Russia’s debt shrinks to lowest level in 13 years

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Russia’s total external debt has fallen in the first quarter to its lowest level since 2009, amounting to $453.5 billion as of April 1, data from the Bank of Russia showed on Wednesday. The debt has decreased by $26.5 billion, or 5.5%, according to the regulator.

“The dynamics of the indicator was mainly affected by the reduction in foreign debt of other sectors,” the central bank said.

The record quarterly decrease in Russia’s foreign debt levels – by $81 billion – occurred in the fourth quarter of 2014 after the introduction of Western sanctions and the subsequent fall in oil prices. The slide continued for three consecutive quarters. However, the level of foreign debt then was significantly higher than now, a record $732.8 billion as of July 1, 2014.

According to the Bank of Russia, the external debt of the private sector (banks and other sectors) shrank by $16.2 billion over the first quarter of 2022, to $367.4 billion. The debt of state administration bodies and the central bank diminished by $10.3 billion to $86.1 billion, data showed.

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