Russia will not default on foreign debts: Finance minister

If Western financial systems are closed to Russia, it will pay foreigners in rubles as last option, Anton Siluanov says.

Russia will not default on foreign debts: Finance minister

Russia on Wednesday declared that it would not default in the face of Western sanctions imposed after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, asserting that it had enough money to finance its foreign debt.

Speaking at an event in the capital Moscow, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that if Western financial systems are closed to Russia, the country would pay foreign lenders in rubles as the last option.

"Yes, there will be a decline in our economy. It was impossible for the economy not to react to all these constraints," Siluanov said.

Underlining that the decline "would have been more severe if we had not taken supportive measures," the official said Russia had recovered from the initial shock of the sanctions.

Still, overcoming from the effects of restrictions imposed on technology will take time, Siluanov added. "However, with a reasonable budget and fiscal policy, we will resist additional sanctions and maintain our financial independence."

Due to the sanctions by the Western countries, the possibility of Russia's default on its foreign debts has caused concern.

The minister said the country had been able to pay for its Eurobonds in US dollars on April 29.

Russia is grappling with punitive economic sanctions imposed by international powers in the wake of its war on Ukraine.

At least 3,778 people have been killed in the war and 4,186 injured since it started on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is believed to be much higher.

Over 6.3 million people have fled to other countries, with some 7.7 million people internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.

Hüseyin Demir