Russia reduces external debt by 40 bln dollars for 3 years

For the last three years Russia has reduced its foreign debt from 160 to 120 billion USD, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said Thursday opening a regular government session.

"For the three years the situation around the country's external debt has drastically changed, and we link it to an auspicious foreign policy and financial discipline reached by the government," the premier stressed.

Mr Kasyanov also noted the government's successful actions in the cause of formation of the state's financial reserve. Although in the first quarter of the year the financial reserve shrank from 80 to 50 billion roubles, as of October 1, the reserve sum exceeded 95 billion roubles (~ 3 billion dollars).

"The financial reserve is at a proper level, that's why one may talk of a final stabilization of the financial situation in 2002 and of good prospects for 2003," Mikhail Kasyanov said in conclusion.

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