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    Russia's upper house ratifies bill on Syria's $3.6 bln debt

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    The upper house of the Russian parliament ratified on Wednesday an intergovernmental agreement with Syria on settling the country's $3.6 billion Soviet-era debt to Russia.

    MOSCOW, June 18 (RIA Novosti) -- The upper house of the Russian parliament ratified on Wednesday an intergovernmental 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 amounting to around $14.5 billion, and to reschedule repayment of the remainder.

    The debt is for Soviet-era weapon supplies to Damascus.

    Under an intergovernmental 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, which is expected to be used to fund the implementation of joint projects.

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