Washington, 25 June 1997 (RFE/RL) -- A senior official from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has welcomed the understanding reached between Russia and the Paris Club of official creditor nations last Friday.
The fund issued a statement by the director of its Policy Development and Review Department, Jack Boorman, saying fund officials hope the agreement will be ratified as quickly as possible by each of the 18 current government members of the club.
One of the first beneficiaries, says Boorman, will be Mozambique, which owes significant debts to Russia. Once Moscow is a member of the Paris Club and the debts owed to it are recognized by the other members, Mozambique will become eligible for the special debt relief program of the IMF and World Bank for heavily indebted poor countries.
The program -- known as the HIPC initiative -- allows countries that have unbearable debt burdens to have some debt owed the fund and bank forgiven if they follow sound economic policies.