S&P lowered Russia's sovereign ratings earlier on Monday to 'junk' status from BBB- to BB+ with negative outlook.
"The decision does not take into account a number of factors, characterizing strong sides of the Russian economy: accumulation of large international reserves, including sovereign funds,…as well as an extremely low level of state debt — Russia's unquestionable advantages in the current macroeconomic situation," Siluanov said.
Siluanov added that the risk of mass demands for early repayment from Russian debt issuers is "largely exaggerated."
In the beginning of 2015, two other prominent international ratings agencies — Fitch and Moody’s — downgraded Russia’s long- and short-term sovereign credit ratings to just a notch above "junk" status. The agencies cited the sharp decrease in oil prices and Russia’s deteriorating financial flexibility as the reasons behind the downgrade.
A “junk” status rating suggests that a country or a company is likely to default on its debt. In light of the news about Russia’s downgrade by S&P, the already weakened ruble started to slip against the dollar and the euro.