Russia says Venezuela has not offered to repay debts in cryptocurrency

The Venezuelan cryptocurrency "Petro" logo is seen as Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with the ministers responsible for the economic sector at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela March 22, 2018. REUTERS/Marco Bello

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Venezuela has not offered to repay part of its debts to Russia using the country’s cryptocurrency, Konstantin Vyshkovsky, head of the finance ministry’s state debt department, told reporters on Tuesday.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said last month that the newly launched oil-backed petro cryptocurrency had raised $735 million in the first day of a pre-sale. The new tool is aimed at pulling the country out of an economic tailspin.

Russia and Venezuela last year signed a debt restructuring deal allowing Caracas to make “minimal” payments to Moscow over the next six years. Under the deal, Venezuela will pay Russia back a total of $3.15 billion over a 10-year period.

Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Andrew Osborn