Russia to write off cold war-era debts
In a nod to their cold war-era relationship, Russia has announced it is to write off Guyanas US$50 million debt to the former Soviet Union, Moscows ambassador Nikolay Smirnov said on Thursday.
Smirnov made the announcement while addressing the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association. He said US$16 million of Guyana's debt was written off back in 2007.
"We have written off debt of Guyana to (the) former Soviet Union which was $16 million and we finalised this process, so it means that (Guyanas) debt to our country, which is more than three billion Guyana dollars, was written off in 2007. The rest of it - about 50 million dollars, we hope will be written off this year and certain specific proposals (have been) done at (the) bilateral level and we are finalizing this process," Smirnov said.
Moscow will also be lobbying for further debt write-off for developing countries at the upcoming G-8 Summit, where Russia is to propose its ideas and highlight that it has written off in excess of GUY$3 trillion about US$15 billion US dollars - to developing countries between 2005 and 2011, Smirnov added.
The Russian diplomat also praised Guyana and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries for their efforts in tackling transnational crime.
"There is a positive trend in the region in the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking (and) organised crime within the context of the framework of CARICOM and other regional organizations. In this regard I would like to make a special notice that recently, in February, 2012 we signed with Guyana (a) bilateral agreement in the fight against illegal drugs, Smirnov said.
The envoy added: Russia is ready to provide to the respective law enforcement agencies in Guyana and the framework of CARICOM, technical and training support in this regard.
He also praised Guyana for giving not only this low-lying coastal state but small island states a prominent place in the global climate change fight.
Guyana in particular has made the concerns of small countries heard on the issue of climate change and pioneering its partnership with Norway, Smirnov said.
He also outlined Russias plans for cooperation with Guyana in information and communication technologies, agriculture and energy.