Russia is promising to follow through on a pledge to forgive $2.2 billion in debt owed by African nations.

Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Andrey Denisov, told a U.N. ministerial meeting focusing on the fight against poverty Tuesday that Moscow wants to underline its general support to the Group of Eight industrial nations.

The group's finance ministers decided to cancel more than $40 billion in debt owed by 18 mostly African nations at a meeting in London earlier this month.

Under the agreement, the 18 countries would receive immediate relief on debt they owe to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other lenders. Nine other African nations are likely to qualify for debt relief soon.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.