The Group of Eight developed countries has noted Russia's contribution to writing off African countries' debts.
Within 1998 and 2002, Russia wrote off a total of $11.2 billion of the African countries' debts. In 2002 alone, it wrote off $3.4 billion, reads a report the G-8 summit in Evian has heard as part of the action plan of assistance to Africa's poorest nations.
The problem of alleviating the poorest nations' debt burden still stands high on the G-8's priority list, reads the report.
A considerable sum has been written off by Germany - an overall of 6 billion euros. Italy has written off $1.5 billion, according to the report.
The rest of the G-8 countries have also pledged to lighten Africa's debt burden. France, for one, pledged to write off close on 10 billion euros, Japan $4.9 billion, the US $4.2 billion.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.