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Russia Forgives Iraq Billions in Debt

MOSCOW — Iraq’s foreign minister won a long-sought agreement on Monday to write off most of Iraq’s $12.9 billion in debt to Russia, much of it dating to before the first gulf war when Saddam Hussein government purchased Soviet weapons.

Russia had, in principle, agreed to write off the debt as far back as 2004 but had been dragging its feet hoping for assurances that the United States-backed government in Baghdad would honor a large Russian oil claim, also dating to the Hussein era.

On Monday, Iraq’s foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, offered no public guarantees. Russian officials said they had won an assurance of favorable treatment, at least. In exchange, Russia will write off all but $900 million of the debt. Separately, Russia agreed to invest $4 billion in Iraq, including the Iraqi oil industry.

While the deals resolved the longstanding debt dispute, they were also a setback


Added: Feb-11-2008 
By: sharjeel23
Iraq, News
Tags: Russia, Forgives, Iraq, Billions, in, Debt
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