Early repayment of International Monetary Fund /IMF/ credits will give Russia a new and higher status with the fund. This opinion was expressed at a news conference on Friday by Alexander Shokhin, chairman of the committee of the State Duma (lower house of parliament) on financial markets and credit organizations. In his view, after making these payments Russia, which is now the fund's "bona fide borrower", will be able to take direct part in using IMF mechanisms for "stabilizing the world economy". Besides, Russia will strengthen its positions in the Group of Eight whose members are leading shareholders of the IMF, Shokhin said. As was earlier reported, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the Central Bank to repay ahead of time the IMF credits to a total sum of 2.7 billion dollars. As Shokhin noted, Russia, in making early payments, can save about 100 million dollars on interest.