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Volume 987: debated on Friday 27 June 1980

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asked the Prime Minister whether, in the light of Russian aggression in Afghanistan, there was any discussion at the Venice summit of the case for stopping further provision of export credits to the Russians at consensus rates of interest; and whether it is her policy for taxpayers in the West to continue to strengthen the economic base of the Russian war effort.

The Venice summit noted that a consensus exists on interest rates for export credits for many countries including the Soviet Union. The rate of interest is about to rise by three quarters of 1 per cent. to a level which is only just below average domestic interest rates in certain of the countries in the consensus. A unilateral increase in the rate of British credit would merely divert Soviet purchases from this country to others.