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Paying Russia's foreign currency debts in rubles to mean its default—Hetmantsev

The conversion of foreign currency debt in Russia would mean default. The Chairman of the Committee on Finance, Taxation and Customs Policy Danylo Hetmantsev reported in his Telegram channel.

Quote"Markets are gearing up for the first default in modern Russian history on sovereign foreign currency obligations," Hetmantsev wrote.

On the night of March 6, it became known that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order allowing to pay down the external debt of Russian issuers to "unfriendly" countries in rubles. The list of such countries should be drawn up by the Russian government within two days.

Quote"Debt securities of the Russian Federation issued after 2018 already have already assumed the possibility of payment in rubles. They were getting ready. However, other residents of the Russian Federation (including state corporations) were not ready for sure. For them, payment in rubles would mean default, as well as cross-default on other similar obligations. The first illustrative case will be today or tomorrow, when Rosneft, Russian Railways, and Gazprom should make their coupon payments on Eurobonds. The next one is the payment of coupons on sovereign Eurobonds on March 16," Hetmantsev stated.

On March 16, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation must pay a coupon on Eurobonds for $3 billion with maturity in 2023, and on March 31—make another payment on Eurobonds with maturity in 2030.

This week, all leading rating agencies simultaneously downgraded Russia's long-term foreign currency sovereign ratings to below investment grade, that is, to "rubbish" one, with a negative outlook: S&P—from BB+ to CCC- (March 4), Moody's—from Baa3 to B3 (March 3), and Fitch—from BOB to B (March 3).

Recall that on February 24 at 04:50 Russian President Vladimir Putin actually declared war on Ukraine, and Russian troops began to invade the territory of our country.

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