Russian Government Drafts Terms to Restructure Venezuelan DebtBy
Finance minister says agreement may be signed by year-end
Caracas struggles with economic crisis tied to oil-price slide
Russia and Venezuela may sign an agreement on restructuring Venezuelan debt by the end of the year if terms drafted by their finance ministries are approved, said Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.
“In general, we worked out with the finance ministry such conditions,” Siluanov told reporters in Washington, where he attended the International Monetary Fund fall meeting. “If the Venezuelan side initials these agreements quickly, there are reasons to agree by the end of this year and to sign restructuring terms.”
The South American nation is struggling to meet its financial obligations in the face of an economic crisis triggered by the collapse in oil prices. Caracas failed to make payments on last year’s deal to restructure a 2011 debt, and opened a 53.9 billion ruble ($940 million) gap in Russia’s expected budget revenue this year.
President Nicolas Maduro visited Moscow this month to reaffirm Venezuela’s alliance with Russia. Rosneft, Russia’s state-run oil company, has also provided several billion dollars in advance payments for Venezuelan crude supplies that have helped the government in Caracas.
Siluanov declined to elaborate on the terms of possible agreement, but said that talks are about restructuring Venezuelan debt, not about its write-off.