Serbia, Russia sign agreement on regulating clearing debt

Coordinator of the Ministry of Finance Milan Parivodic and Russian Assistant Minister of Finance Sergei Storchak signed today the agreement between Russia and Serbia regulating the $288.6 million debt of the former Soviet Union towards former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ).

Following the signing, Parivodic explained that the agreement envisages debt settlement in the following form: Russia is to finance the reconstruction of aggregates in the Djerdap 1 hydroelectric power plant with $105.5 million and will write off a portion of Serbia’s debt towards Russian Gazprom, accumulated in the period 1994–2000 to $188.2 million. He said the reconstruction of aggregates will take six years and with the interest rate which will accumulate in that period an accelerator unit will be built in the Vinca Nuclear Institute.

The Minister recalled that the Soviet Union’s total debt to former SFRJ stood at 1.29 billion clearing dollars and that after the succession, Serbia-Montenegro got 491 million clearing dollars, which is equal to around US$306 million. Out of that amount, Serbia will receive $288.6 million or 94.2%.

Parivodic and Storchak voiced satisfaction at the signing of the agreement and said it will help improve financial and economic relations between Serbia and Russia. Storchak recalled that foreign trade between the countries is already considerable and stands at $2.4 billion annually, which is more than the trade exchange between Russia and India.

Representatives of the Serbian and Russian governments also signed a protocol between Serbian finance and energy and mining ministries and Russian finance ministry harmonising the list of goods and services delivered as a way of settling Russia’s debt to Serbia. The protocol was signed by Minister of Energy and Mining Radomir Naumov, Minster Parivodic and Sergei Storchak, and it is aimed at strengthening commercial, financial and economic ties between the two countries.

Also present at the signing ceremony were Russian Minister of emergencies Sergei Shoygu, Russian Ambassador to Belgrade Aleksandar Alekseyev and Serbian Minister of Economy Predrag Bubalo.