Will Sanctions Force A Russian Debt Default?

The sanctions US and the EU have imposed on Russia after Putin invaded Ukraine look to be just hours away from triggering a technical default on dollar denominated Russian debt.

The government says that all debt will be serviced, though it will happen in rubles as long as sanctions — imposed because of the war — don’t allow dollar settlements. Failure to pay, or paying in local currency instead of dollars, would start the clock ticking on a potential wave of defaults on about $150 billion in foreign-currency debt owed by both the government and Russian companies including Gazprom, Lukoil and Sberbank.

Formal default, should it happen, is not a bell that can be unrung. Who gets the worst impacts, Russia or the West, is anyone's guess.