14 Jul 2010

Nauru's port facilities being upgraded with Russian aid money

2:12 pm on 14 July 2010

Work on critical repairs of Nauru's port and moorings has begun after the government received nearly nine million US dollars in aid assistance from Russia.

It is the first phase of a deal agreed last year after Nauru joined Russia in recognising the independence of the breakaway Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Sara Vui-Talitu has more.

"Nauru's caretaker Finance and Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Kieren Keke, says the grant is an indication of Russia's confidence and support for the present government, despite a months' long political stalemate which has stalled parliamentary operations. Dr Keke says the money will fund the re-laying of the deep sea mooring system with new buoys and other equipment, the purchase of a new multi-purpose barge and the reconstruction of the port building. The multi-million dollar project will ensure Nauru's port can run at full capacity, making operations safer, faster and more cost-efficient. Dr. Keke says it will translate to greater revenues from the export of phosphate, and improved returns for the Nauruan stakeholders."