Interfax news agency
December 23, 2004
Moscow: Russia has written off 92%-93% of Iraq’s debt even though Iraq is not an economically underdeveloped country, President Vladimir Putin said at a news conference in the Kremlin on Thursday.
“Russia has [written off this debt] even though we believe that Iraq is capable of paying its debt. Iraq is not an economically underdeveloped country; rather, its development is medium. It is by no means a heavily indebted, poor country,” he said.
“But we agreed with our partners and accepted their wishes and those of the Iraqi leadership in light of the unique and, unfortunately, unfavorable situation in Iraq where hostilities are still underway and people are suffering,” Putin said.
“When we joined the Paris Club, we agreed to write off up to 60% of the debt incurred by such countries and we also agreed within the Paris Club framework to write off, as others have done, 80% of the balance. In this way, a total of 92% to 93% of the debt has been written off,” he said.