Russia's public debt exceeds 20 trillion rubles

Russia's public debt has exceeded 20 trillion rubles as of the first half of 2021, a report from the Accounts Chamber said. 

According to preliminary data, Russia's public debt amounted to 20,423,507.6 million rubles as of July 1, 2021, which is 17.7 percent of the projected GDP. It has increased by 1,483,105.4 million rubles (7.8 percent) in six months.

  • Russia's domestic debt has grown by 1.435 trillion rubles (9.7 percent) to 16.187 trillion. Its share in the total volume of the public debt in the first half of the year has increased from 77.9 to 79.3 percent. 
  • Russia's external debt has increased by $1.839 billion (3.2 percent) - up to $58.542 billion. In ruble terms, these indicators amounted to 47.871 billion rubles (1.1 percent) and 4.237 trillion rubles, respectively.
  • Russia's expenditures to service the public debt for the specified period amounted to 506 billion rubles with 434.5 billion of the amount account for servicing the domestic debt.

The level of Russia's external debt remains low both in absolute terms and in comparison with other major economies. According to Sergey Voloboev, a debt market strategist at ITI Capital, the level of total external debt of less than 30 percent of GDP is a very good indicator for countries with similar credit ratings. i

Russia's sovereign debt amounts to 62.6 billion dollars, which is the lowest sovereign debt indicator in Europe. Since the beginning of the year, it has decreased by almost three billion dollars. In addition, the ratio of Russia's national debt to GDP does not exceed threshold values. To crown it all, this figure is one of the lowest in the world.

In July, international insurance company Euler Hermes analyzed the state of public debts of 101 countries in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. As a result of the analysis, the company praised Russia for sustaining government obligations. The study took into consideration such criteria as:

  • the ratio of debt to GDP,
  • its growth due to the coronavirus pandemic,
  • the share of the public debt denominated in foreign currency,
  • the state of the balance of payments,
  • effective interest rate (adjusted for inflation),
  • the cost of debt service.

Earlier, Russia's Central Bank said that an increase in external debt occurred as a result of the growth of the foreign debt of the banking system, while the external debt of both the government and other sectors declined as global investors were losing interest in financial instruments issued by emerging markets.