April 17, 2013 / 9:48 PM / 5 years ago

Russia says G20 plans to agree to new debt cutting targets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said on Wednesday financial leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies were planning to agree on new debt cutting proposals sometime this year.

Russia's Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak arrives at the G20 meeting during the spring International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank meetings in Washington April 20, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

The agreement is meant to follow the plan agreed to in Toronto in 2010, which set specific debt to gross domestic product (GDP) targets for the Group of 20, Storchak said at the think tank Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C. Russia chairs the G-20 this year.

“We agreed this year somewhere maybe in July, during the coming (G-20) finance ministers’ meeting, or at least during the summit, we will agree on new figures and new commitments by developed nations,” Storchak said. The G-20 summit is scheduled for September in St. Petersburg.

“If we agree on measures higher than those taken in Toronto, we would consider our presidency a big success,” he said.

A document prepared ahead of the G-20 meeting this week showed that the group is considering a proposal to cut their public debt over the longer term to well below 90 percent of GDP.

Storchak said the specific debt-to-GDP targets may differ among groups of countries based on economic conditions.

“The approach is going to be flexible and, maybe the most important, what is going to happen is a clear division between short-term goals and medium and long-term goals (for debt reduction),” he said.

“For us as a (G-20) club, it’s very important that we have this common understanding that debt levels should be sustainable ... And in different nations sustainability can mean different figures.”

Reporting by Anna Yukhananov

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