MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Head of the foreign-affairs committee of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Alexei Pushkov said Moody’s is untrustworthy and overly politicized after the agency lowered Russia’s sovereign debt rating to Ba1.
“There is a feeling that Moody’s ratings are written either by [US] Senator [John] McCain, or [US Vice President] Joe Biden. Everything is so politically charged that it’s impossible to trust them,” Pushkov wrote on his Twitter page early on Saturday.
Moody’s downgraded Russia’s sovereign debt rating from Baa3 to Ba1 with a negative outlook late on Friday. The rating agency cited the situation in Ukraine and a decline in oil prices as some of the reasons behind the decision.
The Russian Finance Ministry said that Moody’s downgrade was based on an excessively pessimistic forecast that does not reflect the real market situation.
The West has been accusing Russia of being involved in the situation in Ukraine, where the predominantly Russian-speaking southeastern regions have been suffering from Kiev’s military operation since last spring.
The United States, the European Union and their allies have hit Russia with several rounds of economic sanctions over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis, although Russia has repeatedly denied the claims. McCain and Biden have taken some of the harshest anti-Russia stances amid the worsening relations between Moscow and the West.
The Russian economy has been experiencing a slowdown mainly due to low oil prices and the sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West. The ruble has lost over half its value against the dollar since last summer.
In January, the Russian government presented an anti-crisis plan set to stabilize the country’s economy. The plan stipulates deep spending cuts and aims to balance the country’s budget by 2017.