By Andrei Skvarsky.
The Russian government has effectively turned down a request from its Mongolian counterpart for a loan of 100bn roubles ($1.62bn), according to a Russian cabinet report whose wording suggests the refusal was not definitive.
“With the aim of stepping up financial cooperation, the Mongolian side asked the Russian side to consider the provision of an easy-term loan of 100bn roubles. In the absence of information from the Mongolian side on the objectives of the requested loan and financial parameters for it that would be acceptable to the Mongolian side, it is impossible for the Russian side to process the request from its partners in practical terms,” the Bankir.ru website quoted the report, published this week, as saying.
The request was made during Russian-Mongolian governmental talks in Ulaanbaatar on December 13, according to Bankir.ru, Interfax, Newsland.com and other Russian media resources.
Mongolia, which parted company with communism through a bloodless revolution in 1990, still owes Russia $3.8m as the remnant of an overdue $172.2m debt 97 per cent of which was cancelled under a Russian law signed into effect by President Vladimir Putin on January 31, 2016.
In 2003, Russia had written off an $11.1bn chunk of a Mongolian debt of $11.4bn. The $300m remainder was repaid practically immediately after that by Mongolia, a nation of three million populating an area six and a half times the size of Britain.
In 2010, Russia forgave an entire Mongolian debt of $180m.