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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kasyanov Plugs Debt Swap Deal

Germany is proposing converting Russia's debt to the Paris Club into stakes in Russian companies, Interfax quoted Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov as saying Friday in Berlin.

Welcoming the proposal, Kasyanov said his talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schr?der had made a "breakthrough" in Germany's stance on resolution of problems concerning Soviet-era debt, the news agency reported.

Russia owes the Paris Club of sovereign creditors $43 billion of debt it inherited from the Soviet Union. Germany, the largest creditor, has been reluctant to forgive any debt in the light of Russia's projected $66 billion trade surplus for this year.

Kasyanov said Schr?der had said German partners were ready to participate only in commercially viable Russian enterprises.

Russia intends to promote the scheme to other Paris Club members.

Germany has been Russia's top creditor as well as a top trade partner in recent years. (MT, AP)