Russia is nearing its first default since the Bolshevik revolution more than 100 years ago.

A deadline to pay $100 million in interest on two government bonds issued in dollars and euros expires on Sunday.

Actually, Russia was supposed to make the payments on May 27, but it didn't happen.

A grace period of 30 days then began, which is now ending.

With no specific deadline given in the bond prospectus, lawyers say Russia may also have until the end of the next working day to pay its creditors.

On Monday morning, the Reuters news agency, citing two insiders, reported that several Taiwanese investors continued to receive no interest payments on their Russian government bonds.

This means that Russia could formally face default.

Danger for many bondholders

As for short-term new borrowing by Russia, a formal default would be largely symbolic, as Russia is currently unable to borrow internationally anyway, and thanks to its rich oil and gas revenues, it doesn't have to.

But the stigma would likely increase its cost of borrowing in the future -- and for many years to come.

According to the Ministry of Finance in Moscow, Russia made the payments for the bonds in euros and dollars to its central securities depository NSD.

However, it is considered unlikely that the funds will find their way to the many international holders.

For many bondholders, failure to transfer money owed to their accounts on time constitutes a default.