Minister of Finance and Economic Development Ahmed Sufian of Ethiopia

In an interview he gave to Abiotawi Democracy, Ato Sufian said the debt write-off negotiations have been underway in accordance with the willingness expressed by the Russian government earlier for cancelling 80 per cent of the debt.
Ato Sufian said the fifth round of negotiations will be held in Addis Ababa shortly during which the negotiations will assume a definite shape.
Ato Sufian expressed the hope that an agreement will be reached for a complete write - off of the debt.
Asked if Russia may refuse to write off the debt considering its own economic problems, Ato Sufian said Russia today subscribes to the view that it should not put undue pressure on developing countries like Ethiopia.
Ato Sufian said in conclusion that given past experiences in the relationship between the two countries, the Russian people will not press for the payment of the debt.
Ato Sufian said the collected amount of 4 billion and 99 million Birr shows and increase of 15 per cent over the amount collected during the same period of last year.
Asked if the war situation has brought any impact on the budget, Ato Sufian said there is no room for worry in this regard since state revenue exceeded expenditures.
Asked whether there has been any change in the relationship between the government and donor or aid organizations, Ato Sufian said relations with donors has remained intact.
Sufian is simply repeating history.
Sufian expressed his government's hope that resolution of the claims will enhance Ethiopia's reputation as an investor-friendly country.
Sufian said Ethiopia was not pushing donors for a total resumption of direct budget support.
Sufian said the government is closely monitoring and taking various measures to curb the pressure which the team has agreed up on.
Sufian said the money would be raised through taxes, loans and grants, debt cancellation and bilateral assistance.
Sufian said food inflation in the drought-prone country stood at 26 percent in May while overall inflation was 19 percent.
Speaking on the occasion, Sufian said the debt cancellation is to contribute its share in the country's economic development.
Sufian said over 80 percent of the 40 billion birr (4.