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    Russian govt. approves bill to settle Syria's $3.6 bln debt

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    The Russian government approved at a session on Thursday a bill to ratify an agreement with Syria on settling the country's $3.6 billion Soviet-era debt to Russia. v

    MOSCOW, January 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian government approved at a session on Thursday a bill to ratify an agreement with Syria on settling the country's $3.6 billion Soviet-era debt to Russia.

    In 2005, Russia agreed to write off 73% of Syria's Soviet-era debt to the sum of about $14.5 billion, and to reschedule repayment of the remainder.

    Syria's debt to Russia accrued as a result of Soviet arms deliveries to Damascus.

    Under an inter-government agreement reached with Russia, Syria has to repay $1.5 billion in convertible currency over a period of 10 years and $2.1 billion in Syrian pounds, with these funds expected to go into the implementation of joint projects.

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