Russia forgives $10 billion of North Korea's Soviet-era debt

Sunday, April 20, 2014

"A bill forgiving $10 billion dollars of North Korea's $11 billion debt to the Soviet Union has been submitted to the State Duma.

The remaining $1 billion will not be returned to the Russian treasury, but will be plowed back into North Korean health care, education and energy projects over a 20 year period as debt for aid,"
reporting The Moscow Times.

The deal is expected to be conducive to building a pipeline through the territory of North Korea from Russia to South Korea - reported the Reuters news agency.

Russian gas company Gazprom has long been planning to build a pipeline, which could transport 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually through North Korea to South Korea Reuters noted. This is part of the Russian effort to reduce the industry's dependence on gas imports from Europe. Nearly 30 percent of Russia's natural gas production exported and nearly 80 percent of exports go to Europe. The latter satisfies about a quarter of the EU's natural gas needs.

(The Moscow Times – Reuters –


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