Russia writes off most of Laotian debts

Russia and Laos have signed a memorandum on mutual settlement of debts on earlier provided loans, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov announced following the talks with his Laotian counterpart Boungnang Volachit.

According to the memorandum, Russia writes off 70 per cent of the Laotian debt, and the rest of the sum, $380 million, Laos will pay in roubles during 33 years under a favourable interest rate, Kasyanov said.

The reason for this decision was that "in the international classification Laos is ranked among the countries with the least developed economies, and also special relations between the two countries," the Prime Minister explained.

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