Russian Premier Sees No Need In Talks On Restructuring Russia's Foreign Debt

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov sees no need in holding talks with foreign creditors on restructuring Russia's debt with regard to price fluctuations in world energy markets. He made such a statement Friday while performing in the State Duma (lower parliamentary house). According to him, the Russian economic dependence on oil prices "does exist, but it's not as significant as one may think." Kasyanov stressed that Russia's trade balance and balance of payments are strong enough that there is no threat related to possible shortage of currency in the country and there will be no such threat in 2002 and even in 2003. "Russia's solvency won't be subject to doubts even if oil prices fall sharply," the premier noted. He also added that amendments being made by the government to the draft budget for 2002 will ensure Russia's independence from changes in price situation and further improvement of Russia's positions in the world market.