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article imageMoscow says Venezuela agrees to debt restructuring terms

By AFP     Nov 8, 2017 in World

Venezuela has agreed to Russia's terms for restructuring its debt, Moscow's finance minister said Wednesday.

Venezuela, which has been rocked by deadly protests and economic chaos that has caused dire shortages of food and medicine, is counting on Russian support amid growing international isolation.

"Venezuela has confirmed the conditions that were agreed and so the process will move to a final phase," minister Anton Siluanov told the Interfax news agency.

The Venezuelan ambassador to Moscow said the agreement should be signed within a week, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Last month Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited the Kremlin, where he and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed possible terms of restructuring the debt.

In 2011, Russia granted Venezuela a loan to finance the purchase of Russian arms including tanks and missiles.

Venezuela's official debt to Moscow stood at $2.8 billion as of 2016.

But Moscow also appears to have found a roundabout way to prop up the country by extending a loan through oil giant Rosneft.

Rosneft, run by Putin's top ally Igor Sechin, has lent its Venezuelan counterpart PDVSA around $6 billion since 2014, according to the oil major's financial results released earlier this year.

Venezuela last week called foreign creditors to a November 13 meeting in Caracas aiming to restructure its estimated $150 billion total debt, as credit-rating agencies dealt the country another blow with double downgrades.

Maduro has repeatedly blamed the United States for the country's woes, saying Washington is trying to strangle Venezuela with sanctions.

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