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Russia Calls on Zambia, Ethiopia to Join Debt Relief Programme

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SOCHI (Sputnik) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday at the forum that Russia had already written off African nations' debts worth over $20 billion.

Russia invites Zambia, Ethiopia and other African nations to engage more actively in the program of debt relief in exchange for development assistance, Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said on Thursday at the Russia-Africa Economic Forum in Sochi.

"There is a possibility to use the 'debt in exchange for assistance' scheme with the Republic of Zambia, with Ethiopia. However, local authorities are acting a bit slowly ... Maybe my words will be somehow heard," Storchak said.

Russia is establishing cooperation with Africa on the debt relief so that African nations could pour more funds in development projects and therefore boost economic growth, Storchak added. According to him, the country has already launched relevant joint programs with several African countries.

"I want to say that our projects 'debt in exchange for assistance' are progressing well with the Republic of Madagascar, we have good developments with the Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Mozambique," Storchak added. "We would like our colleagues from African nations to study Madagascar's experience, as cooperation is really active there." 

The Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum is taking place in the Russian resort city of Sochi on 23-24 October. The Rossiya Segodnya news agency is an official media partner of the event.

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