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US sanctions on Russia’s sovereign debt come into force

In April, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order authorizing the imposition of yet more restrictions. The move signaled a further expansion of Washington’s existing sanctions policy on Moscow, which is aimed at cutting off Russia from the global financial markets.

The new restrictions bar American investors from directly acquiring Russian debt liabilities that would be issued by the Central Bank of Russia, the National Wealth Fund, or the Finance Ministry from June 14.

The ban doesn’t currently cover the secondary security market, allowing US investment banks and corporate investors to buy obligations issued by the Russian government via financial intermediaries. Moreover, the latest directive doesn’t force American investors to sell the securities they already own.

However, the White House doesn’t reportedly rule out further restrictions that could affect the secondary security market as well.

The earliest float of bond issue the US investors will be barred from is scheduled on June 16, as the Russian Finance Ministry traditionally carries out the procedure on Wednesdays.

As the economy gradually began to pull out of a pandemic-related slumber, the Russian Finance Ministry approved a new issuance of ruble-dominated bonds worth 500 billion rubles ($6.8 billion) maturing in March 2029, July 2031, and May 2041.

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