Russia to pay $17 billion of its external debt next year

Next year Russia will pay more than $17 billion of its external debt, said Russian president Vladimir Putin at a press conference in the Kremlin on Monday.

$10.8 billion of this sum is the debt itself, and $7 billion is the interest rate, he said. The current year is witnessing a peak in Russian payments.

The funds for paying off the debt in 2003 will be taken from the budget's income and will not affect the state's obligations in the social sphere, Putin stressed.

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