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Russia can pay off $343 mln in US agro loan debt early

In Hungary

A Russian Finance Ministry source said Thursday that a proposal had been submitted to the government on clearing a $343.3 million debt for 1998 US agricultural loans early in order to save on interest.

“The net sum to be repaid would be $343.25 million, and a nominal $46.7 million could be saved on interest for 2008 through 2020,” the source said. It was suggested that the payment be made October 19. The source said the debt settlement is taking place outside the Paris Club of creditor nations. “The loan was given for supplies of agricultural goods, [and] these supplies stopped in 2000. But the debt itself was registered in 2005. In 2005, Russia paid off all its obligations for the five-year period, and later payments were made in line with the schedule."

The source said the debt is paid in two tranches with payments made annually on October 19 and December 30. The ministry suggested that the current payments with interest for both tranches be paid now, and that the remaining debt be cleared. He said if the government agrees, Russia will send the creditor a notification letter. (rian.ru)

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