Russia makes debt plea

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MOSCOW (Reuter) - Russia will discuss deferment of foreign debt repayments at a meeting this week with representatives of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations, Alexander Shokhin, deputy prime minister said.

Mr Shokhin said that even after previous deferment agreements, Russian export earnings would not cover debt obligations.

Russia, which has assumed the bulk of the Soviet foreign debt burden of about dollars 70bn, has already secured a series of 90-day rollovers on the principal payments of debt owed to Western governments and commercial banks. However, it has had trouble meeting interest payments, largely because of a sharp decline in oil export revenues.

'Even after agreements reached by Russia this summer on deferment of payments on foreign debt and debt reduction, the volume of payments for 1992 is two to three times greater than hard currency export revenues,' Mr Shokhin said.