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Russia To Cancel $2.2 Billion In African Debt

29 June 2005 -- Russia says it intends to cancel $2.2 billion dollars of debts owed to Moscow by the poorest African countries.

The announcement was made by Moscow's ambassador to the United Nations, Andrei Denisov, at a UN meeting on 29 June.

Denisov said the move is being made to underline Russia's general support for the agreement earlier this month by finance ministers of the Group of Eight (G-8) leading industrialized economies - of which Russia is a member - to cancel some $40 billion of debt owed by 18 poverty-stricken countries.

The Russian envoy said that in absolute terms, Russia is among the leaders in the cancellation of debt owed by the world's poorest countries.