MOSCOW, April. 6 /TASS/. The Russian Ministry of Finance for the first time fulfilled obligations on sovereign Eurobonds to foreign holders for $649.2 mln in rubles due to the refusal of a foreign agent bank to execute orders in foreign currency, the ministry reported.
Thus, according to the ministry, a foreign correspondent bank refused to execute instructions for the payment of coupon income and the redemption of the notional value of external bond loans of the Russian Federation maturing in 2022 -"Russia-2022", and in 2024 - "Russia-2042" in the total amount of $649.2 mln due on April 4, 2022.
To make these payments, the Ministry of Finance transferred funds to National Settlement Depository at the official exchange rate of the Bank of Russia on April 4, 2022.
Thus, the obligations under the bonds "Russia-2022" and "Russia-2042" were fulfilled, the Ministry of Finance noted.
According to the Ministry of Finance, as of February 1, 2022, Russia’s external public debt reached $59.5 bln, including debt on external bonded loans - $38.97 bln. In total, Russia has 15 active bonded loans with maturities from 2022 to 2047.
In response to the sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 5 allowed to pay foreign currency debts to "unfriendly" countries in rubles. According to the decree, debtor companies or the state itself can open an account in Russian banks in the name of a foreign creditor and transfer payments to it in rubles at exchange rate of the Bank of Russia on the day of payment. Creditors from countries that have not imposed sanctions can receive payment in euros or dollars if the Russian debtor receives special permission for it.
Earlier, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that Russia would repay its foreign currency debt only if its foreign currency accounts were unfrozen. Otherwise, Russia is ready to repay and service its foreign exchange obligations in rubles. However, in this way, the terms of servicing Russia's external debt change significantly, which, most likely, will be regarded as a default.