Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Russia claims to have paid its debt but without guarantees of its collection

Russian President Vladimir Putin. / Reuters

The Ministry of Finance transfers 117.2 million dollars to a foreign bank and maintains that if they do not reach the hands of their creditors it will be because of the sanctions

Russia is facing a financial earthquake not seen in more than a century. The Ministry of Finance maintains that on Tuesday it gave the order to pay the coupon of its Eurobonds for an amount of 117.2 million dollars (about 105 million euros), whose maturity was set for Wednesday. If a period of thirty days expires now without becoming effective for creditors, it would mean the first non-payment of foreign currency debt since 1918.

The operation, Moscow reported Thursday through a statement, was carried out in the US currency – not in rubles, as the Russian authorities had come to threaten – to a foreign bank just in time to avoid the ‘default’, as it is called. in economic jargon, this serious breach, whose shadow kept investors and markets breathless. The debt could escalate to 150,000 million if the Kremlin did not face it in a timely manner.

Despite announcing the disbursement, the Putin government did not guarantee that the money would reach the creditors, due to the impact of the sanctions it bears due to the invasion of Ukraine. Among others, the freezing of its dollar reserves. «The possibility or impossibility of fulfilling our obligations in foreign currency does not depend on us; we have the money, we execute the payment, now the ball is on the side, first of all, of the US authorities”, declared the head of Finance, Anton Siluanov.

In case the American giant does not allow it, the Russian minister indicated that it would be done in rubles, something that the ‘rating’ agencies have warned would be considered equivalent to a default. Russia thus avoids the first blow, although the doubt about its bankruptcy does not dissipate. The situation that occurred in 1998, when the costs of the war with Chechnya took its toll, could repeat itself. In the next two weeks he will have to pay another 615 million dollars and at the beginning of April, 2,000 more. Meanwhile, the Kremlin accuses the West of causing an artificial ‘default’.

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