FRANKFURT — The Russian government said it has ordered $117 million in interest payments on government bonds to be paid out to investors, insisting it had done what it can to honor its obligations and avoid default, CNN reported Thursday.
That move doesn’t put an end to the saga that could see the first Russian default since the Bolshevik revolution, however.
At issue is Russia’s demand that it can use funds from its frozen non-ruble assets to execute the payment. That has now become difficult, if not impossible, due to the West’s sanctions against Moscow, which have frozen Russian assets across the board, including huge foreign reserves held by central banks in Europe and the U.S.
According to the report, Russia’s finance minister, Anton Siluanov, told state media Russia Today that Russia had done its part, but that the “possibility or impossibility of fulfilling our obligations in foreign currency does not depend on us.” According to Russia Today, Siluanov warned that the payments might not go through if blocked by the U.S.
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