Russia, Bosnia sign deal settling Soviet-era debt

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SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Bosnia and Russia have signed an agreement to settle Moscow's $125 million Soviet-era debt to the Balkan country.

Bosnia's finance ministry said the deal signed Tuesday in Moscow will make Bosnia the only ex-Yugoslav republic to collect the debt in cash.

The full amount is expected to be transferred by the end of May, but the timing depends on how speedily the Bosnian parliament ratifies the deal.

In 2003, Russia took over the responsibility for the Soviet Union's debt to the former Yugoslavia estimated at $1.3 billion. The debt arose mainly from business deals under which communist Yugoslavia provided the Soviet Union with consumer goods.

Moscow has cleared the portions of debt claimed by other Yugoslav successor states, repaying them in goods and services.

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