Moscow and Caracas may sign an agreement to restructure Venezuela’s $3 billion debt for 10 years on November 15, a source close to Venezuela’s embassy in Russia told Sputnik.
CARACAS (Sputnik) — According to the source, two representatives of the Venezuelan government will arrive in Moscow to sign the deal.
In October, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that he and his Venezuelan counterpart had agreed in general on the principles of restructuring Venezuela’s debt. The minister added that the agreement might be signed before the end of the year.
On Monday, the country’s President Nicolas Maduro said that the agreement with Russia was expected to be signed this week. On November 10, a source familiar with the negotiations told reporters that Russia was preparing to sign the deal on November 15.
Venezuela, one of the world’s largest oil exporters, is suffering the worst economic crisis in its history, aggravated by a global decline in oil prices. A deficit of basic goods and surging inflation have led to massive anti-government protests across the country this year. Venezuela’s debt stands at some $120 billion.
In 2011, Russia issued a loan of up to $4 billion to Venezuela to purchase Russian industrial products. The debt was due to be repaid in 2019. However, in 2014, Caracas asked for an extension of the repayment terms over the deterioration of the financial and economic situation in the country amid falling oil prices.
In September 2016, Moscow approved the postponement of the deadline for the repayment.