Russia will take legal action if forced into sovereign debt default, finance minister says
Russia will pursue legal action if the West tries force it to default its sovereign debt, Anton Siluanov, Russia’s Finance Minister, said Monday to the pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper. This heightened Moscow’s position in its financial battle with the West.
Siluanov said in an interview that he was certain that he would sue because he had taken all necessary steps to ensure investors received their payments.
“We will present to court our bills, confirming that we have tried to pay in both foreign currency and in rubles. This will be a difficult process. We will need to prove our case actively, despite all the obstacles.”
Russia is facing its first sovereign default externally in over a century. It made arrangements earlier this week to repay international bonds in roubles, despite the fact that the payment was due in U.S. Dollars.
Siluanov stated last week that Russia will do all it can to ensure its creditors are paid.
Siluanov stated Monday that Russia tried to repay external creditors in good faith. “But, the deliberate policy of Western nations is to artificially create a man-made default using all means.”
Siluanov stated that Russia’s external liabilities account for about 20% of its total public debt. This was approximately 21 trillion rubles ($261.7 billion). About 4.5 to 4.7 trillion roubles of that were external liabilities.
Russia has not defaulted in respect of its external debts since 1917, but these bonds are now a flashpoint in Russia’s economic dispute with Western countries.
A default was not possible until recently. Russia was rated investment grade in the lead up to its February 24 invasion of Ukraine. This Moscow called a “special military operations” and which it intensified in eastern Ukraine on Sunday. read more
Siluanov stated that if an economic or financial war is waged against our nation, we are obliged to respond, while still meeting all our obligations. “If it is not permitted to be done in foreign currency, it’s done in roubles.”