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Russia says its order to...

(Reuters) - Russia's finance ministry said on Thursday its order to pay $117 million in interest...

Russia says its order to pay $117 million in Eurobond interest fulfilled

Russia says its order to pay $117 million in Eurobond interest fulfilled

(Reuters) - Russia's finance ministry said on Thursday its order to pay $117 million in interest on two Eurobond coupons was fulfilled and that it will update the market separately on whether the payment was deposited into the account of payment agent Citibank.

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Sanctions over events in Ukraine have cut off Russia from the global financial system and blocked the bulk of its gold and foreign exchange reserves.

The payment on the two Eurobonds, due on Wednesday, is Moscow's first test in honouring its external debt obligations since Western sanctions were imposed.

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Citi's branch in London did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A European-based holder of the bonds told Reuters on Thursday that some holders of Russia's sovereign dollar-denominated bonds who were due to receive a coupon payment on Wednesday had still not received the funds.

The finance ministry had planned to send the equivalent interest payment amount in roubles if dollar payment does not reach foreign bondholders, something credit rating agency Fitch said would constitute a sovereign default, if not corrected within a 30-day grace period.

Russia has 15 international bonds with a face value of around $40 billion outstanding, around half of them held by international investors.

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The coupon payments due on March 16 are the first of several, with another $615 million due over the rest of the month.

The first principal payment is due on April 4 when a $2 billion bond matures.

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The bonds themselves have been issued with a mix of terms and indentures.

Bonds sold after Russia was sanctioned over its 2014 annexation of Crimea contain a provision for alternative currency payments.

For bonds listed after 2018, the rouble is listed as an alternative currency option.