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Russia continues talking with the Paris Club of creditors on early debt repayment
Russia continues talking with the Paris Club of creditors on early debt repayment, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told the media on Wednesday. At the same time, Mr. Kudrin stressed that the terms for repayment had not been set yet. He declined to comment if Russia's proposal on granting it a discount was on the table or if a premium should be paid to the Paris Club instead. "I cannot tell you that now," he said. As was reported in the press, the Paris Club positions the payment of a premium as a precondition for Russia's advanced debt repayment, while Russia insists on a discount. As of January 1, 2005, Russia owed $43.1 billion to the Paris Club. Kudrin admitted Russia could resort to the experiences of other countries in investing the stabilization fund's money in high-liquidity stock of foreign companies. Addressing the media, he cited Norway as an example, with the country's stabilization fund totaling $170 billion, or 70% of its GDP. 60% of Norway's stabilization fund is made up of foreign governmental securities and 40% are foreign companies' shares. Placing the Norwegian stabilization fund inside of the country is forbidden. According to Mr. Kudrin, Russia might in the future use such an experience, with the primary criterion to be the reliability of instruments, in which the stabilization fund is to be placed, rather than their high profitability
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