MOSCOW, January 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia signed an $800 million export credit deal with Serbia on Friday and is in talks over a possible $1 billion loan to Belgrade in 2013 to stabilize its budget, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Friday.
Russia will loan Serbia the $800 million as an export credit for modernization of Serbia’s rail system. “We have agreed to grant Serbia credit for developent of its infrastructure, primarily its rail system,” Siluanov said.
The five-year credit will be granted at 4.1 percent annual interest.
“We agree to meet in a couple of weeks, because we need to work out with business our possible participation in privatizations in Serbia,” Siluanov said in reference to the future $1 billion loan talks.
Meanwhile, Russia is to hold talks on a possible easing of terms for Cyprus to pay off a 2.5 billion euro debt to Russia taken out in 2011, Siluanov said.
“We will cooperate with European countries on actions necessary to get Cyprus on a more even timetable for repaying its debts,” he said.
Cyprus has previously appealed to the Troika of international lenders (European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) as well as considering extending the loans it took from Russia in 2011. In the last year, the Cyprus government has appealed for an additional 5 billion euro loan, but Russia is yet to decide whether it will extend further credit to Cyprus.