For the first time since 1918, Russia has defaulted on its debt, according to rating agency Moody’s. This is mainly due to the western sanctions against Moscow.

The rating agency Moody’s has determined that Russia has defaulted on payments due to international investors not paying their debts on time.

Specifically, it is about interest payments on two government bonds that have not reached creditors after a delay of 30 days, the US company said in New York.

It has been more than a hundred years since Russia last defaulted on its foreign debt. The last time the country failed to settle its accounts with international creditors was in 1918 after the Bolshevik revolution. Russia’s last state bankruptcy was in 1998 due to money shortages in the wake of falling oil prices and the Asian crisis, but at the time it only affected internal debt in rubles.

This time it is not a question of bankruptcy in the true sense. Russia’s treasury is well stocked, but the Kremlin is struggling to pay foreign debts because of Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine. The fact that Moscow’s payments were blocked because of sanctions is “not our problem,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday, according to the Interfax agency.

In view of the well-known problems caused by the sanctions, the default comes as no surprise. On the financial markets, the risk had been considered firmly calculated and manageable for months. The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, described the involvement of international banks in Russia as “definitely not systemically important”.