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World Bank reveals how much foreign debt is owed to Russia

India and Egypt are among the nations that increased their liabilities last year

Foreign debt to Russia jumped by nearly 9% in 2022, RBK reported on Friday, citing data from the World Bank’s annual International Debt Report (IDR).

According to the findings, a total of 37 states had outstanding debt to Russian creditors last year, amounting to $28.9 billion, marking a $2.3 billion (or 8.7%) increase from 2021. The figures include the debt of any residents of these states to residents of Russia, subject to repayment in any currency, goods, or services.

Among Russia’s largest debtors at the end of 2022 were Belarus ($8.24 billion), Bangladesh ($5.86 billion), India ($3.75 billion), Egypt ($1.82 billion), and Vietnam ($1.39 billion). India, Bangladesh, and Egypt were among the nations that raised their debt to Russian creditors, data shows.

Most of the debt represented long-term state-guaranteed liabilities, including loans from the Russian government and its agencies. Debt to private Russian creditors, including commercial banks, was relatively small, with the report containing data about the existence of such liabilities only in Argentina (around $8 million), Ivory Coast ($41 million) and Türkiye ($50 million).

The IDR provides external debt statistics and analysis for 122 low- and middle-income countries that report to the World Bank Debt Reporting System (DRS) and is traditionally based on figures provided by ministries of finance and central banks of these countries. The IDR does not provide data on the external debts of Cuba and Venezuela.

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Russia’s Finance Ministry does not disclose specific data on the country’s debtor states. The Bank of Russia last published information on the debt of non-residents to Russian government bodies in January 2022, when it was estimated at roughly $49 billion. Based on estimates cited by RBK, in 2021, Russia ranked fifth among the largest sovereign creditors to developing countries.

In July this year, Russia announced it had written off $23 billion worth of debts carried by African states. Speaking at the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg, President Vladimir Putin said that the measure settled 90% of liabilities of African countries to Russia, with the exception of some minor financial obligations.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

December 15, 2023 at 09:32PM

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