Bloomberg, an international agency, today assured that Russian Eurobond holders have not received payments from two debt securities. These were 26.5 million Eurobonds in Euros and 71.25 Million Dollars in US securities. Bloomberg reports that this Sunday's default was the first since 1918.
The Russian Ministry of Finance stated that it was not suspended and that funds had been transferred to the National Settlement Depository on May 20th. Today, the Russian authorities have not yet made an official statement in response to Bloomberg's news.
Due to be paid in external loan bonds for 2026 and 2036 by May 27, investors were not able to receive the money because of sanctions restrictions.
The grace period of 30 days began. During this time, Russia was required to make payments in order to avoid default. Bloomberg reports that this didn't happen. However, Bloomberg reports that the agency acknowledged that the default is symbolic and has little meaning to Russians "given the damage already done to Russia's markets and economy".
Last Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin issued an order establishing temporary procedures for meeting foreign debt obligations. The decree was in rubles and not in the currency where the loans were made. Anton Siluanov, the Finance Minister, accused his "counterparts" for "refusing payments in foreign currency, which, to us, is a condition of force majeure" that creates conditions for an artificial default.
"All who are well-versed in this subject know that this is not an exception. This whole thing seems absurd," Siluanov stated. He added that "As soon an investor can get his money or wants it, he will wait for him the equivalent amount in rubles."
Russia announced at the end of May that it would pay off its external debt in rubles as sanctions prevented it from doing so in dollars. Problem is, if the debtor repays in a currency other that the one where the debt was originally established, it could be in default on the payment of the debt.