Paris Club nears deal on Russian debt, mainly from Soviet era, source says

The Paris Club of creditor nations was putting the final touches to an agreement allowing Russia to buy back about one-third of its mainly Soviet-era debt, a person close to the talks said.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the 19-member group of creditor governments was likely to announce a deal later Friday allowing Russia to pay off US$15 billion (Ђ11.8 billion) of the US$43 billion (Ђ34 billion) it owes them.

Germany, which holds some US$18 billion (Ђ14.1 billion) of the Russian debt, is taking a prominent role in the talks.

The expected deal comes after three days of talks among Russia and its Paris Club creditors in the French capital.

LAURENCE FROST, AP Business Writer

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