Iraq's Odious Debts

Russia expects ‘understanding’ from Paris Club after cancelling Iraq debt

Prime-TASS news agency, Moscow
November 26, 2004

Russia expects to come to a “mutual understanding” with the members of the Paris Club of creditors during talks on Russia’s debt to the club as Russia supported the decision to write off 80 per cent of Iraq’s debt to the Paris Club, Russian Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin told reporters on Wednesday.

Russia is a member of the club, but also owes $40.9 billion to it as of June 30. The Finance Ministry said on Nov. 3 that Russia’s debt to the Paris Club is estimated to amount to $46.1 billion by Jan. 1, 2005. Kudrin said on Aug. 26 that the ministry planned to swap the country’s Paris Club debt into bonds. Russia also expects that the contracts of Russian companies in Iraq will be renewed after the country restores its economy, Kudrin said. He added that he hopes Russian companies will get new contracts and continue to develop oil and gas fields in Iraq.

The Paris Club decided on Nov. 21 to write off 80 per cent of Iraq’s total debt, which amounts to $38.9 billion. Iraq’s debt to Russia, including interest, made up about $8.899 billion as of Jan. 1 the Finance Ministry said in late August.

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