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Russia Slips Into Historic Default as Sanctions Muddy Next Steps

June 27, 2022, 9:56 PM

Russia defaulted on its external sovereign bonds for the first time in a century, the culmination of ever-tougher Western sanctions that shut down payment routes to overseas creditors.

For months, Russia had found paths around the penalties imposed after the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. But at the end of the day on Sunday, the grace period on about $100 million of trapped interest payments due May 27 expired, a deadline considered an “Event of Default” if missed.

The route to this point has been far from normal, as Russia has the resources to pay its bills -- and tried to ...