Moscow-Berlin Talks On USSR Debt Not To Be Resumed Until Late May

The Russian-German talks on the USSR debt's calculation in transferrable rubles will not be resumed until late May, Russia's First Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Kolotukhin told Russian journalists in London. Kolotukhin is on the Russian delegation to the annual assembly of the EBRD /European Bank for Reconstruction and Development/ governors council. In his words, the Russian and the German sides have absolutely different approaches to the settlement of the problem. Russia has repeatedly advanced "the zero option" as a solution, which implies that neither side has any obligations. However, Berlin will not agree to the option. The deputy minister explained that Russia's initiative consists in the fact that the calculations between the USSR and GDR should reflect mutual trade turnover and its prices. The entire system of the CMEA /Council for Mutual Economic Assistance/ was designed in such a way that export prices in the USSR were low whereas import prices were extremely high. That was the way the Soviet Union subsidized the then socialist countries, he indicated. Kolotukhin added that recalculation of the trade turnover between the USSR and GDR, which was carried out in transferrable rubles in world prices since 1965, would testify that Germany owes Russia 16.5 billion transferrable rubles. Therefore, the 6.4 billion dollars that Germany claims as debt payment from Russia is merely account deposits in transferrable rubles, having no relation to the real debt. "It is no more than bank records, bank balance," he stressed. Russia, in his words, has no intention to lay any claims to the German side, on the one hand. On the other, it cannot assume the obligation to pay off its indebtedness, because in fact it does not owe anything," said the deputy minister. Kolotukhin said that only after Russia analyses in detail all the operations in transferrable rubles, it will be ready to resume negotiations with Germany, and this has already been agreed upon. The sides will not discuss the terms of the debt settlement until they attain an accommodation on the reasons behind the account deposits and on mutual obligations. According to Kolotukhin, debates on converting the USSR debt to the GDR into investments have been suspended. However, this scheme can be useful for other categories of the debts, he said.

Visit for RIA 'Novosti' news.

Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Editorial Team