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Russia Keeps Faith in US Debt, Sees Default Averted

FILE - Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov holding a news briefing in Washington.
Russian policy makers expressed confidence on Wednesday that U.S. lawmakers would resolve a debt impasse, saying they viewed Treasury bonds as the world's safest investment even in the event of a technical default.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters that Russia would not be affected if Congress fails to raise a debt ceiling by an Oct. 17 deadline because it holds no short-term U.S. government securities.

Ksenia Yudayeva, first deputy chairwoman at the central bank, described the risk of a U.S. default as “very low.” “U.S. Treasuries will remain the safest asset in the world even in the event of a U.S. technical default,” she said.

To deal with any market volatility that may arise, the Russian central bank would roll out its standard range of liquidity provision measures, Yudayeva told reporters after she and Siluanov testified before a parliamentary committee.

Russia holds more than two-fifths of its foreign reserves in U.S. Treasuries. The central bank's total gold and forex holdings are just over $500 billion.