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7 May 2004 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today that his country is ready to write off some of Afghanistan's debt, but only through negotiations within the framework of the Paris Club of creditor nations.

Lavrov made his comments after meeting with visiting Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.

Lavrov said Russia is "constructively inclined for the resolution of the Afghan debt, which would strengthen both countries."

Abdullah said he was seeking a solution to his country's debt that would be acceptable to both Russia and Afghanistan.

Last month, Russian Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin said Russia could write off as much as 80 percent of Afghanistan's debt, which would leave the debt at around $2 billion.

(AP/AFP)
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