By June 23-24, when it will be necessary to transfer coupon payments on dollar Eurobonds, Russia will prepare a mechanism that will allow making settlements with investors without a license from the US authorities. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announced this on May 27 on the air of the Rossiya 24 TV channel.
He noted that in recent years, the Ministry of Finance provided for the option of paying in rubles in the conditions of issuing sovereign Eurobonds.
“But the borrowings that were made in previous years did not contain such a norm, so we will supplement, in fact, these conditions with the possibility of payment in rubles with subsequent conversion into foreign currency. We are currently preparing such proposals in the government. And I think that before the next payment, which will take place at the end of June this year, such a mechanism will be prepared,” he specified.
Commenting on the decision of the US Treasury to revoke a license that allowed Russia to service external debt in dollars, Siluanov noted that this is a “strange measure,” since Western countries in the first place do not allow their investors to receive money from investments in Russian securities.
“Nevertheless, Russia is a reliable borrower. And in every possible way demonstrates this by deeds. Until the last moment, we paid our debts – both internal and external – and we are going to continue to do so. The settlement mechanism is supposed to be converted into rubles. In this case, we will not interact with the leadership of Western countries, but with investors. For us, this interaction is the most important thing,” he said.
On May 24, the US Treasury did not renew OFAC’s license to service Russia’s foreign debt under sanctions. It allowed the transactions necessary to receive payments on debt obligations of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation and the Bank of Russia.
Siluanov noted that Russia would try to pay off its public debt obligations. He also specified that the announcement of a technical default would not affect the Russian economy.
Janet Yellen, head of the US Treasury Department, said on May 18 that Washington would most likely not renew the license for servicing Russia’s sovereign debt.
On April 6, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Peskov, assured that the country has all the resources to pay for external debts.