Russia slashes debt to IMF, paying $4.3 billion last year

Monday, January 21st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MOSCOW (AP) _ Russia has slashed its debt to the International Monetary Fund, paying off about $4.3 billion last year, the Interfax news agency reported Monday.

The payment left Russia with $7.5 million still outstanding with the international organization.

Russia was the fund's biggest debtor when its debt peaked at about $17 billion in early 1999, after heavy borrowing to prop up its ailing post-Soviet economy throughout the 1990s.

The fund has not given any financial help to Russia since then, citing insufficient reform efforts, while Moscow has continued making scheduled payments.

Last year's payments were $3.8 billion in principal and about $500 million in interest, Interfax said. The IMF would not comment on the report.

Russia made several payments to the fund ahead of schedule in 2001, including $2.8 billion on a loan received in 1998.

Russia is scheduled to pay the IMF more than $1.6 billion this year.