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Volume 927: debated on Tuesday 1 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what would be the estimated cost to the British taxpayer of the Government's £1,000 million loan to the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the event that the entire loan were to be taken up at prevailing interest rates.

The Anglo-Russian Credit Agreement was concluded in February 1975. It is due to last five years from that date. It is not considered commercially desirable publicly to divulge the terms and conditions of the credit, but certain of these terms are negotiable during its period of operation. The cost referred to relates to a number of variables, including the size of contracts placed, the agreed rates of return to the clearing banks over the five-year period and the refinancing arrangements, which are also subject to change over this period. It is not, therefore, possible accurately to assess this cost.