- Russia owes about $100 million in debt, with a grace period ending June 26, according to a Bloomberg report.
- The US let the waiver expire in May, making it difficult for Moscow to pay US holders of Russian debt.
- “We did everything to bring the horse to the water,” Russia’s finance minister told the media.
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About $100 million in coupon payments on Russian debt has yet to hit creditors’ accounts, Bloomberg reports, with a deadline later this month that could trigger a default.
Moscow intends to pay foreign creditors through unrestricted banks, although the US stopped paying bonds last month.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg that the Kremlin still intends to pay bondholders in dollars and euros, although he did not detail the timeline.
Under the proposed plan, if failed lenders took ruble payments from Moscow and converted them into other hard currencies, Russian bondholders would receive payments.
When asked how Moscow would receive its debt through the National Settlement Depository, which has been blacklisted by the European Union, Siluanov replied: “We will do it.”
The grace period for $100 million in payments ends June 26, according to Bloomberg, and if they’re still not processed, Russia could face its first external debt default in a century.
Until last month, the easing of sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine allowed Moscow to send payments to American bondholders through American Financial. But the US Treasury Department phased out this carving on May 25.
At the time, Russia replied that the US would force an “artificial” default. Moscow officials said the nation could not be declared insolvent because it had shown an unrelenting willingness to pay.
“We did everything to get the horse into the water. But it’s not up to us whether he wants to drink or not,” Siluanov told media on Thursday.