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Russia to write off $700m in poor countries debt in 2006-Kudrin

01.01.70

MOSCOW, June 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will cancel $700 million worth of debt owed by Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), the finance minister said Tuesday.

The HIPC debt initiative was proposed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and agreed by governments in 1996 to reduce the external debt of the world's poorest countries, and underwent substantial reform in 1999.

"This year, Russia will join the G8's HIPC initiative, writing off $700 mln debts," Alexei Kudrin said.

The HIPC initiative organizers estimate that the national debt in the 33 countries likely to qualify would be reduced from $90 billion to about $45 billion by the initiative, combined with other debt relief measures.

Kudrin said earlier that Russia intended to write off completely the debts of 16 of the world's poorest countries, adding that this mainly related to African countries, including Benin, Tanzania, Zambia and Guyana.

Expert opinion

Halter Marek

02.12.06

Halter Marek
Le College de France
Olivier Giscard dEstaing

02.12.06

Olivier Giscard dEstaing
COPAM, France
Mika Ohbayashi

02.12.06

Mika Ohbayashi
Institute for Sustainable Energy Poliy
Bill Pace

02.12.06

Bill Pace
World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy
Peter I. Hajnal

01.12.06

Peter I. Hajnal
Toronto University, G8 Research Group