Iraq's Odious Debts

Russia may help Iraq debt burden

Business World, Ireland
June 23, 2003

Russia has signalled its willingness to join global efforts to write off or reschedule Iraq’s staggering debt burden.

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told the Wall Street Journal that the issue of debt was an important question and that Russia would “do its part” to help Iraq. Estimates on the size of Iraq’s debt range from US$60 billion to US$130 billion. The comments came just a day before Russian president Vladimir Putin visits Britain in what is the first state visit to the U.K. by a Russian leader in 129 years.

The U.S.-led effort to rebuild Iraq is being hampered by the cost of repaying the country’s debt; Russia alone is owed US48 billion and it is estimated that the repayments will eat up almost all of the revenue the country earns from oil exports.

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