Russia pays down US$1.2 billion to the Paris Club

Russia has paid down US$1.2 billion ( Ђ 1 billion) of its debt to the Paris Club of wealthy creditor nations, two weeks after the finance minister announced that Russia would seek to retire nearly all of its remaining Paris Club debt this year.

The state-controlled Vneshekonombank said it had transferred the money at the Finance Ministry's orders between Feb. 17 and Feb. 21.

Before the Group of Eight finance ministers meeting Feb. 11 in Moscow, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin announced that Russia would use money collected in a special oil fund to pay off as much as US$12 billion ( Ђ 10 billion) of Soviet-era debt to the Paris Club this year.

Russia has seen its finances rebound since an economic collapse in 1998, largely thanks to high prices for oil and gas, its main exports. In May, Russia paid down US$15 billion ( Ђ 13 billion) to the Paris Club, reports the AP.


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