Armenia asks Russia for $100 mln loan to revive diamond industry
Armenia asked Russia to provide it with a $100 million loan to develop the Transcaucasia state's diamond industry, which was the country's major economic locomotive in early 2000th, but has plunged in recent years, a Russian Finance Ministry spokesman said on Saturday, RIA Novosti reported.
"The request has been received, we are considering it," Konstantin Vyshkovsky, who heads the ministry's state loan department, said, adding the decision would be taken "within a reasonable time."
The Armenian Finance Minister Tigran Davtyan, who visited the Russian capital, Moscow, on January 20, announced earlier on Saturday the republic's intention to spend some $100 million of loan funds to buy Russian rough diamonds. Other $20 million of loan are expected to be spent on the development of cooperation between Armenian diamond producers and Russia's largest diamond miner Alrosa.
Armenia's diamond output accounted for 40% of exports in early 2000th.
Alrosa, which accounts for 97% of Russian and 25% of global diamond output, said in December it sold diamonds worth $2.19 billion in 2009, including $2.13 billion worth of rough diamonds and $60 million worth of cut diamonds.