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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia to Pay $31 m Interest to Paris Club

Russia will pay $31.5 million interest on debt owed to the Paris Club of creditor nations in January, a Finance Ministry official said Tuesday.

The payment, clearing some interest accrued on debt which Moscow began accumulating in the Soviet days, is unrelated to Russia's earlier refusal to make scheduled payments on some $1.5 billion due in the first quarter of 2001.

"The budget provides for a $31.5 million payment on debt not previously restructured," Denis Mikhailov, deputy head of the ministry's foreign debt department, told Reuters.

Russia avoided payments due in the second half of 1999 and 2000 by striking a rescheduling deal with the Paris Club in mid-1999. But the agreement expired last December.

Russia, which allocated only $640 million for Paris Club payments in 2001, has said it wants to restructure the $48 billion debt. Its scheduled payments for 2001 stand at $3.4 billion.

Last week, Moscow said it would skip payments of $1.5 billion to the club falling due in the first quarter. Paris Club officials said they would not condone a unilateral default by a debtor.