The United States Is Prepared To Reschedule The Russian Debt In 2003

The United States expressed readiness to agree to the rescheduling of the Russian debt in 2003, should the need to do so arise. According to a RIA Novosti correspondent, Alexei Kudrin, vice-premier of the Russian government and Russia's finance minister, said about this Sunday after his meeting with Paul O'Neill, US Secretary of Treasury. The Russian vice-premier noted that the United States expressed its readiness to agree to this step for the first time. Earlier, Germany and Britain told about their readiness to revise the schedule of Russia's debt payments in 2003, if there was a need to do this. During their meeting, the two countries' finance ministers discussed the possibility to set up a bilateral economic commission. According to Kudrin, unlike the previous commission known as the Chernomyrdin-Gore commission, plans are being drafted to set up an intergovernmental commission at the ministers' level. As Alexei Kudrin noted, since economic issues are given priority, such a commission will be headed by a minister representing the government's economic group. However, he said, the intergovernmental commission will deal with the whole range of issues related to bilateral relations. The American side supported the idea to set up the commission. The US Secretary of Treasury said that the elaboration of a concrete mechanism for its work was being considered now. The answer to it will be given in the near future. Alexei Kudrin said that he was going to discuss this problem on Monday, during his meeting with the US vice-president Richard Cheney. According to Kudrin, the Sunday meeting paid great attention to the fight against the laundering of the illegal funds. The Russian vice-premier informed the American side of Russia's actions in this direction. In particular, Kudrin said, a law submitted to the parliament in Russia provides for the formation of a special body authorised to implement special control measures. Its formation, the vice-premier added, will be carried out with due account taken of other countries' experience, for instance that of the United States.

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