THE IMF IS PREPARED TO HELP RUSSIA

0
14

THE IMF IS PREPARED TO HELP RUSSIA

Izvestia, April 30, 1999, p. 1

Senior Vice Premier Yury Maslyukov announced on April 29: “Michel Camdessus, the Managing Director of the IMF, has announced his intention to recommend that the board of directors of the IMF consider the question of granting $4.5 billion to Russia over 18 months. $2.98 billion of this sum will be granted within a year.”

Camdessus, however, added that he would send his recommendation to the board of directors as soon as he has the necessary proofs of the appropriate actions of the Russian authorities. This implies that if Camdessus does not get these proofs by June 1, the date of the next meeting of the IMF board of directors, or if he does not consider them convincing enough, he may not send his recommendation.

The IMF is trying to make Russia bankrupt the large banks which collapsed after the GKO affairs and teach Russia how to ensure the transparent management of gold and currency resources and collect the maximum amount of taxes without increasing rates.

The population of Russia will feel how well the IMF requirements are implemented. As soon as gasoline and alcohol get more expensive, Russian citizens will have every right to scold the IMF.

However, Moscow does not have any alternative. Without the IMF credit, Russia will not be able to have its debts to the London and Paris clubs restructured. And if the problem of foreign debt is not solved, international isolation, a mobilization economy, and a new cold war will be in store for Russia.

The World Bank has also announced its readiness to grant credits to Russia to the tune of $1.2 billion. Japan has also promised to give Russia a $1 billion credit.

For the sake of retaining at least a semblance of a market economy and democracy, the IMF is ready to help Russia solve the debt problem. But if the IMF’s conditions are not observed, it may discontinue crediting Russia at any time.

THE PRESIDENT TALKS WITH VOICE OF RUSSIA

Izvestia, April 30, 1999, p. 2

President Yeltsin has unexpectedly joined in the games among the governors’ blocs. However, he seems to be interested not in the blocs themselves but in the disagreements between their leaders. He began by meeting with Samara Governor Konstantin Titov, with whom he discussed the problems and prospects of the Voice of Russia bloc. Yeltsin commended the bloc and promised to do his best to merge it with the All Russia bloc led by Tatarstan President Mentimer Shaimiev. Moreover, Yeltsin said that it is necessary to let Primakov undergo treatment for about ten days. Titov retorted that this would double the burden on the president. The next day, Titov was again invited to the Kremlin and given the badge of Honored Economist of Russia.

Perhaps the president wanted to show Duma deputies by doing this that there are a lot of competent economists in Russia besides Maslyukov and Kulik who are able to hold negotiations with the IMF. Deputies have to choose: either tease the president with impeachment or protect their comrades in the government.

Whatever aim Yeltsin pursues, he has shown that he is willing to pay a high price. By his slight flirtation with Voice of Russia he baffled the aspirations of the state officials who are creating a scheme of governors’ blocs in which Voice of Russia was to play a secondary role. If the president’s benevolence lasts, Voice of Russia will gain extra points for its electoral campaign, and this present cannot be withdrawn, unlike promises of sovereignty and medals.

THE FEDERATION COUNCIL IS WILLING TO CONSENT TO THE IMF REQUIREMENTS

Izvestia, April 30, 1999, p. 1

Federation Council Speaker Yegor Stroev considers it “madness” to include the possibility of a preventive nuclear missile strike in Russia’s new military doctrine. In this connection, Stroev appealed to his colleagues not to let extremists drag Russia into a terrible war. On April 29, Stroev also announced that senators would vote for the 60 amendments to federal laws which the IMF is proposing, as long as the fund “does not require political concessions from Russia.” Stroev added: “We will consent to the IMF requirements concerning increasing budget revenues and reducing budget expenditures.”

CHERNOMYRDIN MESMERIZES THE GERMANS

Moskovsky Komsomolets, April 30, 1999, p. 2

According to our sources, the recent meeting between Chernomyrdin and Berezovsky was devoted to the Yugoslavian war. Yesterday, Chernomyrdin arrived in Bonn to persuade NATO to discontinue the bombings temporarily. He announced before his flight to Yugoslavia that the main condition for opening negotiations is discontinuing the bombings. Chernomyrdin and Berezovsky think that NATO may concede first, although NATO authorities assert that they will stop the aggression only when Milosevic withdraws his “thugs” from Kosovo. The Russian emissary holds that Russia should ally with other CIS and Moslem countries which support a diplomatic, not military, resolution of the conflict. As Chernomyrdin was flying into Bonn, he learned that other European capitals, including Paris and London, had also invited him.

