The request of the US authorities to national banks to buy Russian Eurobonds a “bullying business”, said the official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova. “It’s not pressure, it is intimidation, it’s different things,” she said (quoted by “Interfax”).
“For 20 years we were taught that political pressure on the business — it is unacceptable that 20 years we were told that Moscow puts pressure on the business, does not develop civil society. And what do we see?” said Zakharova, commenting on the publication in the newspaper The Wall Street Journal.
On Thursday, the WSJ citing people familiar with the situation sources told that the U.S. government recommended that several major banks to refuse to participate in the organisation of placing of government bonds in Russia. The Finance Ministry and the U.S. state Department, according to the newspaper, issued a special warning, having received from banks issues about the participation in the placement of bonds.
“It is important that private companies in the U.S., the EU and the rest of the world understand that Russia will remain a market with a high degree of risk, while it would continue efforts to destabilize Ukraine”, — said the WSJ at the state Department, warning about “reputational risk” when returning to normal business with Russia.
In Citigroup, the newspaper reported that it will not participate in the bond offering. Other lenders, including Goldman Sachs and J. P. Morgan continue to weigh the possibilities, wrote the WSJ.
Later, Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said that many banks from the US and the EU on Russia’s proposal not answered and to participate in the placing will not. However, he stressed that Russia “is from whom to choose in any case”.
Press Secretary of Russian President Dmitry Peskov, in turn, said that the Kremlin had no information about the presence of recommendations to the US authorities of national banks not to participate in placing of the Russian Eurobonds. According to him, the information comes from media reports, not “not based on any official statements or decisions.” In this regard, “can’t do anything specifically to say simply on the basis of such messages,” concluded Sands.
In early February it became known that Russia is preparing for the first time since September 2013 to return to the international borrowing market is mentioned in documents of the Ministry of Finance. The office has sent requests to 25 foreign banks to the placement of sovereign Eurobonds.