4 Oct 2010 14:36

Government approves agreement settling Zambia

MOSCOW. Oct 4 (Interfax) - The Russian government has approved the signing of an agreement on settling Zambia's debt through funding of Zambian development projects.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin issued an ordinance to that effect on September 24, 2010.

The Finance Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, the Economic Development Ministry and Vnesheconombank will hold negotiations with Zambia and sign an agreement on the Russian government's behalf.

Zambian main debt and interest had reached $99.15 million as of December 21, 2006. The interest imputed after December 22, 2006, will not be paid, and the imputing of interest will stop when the agreement enters into force.

The debt will be converted into Zambian development projects, such as reduction of energy deficiency, healthcare and social security management, accessibility and quality of education.

The money will come to a specialized account.

Vnesheconombank and the Bank of Zambia will sign an interbank agreement to open the account and to make the transfer no later than 60 days after the deal is signed.

If the money is not spent before December 31, 2014, Russia will have the right to use the money as it wishes.