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15 July 2022, 17:18

Belarusian Finance Ministry slams Moody's actions as biased

MINSK, 15 July (BelTA) – The Belarusian Finance Ministry has commented on actions of the international rating agency Moody's, BelTA has learned.

The rating agency Moody's has declared that Belarus has defaulted on the eurobond issue Belarus 2027.

According to the Finance Ministry press service, the ministry terminated contract relations with Moody's in 2018. Moody's actions with regard to the country's rating have not been requested by the Belarusian side. The agency made the decision to adjust the rating without asking a single clarification question from the Finance Ministry. The ministry believes Moody's is biased and is bent on playing up the payment default agenda. “Nobody is interested in views of the Belarusian sovereign issuer and holders of the eurobonds, who did not get payoffs in February due to actions of Western clearing and settlement systems,” the Finance Ministry said.

The Finance Ministry stressed that some rating agencies now routinely ignore obvious facts concerning the fulfillment of obligations with regard to Belarusian eurobonds, including Citi's refusal to operate as the registrar, fiscal agent, paying agent, and transfer agent for Belarus' eurobonds in compliance with Western sanctions.

The Belarusian Finance Ministry believes that Moody's actions are provocative and are designed to create artificial shocks around Belarusian eurobonds.

The Finance Ministry is convinced that the right of eurobond holders to get payments is the key. But Western organizations, which enforce and fulfill sanction decisions, are trying to deprive investors of this right. The Belarusian side intends to take all the necessary measures in order to honor rights of the eurobond holders that trust Belarus through alternative means.

The relevant instruction to work out a detailed procedure for transactions with eurobond holders is already stipulated by the Council of Ministers' and the National Bank's resolution No.212/10 “On temporary measures to honor foreign state liabilities” of 6 April 2022 (No.413/15 as updated on 28 June 2022). “However, amid rapidly changing foreign political conditions it is quite difficult to account for all the underlying potential problems of the escalating Western sanctions-fueled policy and promptly stipulate new rules for the sake of securing guaranteed payments to the ultimate owners,” the Belarusian Finance Ministry pointed out.

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