Default Won’t Trigger a Long Winter for Russia

Failing to pay your debts can stop you getting a loan again. Except if you are a country—even Russia.

Russia has defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time since the Bolshevik Revolution. Because this is a result of Western sanctions forbidding banks, clearinghouses and bondholders from processing and receiving the money—despite Moscow’s willingness and ability to pay—it will spark a yearslong legal battle with far more complexity than previous sovereign delinquencies.

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