Live news updates: Russia threatens to sue if the west declares it in default

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Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov has said that Russia would take its case to court if western countries rule it to have defaulted on its bond repayments.

“The Russian Federation tried in good faith to pay its foreign creditors by transferring the corresponding sums in currency as payment for our debt. Nevertheless, the conscious policy of Western countries is to artificially create a man-made default by all means,” Siluanov said in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper published early on Monday.

He said Russia had attempted to make repayments in dollars but its foreign accounts were blocked and the payments could not be made. “Western countries have banned the use of our frozen funds to pay obligations to foreign creditors, thus punishing their own investors.”

Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov said that Russia had no plans to borrow domestically or overseas in 2022
Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov said that Russia had no plans to borrow domestically or overseas in 2022 © Bloomberg

Payments were therefore made in roubles, he said. “Do foreign holders of our debt have access to this money? They do. They can spend this money to buy new securities issued by the Finance Ministry, to pay taxes and for a number of other operations.

“Would they be able to convert the rouble funds into foreign currency? They can do it, but our position is that this can be done only after the unfreezing of Russia’s currency accounts has been ensured.”

He said Russia as a reliable borrower had done all it could to fulfil its obligations regardless of the “economic war” being waged against it. If it is ruled to have defaulted, however, Siluanov said Russia would sue.

“Of course, we will sue, because we have taken all necessary steps to ensure that investors receive their payments,” he said.

Siluanov also said Russia had no plans to borrow in 2022. “We are not planning to enter the domestic market or foreign markets this year. This makes no sense, because the cost of such borrowing would be cosmic.”

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