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Russia has chance to keep investment-grade ratings — former finance minister

January 21, 2015, 15:55 UTC+3 DAVOS
The Russian economy will stay in recession for two years, after which it will start to grow, former Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin said
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© Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

DAVOS, January 21. /TASS/. Russia has the chance to keep its investment-grade ratings, former Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin said in an interview with Bloomberg news agency at the Davos Economic Forum on Wednesday.

The Russian economy will stay in recession for two years, after which it will start to grow, the ex-finance minister said, adding that western sanctions against Russia might last three and more years.

Kudrin earlier said at the Gaidar economic forum in Moscow that the markets had partially priced in a possible cut of Russia’s sovereign ratings to the speculative level by international rating agencies.

“The impact on the exchange rate and stock indexes will be lesser than it could be expected,” the ex-finance minister said. “I don’t have any doubts about the state’s ability to honor its obligations on debts, both internal and external,” Kudrin said. “In this sense, a possibility of a sovereign default is ruled out and this simply cannot take place in principle,” he said.

Russia’s sovereign ratings assigned by S&P, Fitch and Moody’s currently stay one notch above the speculative level. Standard & Poor’s is expected to review Russia’s investment-grade rating in late January. The agency’s rating outlook is negative. Fitch and Moody’s lowered earlier in January Russia’s sovereign ratings, which however, stayed in the investment-grade category.

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