The international rating agency from London Fitch Ratings lowered the long-term rating of the Republic of Belarus from “CCC” to “C”. This brings the country one step closer to bankruptcy. This is stated in a message on the official website of the department.
The downgrade of the rating occurred after the decision of the Council of Ministers and the National Bank of Belarus on June 29 that payments on Eurobonds will be made in Belarusian rubles and not in US dollars.
“This contradicts the documents of the bond contract, which do not allow settlements in alternative currencies,” the agency emphasized.
If payments on Belarusian Eurobonds are not made by the end of the grace period on July 13, Fitch will consider it a default and downgrade the country’s rating to “RD” (restricted default) and then to “D” (bankruptcy). This status will be maintained until the normalization of Belarus’ relations with international creditors, the agency notes.
At the end of last month, Russia defaulted on its currency obligations, the culmination of Western sanctions against Moscow that blocked the way for payments to foreign creditors.
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