Skip to content

Debt Crisis Grips Russia’s Most-Loyal Ally as Dollar Bonds Dive

  • Belarus 2027 notes fall as low as 6.5 cents, from 88 pre-war
  • Market flashes default warning; payments due starting in June
Video player cover image
What Would a Russia Bond Default Look Like?
Updated on

With all the focus on the risk of default by Russia, an even more spectacular collapse has gone largely unnoticed right next door: There’s a bond crisis brewing in Belarus, which has the world’s worst-performing government debt this year.

Notes from the key Russian ally, which shares Ukraine’s northern border, have slumped to levels that suggest investors see little hope of getting repaid. Belarus dollar-denominated debt due in 2027 was quoted as low as 6.5 cents on the dollar on March 7, down from 88 cents just days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month, data compiled by Bloomberg show. They were last quoted at 11.7 cents, an 87% decline from right before the war.