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Buoyed by revenues from high oil prices, Russia has paid off £225mn of the total £677mn debt owed to UK export credit agency Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD).


The Russian debt originates from claims paid out by ECGD on business it had insured or guaranteed prior to 1990.


Welcoming Russia’s decision to prepay a significant proportion of its debt to the agency, UK minister for trade Ian Pearson says: “Much of the sovereign debt owed to ECGD dates back to the global debt crisis of the 1980s which had a severe impact on private and public financial institutions across the world.


“Russia’s early payment of this debt is a welcome contribution to ECGD’s work in continuing to recover substantial amounts of historic debt.”


The payment was received following an agreement signed on May 13 between the Russians and members of the Paris Club, an informal group of sovereign creditors that includes the British government.


Under the agreement, Russia will prepay £8bn of its total £22bn debt owed to members of the Paris Club.


ECGD received a record £1.2bn in principal and interest payments in the last financial year. The figure includes £735mn received from Poland in settlement of all its debt to ECGD.