Putin admits Russia's mistake in responsibility to pay entire debt of all post-Soviet states

There is no republic of the former USSR, save Kazakhstan, that is capable of serving its part of the Soviet Union's debt

The decision, which obliged Russia to pay the debt of all Soviet states as the successor of the collapsed state, was a wrong decision to make, President Vladimir Putin stated at a press conference in Hannover on Monday. Putin added, however, that the Russian administration would not reconsider the decision: “Unfortunately, we can not and we will not revise that decision. We always execute the signed agreements,” Interfax quoted the Russian president as saying.

”It is worth mentioning that no republic of the former USSR, save Kazakhstan, is capable of serving its part of the Soviet Union's debt,” the Russian president specified.

Putin emphasized that Russia was interested in clearing the Soviet debt ahead of the scheduled time. “We are conducting negotiations regarding the pre-term debt payment, because the terms, on which they were accomplished, were rather burdensome,” the president said. According to Putin, the Russian administration is currently in talks about a certain form of debt payments too.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said that he supported Russia's aspiration. Germany is Russia's largest creditor – it is the key candidate for the early debt payment. In addition, the German treasury is currently experiencing serious financial difficulties. Putin set out a hope that such an agreement would soon be achieved.

Both the Russian administration and Russian business circles hope to make a brilliant presentation of the Russian pavilion at Hannover-2005 industrial show, RIA Novosti reports. They hope to conclude international contracts, which could help Russia get rid of its “oil country” image. Traditional Russian oil and gas industries will have a smaller presentation at the trade fair, in comparison with other industrial branches. “High-tech enterprises and organizations take a much more important place in today's show,” Russian presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko told reporters.

Over 150 Russian companies will be representing Russia in Hannover, the Russian Minister for Industry and Energy, Viktor Khristneko, stated. The Russian exposition is oriented at the export potential of Russian enterprises, particularly aircraft-making companies.

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Author`s name Olga Savka