Kremlin decides to classify Maduro’s debt

The Russian Finance Ministry has decided not to disclose any more information about the Nicolas Maduro regime’s debt repayments to Russia, announced Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak at a Moscow Stock Exchange forum on Wednesday.

In March, Venezuela was supposed to pay Russia a $100 million installment on its $3 billion intergovernmental loan. But Moscow will not say whether it received the money or not, since the government loans program is now classified, Storchak noted.

“Everything connected to the relations between the sovereign debtor and the sovereign creditor is not public information, because it concerns two sovereigns, and in order to provide information about the relations, at the very least, the sovereign’s consent must be requested. In such an agreement there is a confidentiality clause,” he explained.

“We will not comment publicly on the two sovereigns’ relations in connection with borrowing, repayment, servicing or restructuring [of debt],” RBC cites the deputy minister as saying.

Russia’s stance on the matter has changed drastically since the US tightened its sanctions on the Venezuelan state oil company and recognized National Assembly Chairperson Juan Guaido as interim president of Venezuela.

In the middle of January, Storchak said that Venezuela’s debt had been restructured. According to Russia’s Accounts Chamber, the defaults began in 2017, when Caracas fell behind in its repayments by roughly $1 billion.

At the time when the PDVSA announced its default on foreign debt, Maduro visited Moscow, where he was able to negotiate a 10-year extension of the loans.

In November 2018, Maduro visited the Kremlin again, and after meeting with President Vladimir Putin, announced that Russia was prepared to invest another $6 billion in oil extraction and gold mining projects in Venezuela.

At the end of January, Storchak said that Moscow is prepared for the fact that a deterioration of the situation in Venezuela could lead to problems with debt repayments.

“Everything now depends on the [Venezuelan] army, on the soldiers, how faithful they will be to their duty and oaths. It’s hard, even impossible, to give any other appraisal,” he lamented.

  Russia, Venezuela, Maduro, Russian Finance Ministry