Russian Loan to Fund Infrastructure Works in Armenia

YEREVAN (Arka)–A $500 million Russian loan aimed at helping Armenia minimize the fallout from the global economic crisis will be funneled into developing the country’s infrastructure, Armenian Economy Minister Nerses Yeritsyan said Thursday, the Arka news agency reported.

The “stabilization credit,” equivalent to more than 15 percent of Armenia’s projected budget for this year, was approved Wednesday and will be repayable in 15 years, with a 4-year grace period.

The funds will be allocated for the implementation of planned projects and new programs, Yeritsyan told Arka. He did not, however, reveal the date of the loan dispersal, saying only that he is not authorized to reveal that kind of information.

Yeritsyan also denied rumors that Armenia’s acceptance of the loan signaled its joining of the Russian ruble zone. “One may choose to create myths and believe them to be true,” the minister added.

He said Armenia is not obliged to fulfill any “non-financial obligations” in exchange for the loan.

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