11 Sep 2009 18:13


MOSCOW. Sept 11 (Interfax) - The Russian government plans to raise the maximum limit of the country's external state debt from $41.4 billion (29.8 billion euro) to $42.8 billion (31.2 billion euro) as of January 1, 2010, according to a draft of adjustments to the 2009 budget and the planned period for 2010-2011, posted on the Finance Ministry's website.

As of August 1, Russia's state debt came to $39.05 billion (27.75 billion euro). Prior to the new upper threshold, $3.75 billion in debt remained.

The bill will was reviewed at meeting of the government presidium on September 10.

The bill also foresees putting the maximum limit for external state debt secured with state guarantee in forex (the guarantees are included in the debt amount) by $1.2 billion (3.2 billion euro) from $4.4 billion to $5.6 billion (4.1 billion euro).

Therefore, the draft for adjustments to the 2009 budget includes an option to raise up to $2.55 billion on the external market excluding debt payments, which will be made by the end of 2009 ($3.75 billion minus $1.2 billion).

The external borrowing program set down in an annex to the budget still calls only for the repayment of debt, however the amount for repayment has been lowered to $3.6 billion from $4 billion.

Russia plans to borrow abroad in 2010, and only plans a road show this year which will not be followed by a bond issue. Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin, who is also the country's finance minister, said at the end of July that the government might borrow earlier if the markets are favorable, but he said after a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on September 8 that Russia did not plan to borrow abroad in 2009.

The Finance Ministry declined to comment on the changes to the budget.