Russia repaid the bulk of its outstanding debt to the Paris Club of Creditor Nations on August 18-21. This debt totaled $1.9 bln as of October 1, compared to $23.7 bln on July 1.
Alexander Zhukov, a deputy prime minister, said on October 24: "During the next three years, foreign debt will gradually be reduced to $40 billion, which is a very good indicator, compared with other countries."
Russia's debt to international financial organizations was reduced from $5.5 bln to $5.4 bln in July-September, and its Eurobond debt declined $0.3 bln to $30.9 bln.
Debt to former Eastern-bloc countries ($2 bln), trade debt ($1.1 bln), and sovereign bond debt ($5.7 bln) remained unchanged in the period.
Russia is paying off its foreign debt mainly from the Stabilization Fund, which was set up to accrue windfall profits from high world oil prices.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.