WASHINGTON: Russia may default on its debts in the wake of unprecedented sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine, but that would not trigger a global financial crisis, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Sunday.
Georgieva told CBS’ “Face the Nation” program that sanctions imposed by the US and other democracies were already having a “severe” impact on the Russian economy and would trigger a deep recession there this year.
The war and the sanctions would also have significant spillover effects on neighboring countries that depended on Russia energy supplies, and had already resulted in a wave of refugees compared to that seen during WWII, she said.
Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation.”
The sanctions were also limiting Russia’s ability to access its resources and service its debts, which meant a default was no longer viewed as “improbable,” Georgieva said.
Asked if such a default could trigger a financial crisis around the world, she said, “For now, no.”
The total exposure of banks to Russia amounted to around $120 billion, an amount that while not insignificant, was “not systematically relevant,” she said.