milk money

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    Russia, U.S. Agree to Adjust Diplomat's $2.50 Rent

    Wed Oct 13,10:55 AM ET
    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia and the United States have agreed to a new lease for the U.S. ambassador's lavish Moscow residence after Russia complained he paid less than $3 a year for it, officials announced on Tuesday.

    The annual rent for Spaso House in central Moscow was set in roubles in 1985, but the currency's value plummeted by 99.9 percent after the Soviet collapse, slashing the bill to around $2.50 at today's exchange rate, according to media reports.

    Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement the two sides had drawn up a new 49-year lease. A U.S. Embassy spokesman confirmed the new contract but declined to disclose the price.

    Russian media had previously reported that Moscow wanted at least $9 million in back rent for Spaso House, which was built in 1914 for a rich merchant and later seized by communists.

    It became home to the U.S. envoy in 1933. Moscow's rents, which were low in Soviet times, have soared to levels seen in London and Tokyo in recent years.
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