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    URGENT: Russia ready to write off debts of the poorest countries - Putin

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    SVETLOGORSK (Kaliningrad region), July 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is ready to join programs to write off debts of the poorest countries but considers other mechanisms more effective, President Vladimir Putin said Sunday.

    "We shall undoubtedly back initiatives related to the poorest, particularly African countries," Putin told a press conference after the talks with French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

    However, developed countries should cut subsidies to various branches of their economies, open markets and conduct structural reforms, he added.

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