Armenia to pay Russian debt in Armenian companies' shares

The Russian State Duma, parliament's lower house, ratified Wednesday an intergovernmental treaty on the transfer of ownership of the property in Armenia's federal possession to Russia.

The draft treaty was submitted to the Duma on February 28 2003.

In 1994-2000, Russia provided loans to Armenia secured by a certain percentage of shares in Armenian-based enterprises. In case Armenia delayed the payment of the debt or in the event of delays in servicing the debt, Russia was entitled to keeping the Armenian shares in the amount equal to the delayed payments in its possession.

Russia is therefore entitled to ownership of blocks of shares, enterprises' property, including land plots, buildings, equipment, etc. of the following enterprises: the property complex of the Razdan thermal power station; blocks of shares and the property complex of the Mars research institute of automated control systems; blocks of shares and the property complex of the research and production centre of materials science.

The agreed value of the property to be transferred reaches $93.76 million. The sum equals Armenia's basic debt to Russia, reads the conclusion of the Duma's relevant committee. Interest on the unpaid debts is charged on the terms of earlier loans.

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