Iraq's Odious Debts

Russia to sign Iraq debt write-off deal

April 1, 2005

Russia will sign an agreement this year finalising a plan to write-off most of the money owed to it by Iraq, a Finance Ministry official said.

In November President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was committed to forgiving 90 percent of Iraq’s debts, more than the 80 percent agreed by the Paris Club of sovereign lenders.

“We will sign it this year,” Sergei Storchak, Russia’s chief debt negotiator, told reporters.

Russia opposed the US-led invasion of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and its firms had signed billions of dollars’ worth of oil contracts with the former government of the country.

Russia is itself in talks to repay some of its US$43 billion debts to the Paris Club early, but talks are stalled on whether it can win a discount for ahead-of-schedule redemption.

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