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29 June 2022, 12:21

Belarus blames Western infrastructure for failing to transfer eurobond payments

Yuri Seliverstov. An archive photo
Yuri Seliverstov. An archive photo

MINSK, 29 June (BelTA) – Belarusian Finance Minister Yuri Seliverstov talked to reporters today and commented on possible attempts of the West to declare Belarus' default on eurobonds similarly to Russia's in connection with the Belarusian government's decision to use Belarusian rubles to honor the debt commitments, BelTA has learned.

According to Yuri Seliverstov, if such attempts are made, they will only prove the intention of the West to deliberately misrepresent the default situation. “Everyone should understand that default is when a country refuses to pay. We have a different situation: we are unable to pay in accordance with the documents through no fault of our own. In this case the infrastructure that has been created to handle these payments and that has been working smoothly for years is malfunctioning. We are not the problem, the system is,” he stressed.

Belarus made the last payment of the interest yield on eurobonds in late February. Back then the Belarusian Finance Ministry transferred the full sum in U.S. dollars to the paying agent – Citibank. The bank was supposed to transfer the money to international clearing systems. The clearing systems were supposed to transfer the money further to bond holders. However, the Finance Ministry started receiving multiple complaints from the bond holders, who said they had not received the sums they were owed partially or in full.

While trying to declare that a country has defaulted, the Western infrastructure has to recognize that the infrastructure itself has defaulted, Yuri Seliverstov said. The Western clearing system cannot guarantee full and timely payments to the eurobond holders. Meanwhile, Belarus can because it has sufficient resources to make payments on the state debt.

The finance minister tried to explain his reasoning using an example from everyday life: “Imagine that a manufacturer makes goods and ships them to a shop. The shop stores the goods improperly and damages them as a result. Who is to blame? It is obvious that infrastructure is. Respectively it is necessary to make this infrastructure come to its senses somehow. We are going to do that,” he stated.

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