8 Feb 2010 18:45

Russia to loan $300 mln to Sri Lanka for military purchases

MOSCOW. Feb 8 (Interfax) - Russia will loan Sri Lanka $300 million in order to purchase Russian military hardware under an agreement signed in Moscow by Russian Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin and Sri Lankan Ambassador Udayanga Weeratunga.

The loan will be extended at a LIBOR+3.5% rate for ten years and Sri Lanka will have the right to spend the loan within five years "with an assessment to be made each year of how much has been spent," Pankin said.

Sri Lanka owes nothing to Russia and the country's overall debt is acceptable to give it a loan, the minister added.

Exactly what military hardware Sri Lanka will buy will be decided in talks. One option is the purchase of Russian helicopters, he said..