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Russia Delays Paris Club Payment

January 12, 2001

MOSCOW (AP) _ Russia’s payment in January to the Paris Club, a group of creditor nations, will be only about 10 percent of the originally scheduled amount, Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Kolotukhin said Friday.

Russia owes a total of about $48 billion in Soviet-era debt to the Paris Club nations, which include some of the world’s richest countries.

Its January payments were to be $316.4 million, but Russia will pay only $31.5 million, Kolotukhin said, according to the Interfax news agency.

The Kremlin had hoped for restructuring of the crushing debt, but those hopes disappeared after the International Monetary Fund last year refused to offer a standby loan that would have been seen as approval of the country’s economic reforms.

Russia announced earlier this month that it would delay its Paris Club payments, although President Vladimir Putin later promised Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany, Russia’s largest creditor, that all Soviet-era debt would be paid.

Russia’s total foreign debt is about $148 billion _ equivalent to about 60 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

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