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    Russia to repay $343 mln debt to U.S. ahead of time

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    The Russian Finance Ministry plans to repay, ahead of schedule, a $343 million loan to the U.S. on Friday under a 1998 credit agreement for agricultural supplies saving $46.7 million in interest.

    MOSCOW, October 19 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Finance Ministry plans to repay, ahead of schedule, a $343 million loan to the U.S. on Friday under a 1998 credit agreement for agricultural supplies saving $46.7 million in interest.

    Under a government resolution, Russia will use money from the Stabilization Fund to repay the debt.

    The loan was issued until 2020 for agricultural supplies, which were cancelled in 2000, but the debt was validated in 2005 and Russia repaid everything owed for this period in 2005, and has since paid in two tranches every October and December.

    As of October 1, the Stabilization Fund, set up to accrue surplus oil revenues as a safeguard against financial upsets similar to the 1998 financial crisis, stood at 3.52 trillion rubles ($140.7 billion).

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