Russia and France have signed a bilateral memorandum under which Russia will pay debts incurred by the Russian government prior to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. The agreement was signed yesterday during the visit to Paris by Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. Holders of pre-revolutionary bonds had claimed that the sum owed amounts to $30 billion, but French prime minister Alain Juppe said yesterday that the sum under discussion totals around $400 million. The agreement reportedly states that this is to be paid off within four years. Clearing these debts will remove the last obstacle to Russia’s accession to the Paris Club of creditor nations, which will in turn allow Russia to reclaim money it is owed by a number of developing countries. Juppe said yesterday that France wants to see Russia join the Paris Club, and that discussions toward that end are now underway. (Itar-Tass, UPI, November 26)
Yeltsin Decrees Defense Reductions.