Thursday. 30.11.2023

Moody's has determined that Russia has defaulted on its international debts. The rating agency announced Moscow had failed to make interest payments on two government bonds after a 30-day grace period expired on Monday.

Russia's last foreign debt default occurred over a century ago when the country failed to make payments to its international creditors in 1918 following the Bolshevik Revolution.

Its last sovereign default was in 1998 due to a financial crisis caused by falling oil prices and the collapse of the rouble, but the default only affected domestic debt.

Monday's default is not due to bankruptcy - Russia's coffers are well-filled due to continuing high energy prices - but rather the Western sanctions on Moscow imposed over its invasion of Ukraine, which has made paying debts abroad virtually impossible.

The fact that Moscow's payments are blocked because of sanctions is "not our problem," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, according to the Interfax news agency.

Given the strict sanctions, the default came as little surprise, with financial markets having factored the risk of Russian default into its calculations and deemed it manageable.

Moody's confirms Russian international debt default