Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin and Chairman of the Paris Club Jean-Pierre Jouyet discussed the possibility of Russia's paying off a part of the Soviet debt to the Paris Club of creditors ahead of time at the Tuesday meeting in Moscow. Jean-Pierre Jouyet, who is also Director of Treasury of the French Ministry of Economy, Finances, and Industry, came to Moscow as a member of the French government delegation headed by the French Premiere Lionel Jospin. Russia can use its current budgetary resources to pay off the debt. The sides also discussed the possibility of increasing the number of ways Russia can use to pay off the former USSR debt to the Paris Club. The two countries' officials paid special attention to coordinating the principles of early payment of the Soviet debt taking into account that all members of the Paris Club should enjoy equal conditions. At this point, the amount and terms of the early payment of the Soviet debt have not been addressed. "We do not expect that the entire debt will be paid off in the next several years," said the Russian finance minister. Mr. Jouyet highly appraised the current visit by the French government delegation to Moscow. He also expressed his positive opinion of the decisions by the Russian government on debt servicing.
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