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The Minister of Economy and Finance, Adriano Maleiane, clarified on Monday (12) to A Verdade that the government had not reached any agreement with Russia’s Vnesh Torg Bank (VTB) regarding debts of more than 1 billion US dollars illegally contracted by Proinducus, EMATUM and MAM.
Foreign Minister José Pacheco said last Wednesday at a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Serguei Lavrov, who was visiting Mozambique, that the Mozambican government and VTB had reached “an understanding on how to settle the debt”.
“The director general of the Russian bank was here, and worked with the relevant sectors in this area. There is an understanding on how to settle the debt. It is a technical issue that is being worked out at the level of the departments responsible for following this process,” Minister Pacheco said at the time.
@Verdade asked Minister of Economy and Finance Maleiane about the matter on the sidelines of the Annual Private Sector Conference that took place this Monday in Maputo. He was peremptory, saying “there is no agreement” and explaining that his colleague meant that “there were ideas, such as participating in another meeting”.
“The Ministry of Finance has already said that it will meet creditors on March 20, and one of these is this bank,” the minister said, referring to the meeting scheduled for London.
Proindicus owes US$535 million, plus US$350 million contracted by the Mozambican Tuna Company (EMATUM) and another US$118 million lent to Mozambique Asset Management (MAM), all with sovereign guarantees issued by the government headed by former president Armando Guebuza, allegedly in violation of the constitution and budget laws.
The amount is part of a total of US$2 billion borrowed, the remainder from Credit Suisse for a project to protect Mozambique’s Exclusive Economic Zone which, according to A Verdade, “does not exist”.