Russian senators to discuss objectiveness of intl rating agencies - Kosachyov

Federation Council International Affairs Committee on Monday will discuss the situation with international ratings and the objective definition of Russia's place in international economic ratings.

Committee head Konstantin Kosachyov told Interfax that the session will be attended by officials from the Finance Ministry, the Economic Development Ministry and the Foreign Ministry.

"We will discuss the question of Russia's place in international economic ratings on Monday. The issue is widely discussed because we see a situation in which key rating agencies, the so-called Big Three of Moody's, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's simultaneously, with a difference of a day or two downgraded respective ratings of Russia," he said.

This is often followed by the downgrade of the ratings of Russian territories. "The rating of territories is a very important matter because if a territory has official ratings from at least two international agencies, it gets direct access to foreign borrowings, to foreign bond loans. And we as the chamber of regions should analyze this aspect," he stressed.

Speaking of international ratings of Russia Kosachyov said that a wide campaign is waged to present Russia in the least favorable light.

"Two questions arise in this context - how much these conclusions of international agencies and their principles meet the realities existing in Russia today and how much the entire volume of information is taken into account and ultimately how professional these opinions are," Kosachyov said.

The question also arises to what extend these opinions are politicized, he added.

"Probably these evaluations are part of a general campaign to discredit Russia and exert pressure on our country. The big question arises whether the ratings assigned by international agencies are part of sanction pressure on Russia. It is clear that the operations of these agencies are largely controlled by the countries that pursue and active policy of sanctions against us," he said.

He said Russian territories should be actively involved in the debate to advocate the interests of Russia. "The issue of ratings assigned by international agencies is more than topical for this country today," Kosachyov summed up.

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