Guarantee Fund For Czech Export To Russia Is A Way To Settle Russian Debt To Czech Republic

Setting up a guarantee fund for crediting the supplies of Czech goods and services to Russia would become a way to settle the remainder of the Russian debt to the Czech Republic, said Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov at his Wednesday meeting with Czech businessmen. He added that the guarantee fund will be created at the expense of the Russian debt. Kasyanov noted that the Russian-Czech intergovernmental agreements on finance and crediting signed the day before stipulated "a decent sum" to create this guarantee fund. Kasyanov did not specify how large that sum might be. However, according to a source in the Russian delegation, this sum may be around $300-400 million. Russia and the Czech Republic negotiated Tuesday to write off 46% of the Russian debt which had amounted to $3.6 billion. However, Kasyanov said, the particular mechanism of setting up the guarantee fund had not been finally elaborated. He added that both countries' finance ministries were due to improve it during several months. Czech Premier Milos Zeman expressed in his turn a hope that the agreement on creating the guarantee fund would be signed during his visit to Russia.