Russia Dismisses Requirement for Western Rating Agencies in Foreign Lending Rules

Sat Dec 23 2023
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MOSCOW: Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed a decree changing the rules governing the extension of credits to foreign states, signaling a shift in the country’s approach to foreign lending. The decree, published on the government’s portal, specifically repeals the clause that previously mandated foreign lenders to meet a specified level of approval from Western rating agencies.

The document states, “To approve the proposed changes to the Rules for the Provision of Government Loans by the Russian Federation to foreign borrowers.”

This move suggests a departure from relying on Western rating agencies’ assessments as a prerequisite for extending credits to foreign nations. The change in regulations reflects Russia’s strategic decision to reassess its approach to foreign lending criteria.

Russia’s Foreign Debt to Other Countries

The adjustment comes amid a global context where countries are increasingly seeking financial autonomy and diversifying their economic relationships. By removing the requirement for Western rating agencies, Russia appears to be asserting its independence in evaluating the creditworthiness of foreign borrowers.

According to World Bank data, Russia’s total foreign debt to other states witnessed a $2.3 billion increase in 2022, reaching a total of $28.9 billion. Notable among Russia’s largest debtors are countries such as Belarus, Bangladesh, India, Egypt, and Vietnam.

The shift in lending rules underscores Russia’s efforts to enhance flexibility and autonomy in its financial dealings on the global stage.

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