December 18, 2003


Russia to Ease Iraqi Debt: Agreement to Negotiate $8B Owed Brings Moscow in Line With Other Europeans (Peter Baker, December 18, 2003, Washington Post)

Russia agreed on Thursday to negotiate debt relief for Iraq, reversing course after months of refusing to forgive any of $8 billion in obligations run up by Saddam Hussein's government. The shift brings Russia in line with other European powers.

President Vladimir Putin told visiting U.S. special envoy James A. Baker III that he was prepared to discuss ways to restructure the Iraqi debt within the framework of the Paris Club, an international organization of creditor nations, as France and Germany agreed earlier in the week.

The move came a week after Putin's defense minister rejected any discussion of debt relief for Iraq, which owes Russia more than any other European nation.

The next time American unilateralism doesn't work will be the first.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 18, 2003 6:37 PM
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