Russia's Defaults Escalate: Russia's defaults on U.S. agricultural loans have jumped to $95.7 million, the Agriculture Department said. This week's announcement came as banks filed 20 default notices totaling $27.4 million. Russia has been suspended from the Agriculture Department's food credit program since late November for failing to make scheduled payments on loans that enabled it to buy millions of tons of U.S. grains and other food. Russia still owes more than $4 billion for three-year loans it has received since January, 1991. The loans are offered by private banks but backed by the U.S. government.