Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 113

Russian deputy foreign minister Viktor Posuvalyuk, in the midst of a Middle Eastern tour that already has brought him to Iran, Iraq, and Jordan, met yesterday in Damascus with Syrian foreign minister Farouk Sharaa. Talks were said to focus on bilateral ties, the Middle East peace process, and Syrian debts to Russia. On the last topic, sources reported that a Russian delegation intends to visit Syria soon to settle what Moscow estimates as Syria’s $11 billion debt to Russia. Damascus has reportedly argued that the debt, which dates back to the Soviet period, should be written off, while Russia has offered to cancel 80 percent of the total and to take the remainder in cash and goods. Talks on new Russian arms sales to Syria will reportedly take place once the debt issue is settled. (UPI, June 13)

The Struggle for Belarus.