Russia cancels $700M of poor countries' debt

Russia is writing off some $700 million in debts owed to it by the world’s poorest nations. Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin made the announcement during a joint press briefing with World Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz in St. Petersburg. “The released funds could be spent on the most important development programs,” Kudrin said. Under an agreement between the government and the World Bank, debtor countries will be required to invest $250 million of the debt relief package in disease control, primary focusing on malaria, and improving energy infrastructure. “These projects means our relationship is moving to a new level,” Kudrin remarked. Wolfowitz welcomed the move from the bank’s “new development partner” and deemed the package as the “money that will save lives.”

Source: Russia to forgive $700M in debt owed by poorest countries (AP)

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