STROEV COMMENTS ON THE RESULTS OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, April 30, 1999, p. 1

After yesterday’s meeting of the Security Council, a briefing by Federation Council Speaker Yegor Stroev was held. He said that the meeting was dedicated to the situation in Yugoslavia and evaluating Russia’s nuclear resources. As for the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia, Stroev said that NATO and the US “are beginning to realize that it is impossible to resolve the conflict without Russia.”

Touching on the state of Russia’s nuclear resources, Stroev said that the Security Council had come to the conclusion that the nuclear forces must always be in full combat readiness, and that no one must doubt Russia’s capacity to defend itself and its allies.

BORIS YELTSIN TAKES UP THE CASE OF KRASNOYARSK

Trud, April 30, 1999, p. 1

President Yeltsin has commissioned Yevgeny Primakov and various security ministers to take appropriate measures to intensify control over the Prosecutor’s Office, the Main Interior Affairs Department, and other security structures of the Krasnoyarsk territory. The measures must be carried out within 15 days.

Krasnoyarsk Governor Alexander Lebed knew nothing about the president’s decision when he arrived in Krasnoyarsk from Moscow. He could only conjecture and suspect. The fact is that Deputy Interior Minister Vladimir Kolesnikov had been working in the Krasnoyarsk region and could well have known many interesting facts about the territory and its authorities. Lebed does not expect new commissions and inspections. He also does not know what the term “to intensify control” implies.

As for corruption and economic crime in the Krasnoyarsk territory, the commission, led by Vladimir Kolesnikov, is currently handling this problem. The commission is constantly receiving new people from Moscow, Saratov, and Tatarstan to disentangle the mess of the machinations. Kolesnikov has noted that he did not expect such a great number of criminal cases.

He said, “We are especially interested in serious crimes committed in the Krasnoyarsk territory during the period of the redistribution of property. Seven murders have already been disclosed, and a number of people who committed crimes in the Krasnoyarsk territory and outside it have been arrested. Overall, the commission has disclosed over 50 economic crimes, 15 of which belong to the category of serious and especially serious crimes. The damage caused by these crimes totals 4.8 billion new rubles.”

KOFI ANNAN VISITS MOSCOW

Russian Television (RTR), Vesti, April 29, 1999, 20:00

UN General Secretary Kofi Annan has come to Moscow for beginning of the conciliation process. President Yeltsin has expressed his satisfaction with his arrival and announced that they will cooperatively decide on measures to stop the indiscriminate violation of human rights in Yugoslavia and to put an end to one country deciding the destiny of the whole world.

CHERNOMYRDIN GOES TO BONN

Russian Television (RTR), Vesti, April 29, 1999, 20:00

On the morning after his meeting with UN General Secretary Kofi Annan, Viktor Chernomyrdin, the special representative of the Russian president in Yugoslavia, flew to Bonn for negotiations with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and German Foreign Minister Joschka Fisher.

After the negotiations, Chernomyrdin announced that all participants in the conciliation process consented to making concessions. These are connected with the content of the peacekeeping forces in Kosovo and a moratorium on NATO’s bombardments of Kosovo.

WASHINGTON CONSENTS TO GRANT RUSSIA $4.5 BILLION

Russian Television (RTR), Vesti, April 29, 1999, 20:00

On April 29, the authorities of the IMF consented to grant the $4.5 billion credit to Russia. The authorities of the IMF also promised to support the government’s economic program. Central Bank President Viktor Gerashchenko said that the credit would relieve Russia’s gold and currency reserves of the burden of paying foreign debts and thus prevent fluctuations of the ruble.

However, the IMF will grant the money only if it is satisfied with the implementation of the economic program. For this purpose, the government needs the support of the Duma and the Federation Council, and parliament has to adopt seven new laws within 18 months.

LEAVE A REPLY