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    RUSSIA CAN BE DONOR FOR AFGHANISTAN, LARGELY WRITE OFF IRAQ'S DEBT - ALEXEI KUDRIN

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    MOSCOW, APRIL 1. (RIA Novosti). -- Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin does not rule out that Russia may become a direct donor for Afghanistan, provided its debt has been settled. He said this in a live broadcast on Moscow's Echo radio station.

    The corresponding package of agreements is being prepared, he said. On Wednesday the theme was in discussion at the meeting between deputy Finance Minister Sergei Kolotukhin and the finance minister of Afghanistan.

    Now Russia is not a direct donor of Afghanistan and is giving it "rather humanitarian assistance" in the form of machine, automobile and medicines supplies, the minister said.

    As regards the settlement of the Iraqi debt, Kudrin noted that the process is under way within the G8 framework. Particularly, at their latest meeting the G8 finance ministers agreed on the general principles of settling Iraq's debts.

    The Iraqi debt to Russia will not be fully written off, though substantially, Kudrin said. Russia is going to proceed from Iraq's solvency.

    Iraqi debt-settlement negotiations will be held this year, the finance minister said. Russia has already prepared proposals for writing off part of the Iraqi debt in arms supplies. Here, the most of the debt will be written off, he noted.

    The main debt of Iraq before Russia is over eight billion dollars, Kudrin recalled.

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