Russia in first foreign debt default since 1918 amid Ukraine war sanctions

Russia has defaulted on its foreign currency debt for the first time in more than a century, as tough Western sanctions designed to punish Moscow for invading Ukraine restrict its ability to pay overseas creditors.

The country has the cash but is unable to get it to creditors because sanctions have cut Russia out of international payment systems. A deadline for an overdue $100 million interest payment expired Sunday. Russian President Vladimir Putin had proposed paying creditors in rubles, which could then be converted to dollars, after the U.S. Treasury Department closed a loophole that had allowed the Kremlin to make debt payments owed to American bondholders through American banks.

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