13 Feb 2024 13:55

Minsk is doing technical work related to its payments on Eurobonds - Belarusian Ambassador to Russia

MINSK. Feb 13 (Interfax) - There are no problems with payments on Belarusian Eurobonds, and some technical work is currently underway in this regard, Ambassador from Belarus to Russia Dmitry Krutoi said in an interview with the ONT state television channel.

"Now, by and large, technical work must be done to: first, bring the money to the relevant entities, and second, to receive feedback. Clear repayment of these bonds and accounting for them in our financial infrastructure," he said.

"To date, holders have received payments totaling approximately $85 million," he said. "This process is ongoing daily." The National Settlement Depository (NSD) received 1,500 applications from holders in "friendly" countries.

"First of all, this is, of course, the Russian Federation. These lists are now being reconciled and verified. Therefore, there are no problems here," Krutoi noted.

"Throughout its entire sovereign history, Belarus has been a conscientious payer of all its debts and obligations. We intend to maintain this reputation. Moreover, I think, as soon as we technically complete the work on the last issue of these bonds, we will be able to return safely to the Russian government bond market. Now it is not very attractive, of course, due to the current rate level. But the situation is changing dynamically, and I think work here will continue as it has before," he said.

As reported, a group of Russian owners of Belarusian Eurobonds, consisting of individuals and legal entities, had sent a notice of default on five issues of Eurobonds: Belarus 2023, Belarus 2026, Belarus 2027, Belarus 2030 and Belarus 2031, to Belarusian Finance Minister Yuri Seliverstov. The initiative group owns securities of these issues totaling $178 million in value. Investors are considering the possibility of filing a claim with the London Court of International Arbitration to recover payments on their Eurobonds from Belarus.

The Belarusian Ministry of Finance, in turn, said that the need to introduce mechanisms for fulfilling obligations under Eurobonds, which differ from the procedures enshrined in the issuance documentation, is due to the unilateral refusal of Western infrastructure organizations to perform their functions.

At the end of December 2023, Belarus switched to paying Eurobonds to investors from Russia via the NSD. Payments had been made on Belarus-2023 Eurobonds. This issue was repaid by the Belarusian Ministry of Finance in February last year (the principal amount of the debt was $800 million), but the Russian owners were unable to receive the payments due them, which caused them to issue repeated complaints.