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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kasyanov Urges Revamp of $3Bln Debt

Russia wants an unconventional agreement with the Paris Club of creditor nations to reschedule $3 billion out of next year’s foreign debt bill, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said an interview published Friday.

The Russian government has made no provision for paying the $3 billion in the 2001 budget currently going through parliament, but some economists say the sum could be paid easily if world energy market prices stay at recent high levels.

Kasyanov, a former debt negotiator, told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper he was apprehensive about resolving the debt issue because creditors traditionally took into consideration a country’s balance of payments situation.

"I know that the standard approach, often preached by international financial organizations, will give us a negative result," he said, adding that Russia’s balance of payments situation was strong.

Russia’s trade surplus this year, boosted by strong energy and commodities prices, could total as much as $50 billion, economists say.