The Russian Central Bank has reported a significant drop in the level of external debt over the last year. In the course of 2018 it reduced by $64.4 billion or 12.4% when compared to the end of 2017. The total amount of Russia's external debt is now $453.7 billion, which is the lowest level in nearly 10 years.
Both institutional and non-institutional sectors of the Russian economy have contributed to the drop by reducing their external financial obligations, the Central Bank noted.
Russia's external debt has been consistently dropping since 2014, when Western sanctions against the country's entities were first introduced. The sanctions have limited Russian banks' ability to get long-term credits abroad and have led to a shift in Russian imports. Some of the goods coming from Western states have either been replaced by domestic products or by imports from other countries not part of the sanctions regime.