Russia denies debt default, blames Western financial agents

by | Jun 27, 2022 | World

Russia’s finance ministry asked foreign bondholders to speak directly to those withholding their payments.Russia has rejected claims that is has defaulted on its external debt for the first time in more than a century, telling investors to go to Western financial agents for the cash which Moscow claims was sent but bondholders did not receive.
The White House said on Monday that Russia had defaulted on its international bonds for the first time since the Bolshevik revolution, as sweeping sanctions amid Moscow’s war on Ukraine have effectively cut the country off from the global financial system.
“Statements of a default are absolutely unjustified,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told a call with reporters on Monday, pointing to a forex coupon payment in May.
“The fact that Euroclear withheld this money and did not bring it to the recipients is not our problem. There are absolutely no grounds to call such a situation a default,” he said.
Euroclear did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Until last week, Russia kept on paying on its Eurobonds in foreign currency, yet its dollar and euro coupon transfers made in May did not reach investors. Moscow owes $100m in interest on one bond priced in dollars and one priced in euros, which was originally due for payment on May 27.
On Monday, the Russian finance ministry said that “actions of foreign financial intermediaries are beyond the Russian finance ministry’s control”, and directed foreign bondhold …

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