September 22, 2003
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: A U.S. official said Saturday that Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow that Russia would contribute aid to Afghanistan once the issue of Afghan debts owed to Russia was settled.
Kudrin told Snow that Russia has calculated that it is owed $9.8 billion by Afghanistan, debt that Afghanistan wants forgiven but which Russia is prepared to consider heavily discounting to a total $2 billion.
“The Russians are considering discounting 80 percent of the debt,” the U.S. official said.
“Then they said when the debt is restructured, then they will donate to the Afghanistan reconstruction effort.”
It was not clear how Afghanistan, which was invaded by the Soviet Union, had incurred debts to Russia.