Russia’s foreign debt drops to multi-year lows

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The country’s liabilities decreased by nearly 7% in the first quarter, according to the central bank

Russia’s foreign debt continued to shrink in the first quarter of 2023 after plunging by just over $100 billion in 2022, data from the Bank of Russia (CBR) released on Friday showed.

The debt dropped $25.9 billion, or 6.8%, in the first three months of the year, putting it at $357.9 billion at the end of the quarter, according to the CBR.

According to the regulator, the debt shrank due to a drop in all of its components, from obligations across various sectors of the economy to liabilities on sovereign securities.

Russia’s foreign debt reached its historic high on July 1, 2014, at $732.8 billion, then began a relatively steady decline due to [Western] sanctions and the withdrawal of capital by non-residents,” Maxim Osadchy, head of the analytical department at BKF Bank, told the news agency RIA Novosti.

The analyst also noted that the decline in foreign debt accelerated sharply after the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

The reduction in Russia’s external debt in the first quarter of 2023 is a continuation of a long-term trend that will undoubtedly continue,” Osadchy predicted.

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