GEORGETOWN, Guyana: The final US$280,000 (GUY$55-million) of a debt owed by Guyana to Russia dating back to when Russia was part of the former Soviet Union will be cancelled.
This gesture of debt forgiveness was announced by Russia’s Ambassador to Guyana, Nikolay Smirnov, as he addressed the Business Luncheon of the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) recently.
Russia had already cancelled GUY$16.3-million of the debt that the Caribbean nation had owed the former Soviet Union, which Russia inherited when the former eastern European bloc broke up into the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Smirnov said Russia was preparing to wipe off the remainder of Guyana’s debt and also help the CARICOM nation combat drug trafficking.
According to media reports, Smirnov said the remainder of the debt could be cancelled in the coming months through a trade arrangement that would grant access for Russian products into Guyana.
The Russian ambassador also outlined that, in keeping with a February 2012 cooperation agreement between the Federal Service of the Russian Federation for Narcotics Control and the Guyana Ministry of Home Affairs, assistance in the drug fight would take the form of upgrading Guyana’s law enforcement agency through training and technological support.
Reports are that Russia and Guyana have agreed to exchange information on suspects in cross-border illicit drugs trafficking, conduct searches for illicit drugs and their precursors, share drug laws and exchange samples and test results of drugs seized.
The two countries have reportedly also agreed to exchange information on the structures, individuals, types of business, systems of management and contacts of transnational criminal groups involved in illicit trafficking of drugs and their precursors, and the forms and methods of criminal activities linked to illicit drugs and their precursors.