Putin: Russia's assuming USSR's debt was mistake

Vladimir Putin believes Russia made a mistake by assuming the debts of the former Soviet Union.

The Russian president said he hoped that experts involved in finding a way to have Russia's debt written off would find a solution acceptable to everybody.

"As far as specific wordings are concerned, experts are in search of them, and there are reasons to believe they will find a solution fitting all parties concerned," Putin said during a news conference. "I can confirm it," said the chancellor of Germany, which is Russia's largest creditor within the framework of the Paris Club.

"Alas, we cannot and will not reconsider it [the decision on the debt]. We have always fulfilled out international commitments." At the same time, Putin noted that none of the former USSR republics, except for Kazakhstan, was able to service its part of the debt if they had to do so.

He confirmed Russia's being interested in advanced repayment of its debt to the Paris Club.

"In economic terms, we are interested in advanced repayment [of our debt], because the terms the debt accumulated are very burdensome. We have paid billions of dollars as interests, and it would, naturally, be advantageous for us to get rid of the burden and spend the money freed up on boosting the Russian economy and resolving social problems," the Russian president emphasized.

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