“I’m not good with children. I don’t know what to say to them after five minutes.”
In India’s largely family-oriented society, having children is the norm.
But most Indians are having fewer children now and a growing number are choosing to never become parents.
The BBC’s Nikita Mandhani spoke to some Indians, who have decided to remain child-free, to understand their reasoning and the society’s perception of their choice
Russia on brink of default as debt deadline looms
Russia is on the brink of its first debt default since 1998 as the Sunday deadline to make a $100m interest payment seems certain to be missed.
Russia has the money and is willing to pay, but sanctions make it impossible to get the payments to international creditors.
The Kremlin has been determined to avoid a first default since 1998, and a major blow to the nation’s prestige.
The Russian finance minister branded the situation “a farce”.
Russia has seemed on an inevitable path to default since sanctions were first imposed by the US and EU following the invasion of Ukraine.These restricted the country’s access to the international banking networks which would process payments from Russia to investors around the world.
The Russian government has said it wants to make all of its payments on time, and so far it has succeeded.About $40bn of Russia’s debts are denominated in dollars or euros, with around half held outside the country.
A default would be the first since 1998, at the chaotic end of Boris Yeltsin’s regime.
The $100m interest payment was due on 27 May. Russia says the money was sent to Euroclear, a bank which would then distribute the payment to investors.
But that payment has been stuck there, according to Bloomberg News, and creditors have not received it.
“They have not got it,” says Jay Auslander, a US lawyer who has worked on many government debt cases. “And the overwhelming probability is they’re not going to get it.”If this money has not arrived within 30 days of the due date, that is, Sunday evening, that will widely be considered a default.
Euroclear wouldn’t say if the payment had been blocked, but said it adheres to all sanctions.
Default appears inevitable
Default seemed inevitable when the US Treasury decided not to renew the special exemption in sanctions rules allowing investors to receive interest payments from Russia, which expired on 25 May.
The Kremlin now appears to have accepted this inevitability too, decreeing on 23 June stating that all future debt payments would be made in roubles through a Russian bank, the National Settlements Depository, even when contracts state they should be in dollars or other international currencies.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov admitted foreign investors would “not be able to receive” the payments according to the RIA Novosti news agency.
This was for two reasons, he said. “The first is that foreign infrastructure – correspondent banks, settlement and clearing systems, depositories – ares prohibited from conducting any operations related to Russia. The second is that foreign investors are expressly prohibited from receiving payments from us.”
Because Russia wants to pay and has plenty of money to do it, he denied that this amounts to a genuine default, which usually occur when governments refuse to pay, or their economies are so weak that they cannot find the money.
“Everyone in the know understands that this is not a default at all,” RIA Novosti quoted him. “This whole situation looks like a farce.”