MOSCOW, RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Finance Ministry has set
as a deadline for claims to exchange Soviet-era commercial
debts for Eurobonds.
It said creditors may file claims for the third U.S.S.R. debt swap in
modern Russian history before 18:00 Moscow time .
The commercial debt accumulated as a result of the Soviet Union’s
failure to pay for certain commercial deliveries. Russia is now ready to
swap debt claims for Eurobonds.
The Russian government recognized the Soviet commercial debt on October
1, 1994. The Finance Ministry has since swapped a total of $2.4 billion
worth of commercial debt for Eurobonds ($0.3 bln bonds with 2006-10
maturities and $2.1 bln bonds with 2007-30 maturities).
It was earlier reported that the previous two swaps were conducted in
2002 ($1.28 bln) and in 2006 ($1.075 bln). The third swap is expected to
be the most difficult of all as it involves debt that could not be
swapped previously due to, among other reasons, insubstantial or
improperly documented claims.
The Finance Ministry has been reluctant to reveal the extent of the
outstanding debts, but the sum is estimated as between $600 mln and $700