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Kremlin on possible Russian bond ban: London’s steps are unpredictable

March 29, 2018, 13:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Guardian wrote on March 28 that UK Prime Minister Theresa May agreed to consider prohibiting Russian bond sales on the London Stock Exchange

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 29. /TASS/. London’s steps are rather unpredictable and Moscow cannot guess what other anti-Russian measures the UK leadership is ready to announce, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters commenting on a possible ban on Russian bonds from the London Stock Exchange.

"Speaking about the United Kingdom, in light of the fact that this is a rather unpredictable country in relations with Russia, speaking on its adequacy, it is difficult for us to judge what other options may be considered and what may constitute the basis for it and what may be covering it," Peskov said.

The Guardian wrote on Wednesday that UK Prime Minister Theresa May agreed to consider prohibiting Russian bond sales on the London Stock Exchange.

In February, City clearing houses, working alongside a major sanctioned Russian bank, helped issue $4 bln in Eurobonds to finance Russian sovereign debt. London-based investors, according to a report, bought nearly half the debt.

This "loophole" in EU and UK legislation has allowed sanctioned Russian banks, primarily VTB, "to act as the main organizers, known as book runners, for the issuance of Russian debt." Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, British Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, called for the loophole to be closed.

Tugendhat suggested that Europe’s key clearing houses such as Euroclear and Clearstream should not be allowed to work with Russian bonds. This decision would make them "effectively untradeable on the secondary market and so deterring the majority of EU and US investors from buying them."

Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev told reporters the proposed ban on the sales of Russian bonds in London would negatively affect both Russian investors and non-residents.

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