The Sticky Problem of Russia's Old Red Ink

Western governments are inching closer to accepting Moscow's argument that the payment schedule for debts from the Soviet era must be renegotiated

It increasingly looks as though Russia will soon sign an intermediate agreement with the Paris Club of sovereign lenders, inking a deal that could adjust its debt-servicing levels for the next 25 years. "We think it makes sense at the moment to reach a deal with the Paris Club about restructuring outstanding payments," says Sergei Kolotukhin, deputy minister of finance. "That could mean reaching a deal similar to the temporary one we reached with the Paris Club on Aug. 1, 1999."

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