West wants to orchestrate 'artificial' Russian default, Moscow says

Posted 14 March, 2022

The Russian Finance Ministry said on Monday that the sanctions aimed at Moscow because of the conflict in Ukraine were aimed at causing an artificial default by Russia.

"Statements that Russia cannot meet its public debt obligations do not correspond to reality," the ministry said in a statement, noting that "the freezing of the foreign currency accounts of the Bank of Russia and the government may be seen as the desire of foreign countries to cause an artificial defect".

During March and April, Russia must face several deadlines for the payment of debts in foreign currencies, except its reserves have been frozen within the framework of Western sanctions, which challenges it to honor its obligations.

A payment default automatically cuts off a statement of the financial markets and jeopardizes its possible return for a few years.

The Ministry of Finance indicated that it was going to "order the banks-agents to make the payments in foreign currency within the deadlines", but it also notes that "the execution of the payments will depend on the restrictions due to the sanctions weighing on the ability of the government and the Bank of Russia to control its foreign currency accounts".

He also said he was willing to repay his Eurobonds issued since 2018 in rubles at the Bank of Russia's daily rate.

Western sanctions have paralyzed part of the Russian banking and financial system, frozen a large part of the state's currency reserves, and caused a collapse of the rouble.

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