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Russia’s attack of Ukraine is causing staggering human suffering and destruction. The impacts on global commodity markets are being acutely felt, as oil and wheat prices have soared, and volatility has increased markedly (eg Balma et al. 2022). The broader economic implications are only beginning to be understood (eg Danielsson et al. 2022, Bachmann et al. 2022, Korn and Stemmler 2022). Looking ahead, a central question is the role of China and the Chinese–Russian relationship. So far, the public debate has mainly focused on China’s potential support for Russia as well as the long-term effects for trade between the two countries (eg Palmer 2022). What is less understood is just how financially interconnected the two countries already are. 2 Russia is the largest foreign debtor to Chinese state-owned banks, accounting for more than 15% of Belt and Road lending between 2013 and 2017 (Custer et al. 2021). This column summarises the debtor-creditor relationship between Russia and China and discusses potential spillover effects to the rest of the world, particularly emerging markets and developing countries (EMDEs).


Horn, Sebastian, Carmen M. Reinhart, and Christoph Trebesch. "China’s overseas lending and the war in Ukraine." Global Economic Consequences of the War in Ukraine: Sanctions, Supply Chains and Sustainability. Ed. Luis Garicano, Dominic Rohner, and Beatrice Weder di Mauro. CEPR Press, September 2022.