the funds to a “foreign bank” on March 14.
Until yesterday, Russia had to pay 117 million dollars (106 million euros) in two interest coupons on the public debt maturing in 2023 and 2041. If it did not do this, it would be preparing for the first default of payment in foreign currency since the Revolution of 1917. .
Considered one of the strongest countries in terms of credit due to low debt and high oil reserves, Russia ceased to be once Western sanctions took effect. These have subjected the country to exchange restrictions, complicating its ability to repay its international obligations in foreign currency.
Siluanov mentioned the possibility of using the yuan and the rouble, which will be subject to a penalizing exchange rate but which are the only ones usable because of the sanctions.
Russia currently has 39% of international reserves frozen by Western sanctions, and as such, many analysts speak of the impossibility of non-compliance.
On March 10, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that “Russia’s bankruptcy is no longer an unlikely event”, stressing that what will determine the depth of the recession in Russia will be the duration of the war. and sanctions, as well as the possibility that they will become more severe and affect energy exports.