Venezuela and Russia have signed an agreement to restructure the South American country's debt in a 10-year deal.
Venezuela will repay US$3.15 billion to Russia, beginning gradually with minimum payments for the first six years, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"On the instructions of the President of the Republic Nicolas Maduro, we signed with the Deputy Minister of Finance of Russia Sergei Storchak, the protocol for the refinancing of our sovereign debt with Russia, Venezuela is moving towards the rebuilding of its external debt, to benefit its people," Venezuela’s Minister of Finance Simon Serpa said.
The deal was closed in Moscow by Serpa and Agriculture Minister Wilmar Castro Soteldo Wednesday, two days after Venezuela met with 91 percent of its debt holders in the country’s first meeting for renegotiations.
Storchak said, “Debt relief provided to the republic as a result of this debt restructuring will allow it to allocate funds for the development of the country’s economy, improve the debtor’s solvency and increase the chances of all creditors to return loans previously granted to Venezuela."
Last week, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that Venezuela had accepted the conditions for the restructuring of its debt proposed by Russia. In 2011, Moscow granted a loan to Venezuela of US$4 billion to finance supplies of Russian industrial products and in 2014, Caracas requested the extension of the credit terms.
Russia has become the nation’s primary foreign supporter, assisting the country with loans and financial assistance via the state’s oil company, Rosneft.