Yeltsin offers to swap foreign debt for natural resources

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The Independent Online
Boris Yeltsin stunned Western leaders with a proposal to swap Russia's pounds 37bn foreign debt for equity rights in its vast mineral, oil, land and industrial resources.

The Russian president revealed his proposal in talks with the G7 leaders but only hinted at it in public afterwards.

Even if partially approved, there would be a massive saving in hard currency for the near-bankrupt Russian Federation. It would also force Russia to ensure a stable legal and economic environment for foreign investors, essential for the scheme to succeed.

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