UPDATE 1-S&P downgrades Belarus's sovereign ratings to 'CCC'

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March 4 (Reuters) - S&P on Friday cut Belarus’s long-term foreign and local-currency sovereign credit ratings to “CCC” from “B” and placed it on “credit watch” with negative implications, citing country’s involvement in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“International sanctions imposed on Belarus due to its involvement in Russia’s military intervention against Ukraine are severe, and we expect them to tighten further,” the agency said.

Absent an unforeseen positive development, S&P considers it likely that Belarus will default over the next 12 months.

It also lowered the short-term ratings to “C” from “B”.

MSCI Inc, which ranks companies and countries on their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, earlier this week also downgraded Russia and Belarus. (Reporting by Akriti Sharma and Rhea Binoy in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)