Published:  12:28 AM, 15 November 2017

Russia, Venezuela to sign debt restructuring deal Wednesday

Russia, Venezuela to sign debt restructuring deal Wednesday Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro and Russian president Vladimir Putin. -AFP

Russia and Venezuela are set to sign an agreement on restructuring $3 billion of Caracas's debt on Wednesday, sources familiar with the matter told AFP.The Russian finance ministry refused to confirm this and has not announced any public event. The Venezuelan embassy in Moscow announced a news conference on Wednesday to "give information on the signing of agreements with Russia on the restructuring of Venezuelan debt," without confirming the date for the signing.

A source close to the government told AFP the deal would be signed on Wednesday. The Russian finance ministry last week announced that Venezuela had given its agreement to restructuring its debts to Russia -- that is rescheduling payments, reducing them or cancelling them altogether.

Venezuela's Ambass-ador to Russia Carlos Faria Tortosa said the signing of the agreement should take place before November 15. Russia and China are the two main creditors and allies of Venezuela, which owes them respectively 8 and 28 billion dollars.

In October, Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov told Interfax news agency the restructuring agreement would divide up payments into two stages.  First would be "a small amount of repayment" with "quite favourable conditions," so that Venezuela would be able to pay off the larger part of the debt at the second stage, he said. 

Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor's credit ratings agency on Monday declared Venezuela in "selective default" after two meetings of its creditors in Caracas and New York, fulfilling a threat that had hung over the ruined oil producing country for weeks.  S&P said that Venezuela had failed to make $200 million in payments on its global bonds, stressing that it acted after a 30-day grace period had passed on payments for two bonds.

-AFP, Moscow

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