15 Jul 2010

Nauru expects to earn more from exports after port upgrade with Russian aid

4:57 pm on 15 July 2010

The Nauru Government hopes to get the bulk of a port refurbishment completed within six months.

It has just announced that repairs to the port and moorings can begin with nearly nine million US dollars of aid from Russia.

Nauru's caretaker Finance and Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Kieren Keke, says the grant's an indication of Russia's confidence and support for his government.

He says the work will mean a boost in revenue from phosphate exports because the port will be more efficient.

"We're hoping that we can get the majority of the work in terms of relaying the moorings done within about three months. The port buildings will take a little bit longer, and we're hoping we can complete that within six months. And the construction of the barge would be done somewhere between that, certainly within six months."

Dr Keke says it's the first phase of a deal signed last year with Russia.

The aid arrangements follow Nauru joining Russia in recognising the independence of the breakaway Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but Dr Keke says there's no link.