The head of the Russian Ministry of Finance, Anton Siluanov, at a meeting with international investors on the margins of the Spring Session of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) spoke about the “Plan B” that Moscow is preparing to counter possible sanctions against state banks and Russian government debt.
According to Siluanov, after the meeting, the journalists were interested in what would happen if they imposed sanctions on the banking sector.
“I constantly say that if sanctions are imposed on banks with state participation (the question of such sanctions decisions is completely understandable – to create instability, destabilization in Russia), then the government and the Bank of Russia have the tools and all the possibilities to , support all customers, provide them with full payments, cash, non-cash, in dollars and in national currency. Both the central bank and the government will be connected here. Therefore, we will react, ”said the Minister, recognizing that the imposition of such sanctions would be unpleasant.
According to Siluanov, the Russian economy has reserves to withstand these restrictions.
“We now have two risks with regard to sanctions: this is the debt (restrictions on the new debt and on the circulation of the old government debt) and five state banks. I see these two serious risks. If they are implemented, of course, it will be unpleasant for us, ”he noted.
“But on duty, if foreigners“ fled ”two years ago (from Russian government bonds), they were replaced by our domestic ones. Now (foreigners) again “run” in our papers. If again they will “run away” (because of the new sanctions), we finally have budgetary remnants, we will definitely hold out for a year. Even on these balances, without borrowing. In the following years, we will look, we have accumulated reserves, (the funds have grown) of the National Welfare Fund, ”said the head of the Ministry of Finance.
At the same time, Siluanov did not rule out, in case of a decrease in oil prices, the National Wealth Fund may also be involved.
He also did not rule out that in case of “flight” of foreign investors from Russian government bonds, Moscow will be able to borrow money in the domestic market, albeit at higher rates.
“As for banks, here it is simply necessary to ensure the fulfillment of all their obligations. We have a list of decisions that need to be taken in case of such sanctions, ”he added.
In early April, a bill was passed to the US Congress, which, in particular, implies the blocking of assets in the United States by “two or more” major Russian banks for the “interference” of Moscow in the American elections.
Sberbank, VTB, VEB, Russian Agricultural Bank and Gazprombank may be subject to restrictions. The draft also provides for a softer measure: tightening or banning the opening of correspondent accounts with these banks in the United States. In addition, the document proposes a ban on transactions with Russian sovereign debt and on any investments in the energy sector (primarily, in oil and gas production) – both for Americans and for foreign citizens.
The law states that similar sanctions against Russia should be imposed by European countries. The strategy for joint work with the EU, the US president will have to send to Congress within 180 days after the entry into force of the law.
In March, the US Department of Justice published the main findings of Special Prosecutor Robert Muller following a nearly two-year “Russian investigation” – a case about “Moscow’s interference in the American elections” and “Trump’s conspiracy with Russia.”
Muller accused a group of Russian citizens of interfering in the US elections in 2016. It is emphasized that neither Trump nor his team in collusion with Russia were not.
In the Kremlin, the accusations against Moscow were described as untenable and groundless.
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