The agency’s investment service Moody’s confirmed this Thursday that Russia “could be considered in default” if it does not pay two installments in dollars before the grace period ends on May 4.
For several weeks, Russia managed to avoid the danger of a suspension of payments despite the sanctions that were imposed on it by invade Ukraine because the US Treasury allowed the use of foreign currency held by Moscow abroad to pay foreign debts.
But USA it has tightened sanctions and no longer accepts Moscow dollars in US banks.
The Ministry of Finance Russian announced at the beginning of April that it had settled a debt of almost 650 million dollars (600 million euros) in rubles.
Moody’s specified in a statement that the payment on April 4 of two bonds due in 2022 and 2042, in rubles instead of US dollars, “changes the payment terms of the original contracts and, therefore, can be considered a default” if Moscow does not pay this debt before May 4.
“The bond contracts do not contemplate any reimbursement in a currency other than the dollar,” adds Moody’s.
“Although Eurobonds issued after 2018 allow, under certain conditions, redemptions in rubles, those issued before 2018 (including 2022 and 2042 bonds) do not contain this alternative currency clause or only allow redemption in other hard currencies ( dollar, euro, pound sterling or Swiss franc)”, details the agency.
On April 9, the financial rating agency S&P Global Ratings it has already announced that it had lowered Russia’s rating for its foreign currency payments to the level of “selective default”, precisely because Moscow had settled the debt mentioned by Moody’s in rubles.
A country is considered to be in default when it cannot meet its financial commitments to its creditors, which may be States, financial institutions (International Monetary Fund, world Bankamong others) or investors in the financial markets.
It is partial or selective when the State reimburses part of its obligations.
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