President's Financial Advisor: Russia May Pay off Foreign Debt by 2011

Russia may be able to completely resolve the problem of its foreign debt over the next 8 to 10 years. This prediction was made today by Andrei Illarionov, the Russian President's economic advisor, at a press conference on 'Prospects for economic growth in Russia'. According to Illarionov, this will only be possible if current economic policy is not changed. 'Over the next year or two I don't see any basis or conditions, including political ones, for changing economic policy,' said Illarionov. He reminded journalists that over the last 4 years the country 'has been confidently paying off' its foreign debt, which has been reduced from USD 175 billion in 1998 to USD 106 billion today.

'On the whole, since 1998 the state's economic policy, in particular its budgetary policy, has become much more responsible,' stressed Illarionov. 'If the current debt policy is maintained in the future, then we are not threatened by a default,' the President's advisor believes.

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