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Armenia/Russia: Debt Restructuring Deal Ratified

Yerevan, 25 September 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Armenia's parliament voted yesterday to ratify a Russian-Armenian debt restructuring agreement that estimates Armenia's debt to Russia at $73.7 million.

Under the agreement, the debt is repayable over a period of 11 years with the actual repayment due to start in the year 2000 at a five percent annual interest rate.

The amount of the restructured debt equals that of the money Armenia has failed to repay Russia for its borrowings after 1991.

The agreement specifies that the debt may be repaid in hard currency, Russian rubles and Armenian state property, including shares of stock of the state enterprises. In 1994, Armenia pledged a 15 percent stake in its Medzamor nuclear power station, the Nairit chemical plant, the Yerevan cognac distillery and the Armelektromash electrical engineering plant as collateral for a 110 billion ruble credit.

The Armenian state budget for 1997 earmarked some $62 million for debt servicing -- excluding the debt to Russia. But less than one third of that amount has been repaid in the first nine months of this year.