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Kremlin calls out default claims as unlawful, payment in foreign currency made back in May

Earlier, Bloomberg reported that Russia had defaulted on sovereign debt
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov Sergei Bobylev/TASS
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, June 27. /TASS/. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday hit out at allegations of Russia's ‘default’ on foreign obligations branding the claims as illegitimate, since the corresponding payment in foreign currency was made in May 2022.

"These allegations of a default are absolutely unjustified, because back in May, the obligatory payment in the currency was fulfilled, and the fact that Euroclear withheld this money, or did not deliver it to the recipients is no longer our problem," he told reporters.

He emphasized that there is no reason to call the current situation default. According to Peskov, the Kremlin does not agree with this interpretation of what happened. "No, we do not agree with it," he said, commenting on the recent Bloomberg article.

He added that he was not aware if Moscow had begun legal proceedings to return the country's frozen reserves. At the same time, Peskov noted that Western attempts to use Russia's frozen reserves would mean outright theft of these funds. "Our position is well known: they [reserves] are illegally blocked. Any attempts to use these reserves in any way will also be illegal and, in fact, will mean outright theft," he said.

Earlier, international depository Euroclear blocked Russia’s assets in the amount of around $27 bln. According to experts from investment company ITI Capital, the volume of non-residents' assets "stuck" in the National Settlement Depository exceeds $85 bln before revaluation.

Bloomberg reported earlier that Russia had defaulted on sovereign debt. The article noted that the deadline for paying $100 mln on coupon expired on the night of June 27.

According to the Russian Finance Ministry, Russia directed funds to make the Eurobond payment in advance but beneficiaries have not received money due to actions of foreign financial intermediaries and this event cannot be treated as the default.