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Thursday, 14 September, 2000, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Russia cancels most Vietnam debt

Russia has cancelled eighty-five percent of Vietnam's debt to Moscow, most of which was accumulated during the Soviet era in the 1970s and '80s.

Under an agreement signed in Moscow during a visit by the Vietnamese prime minister, Phan Van Khai, the remainder is to be repaid over twenty-three years.

The exact size of the debt has been one of the main issues in the negotiations, as the money was borrowed at a time when the Russian currency was not convertible.

Reports say the two sides settled on a sum of one-point-seven billion dollars. The Vietnamese prime minister has now gone on to Belarus.

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