Russian senators urge new Paris Club debt talks

Russian senators have called on the government to restart debt restructuring talks with the Paris Club of creditors but the Cabinet rejected the idea, a member of the upper house of parliament said on Wednesday. Russia tried to overhaul its multi-billion dollar debt to the Paris Club in 2001 but backed off after sharp criticism from sovereign creditors. Russia is servicing its debt to the Club since and has trimmed it to some $35 billion.

"Negotiations with the London Club were carried out in a better manner and we have to return to talks with the Paris Club," Evgeny Bushmin, the head of the Federation Council budget committee reported. The agreement with the London Club of private creditors clinched in 2000 included a write-off of about one-third of $32 billion of Soviet-era debt. The remaining $21 billion were restructured into 10 and 30-year Eurobonds.

Two years ago Russia owed $48.6 billion to the Paris Club and wanted to write off some of the ex-Soviet part of the debt, which then totaled $38.7 billion, the Russia Journal reported.

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