Georgia Freezes Repayment of Armenian Debt

TBILISI (RFE/RL)–The Georgian government has decided to postpone the repayment of $16 million in outstanding debts to Armenia after the failure of talks on their possible re-scheduling–Finance Minister Zurab Nogaideli said on Tuesday.

The Georgian Caucasus Press news agency quoted Nogaideli as saying that the repayment of $10 million of the sum which falls due this year will not begin until "the situation is clarified." He said the "first round" of Armenian-Georgian negations on the issue was unsuccessful but gave no details.

The bulk of Georgia’s debt involves compensation for the theft and loss in the early and mid-1990s of energy resources supplied to Armenia. Government officials in Yerevan put the total figure at $25 million. The issue was on the agenda of Georgian Minister of State Gia Arsenishvili’s visit to Armenia in February.

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