Yevgeny Primakov met with members of the Consultative Council on Foreign Investment in Russia–a group formed in 1994 and including such Western corporate heavy-hitters as Coca-Cola, Mars, Siemens and British Petroleum. The Russian prime minister used the forum to deny that his government has any plans to prohibit the circulation of dollars on Russian territory. Last week, the newspaper Kommersant daily published an anticrisis program drafted by Yuri Maslyukov, Primakov’s first deputy. The program would restrict the use of hard currency by both individual citizens and corporate entities. Primakov told the council that there will be no restrictions on the flow of dollars into Russia, only on their outflow (Russian agencies, October 3).
For his part, Maslyukov also did his best to present an image of moderation. In an interview on “Itogi,” NTV television’s influential weekly news analysis program, the former Gosplan chief echoed his boss, denying any plans to interfere with the dollar’s circulation. “The more dollars we have in this country the easier will it be for our country to revive its economy,” he said. Like Primakov, Maslyukov said Russia intends to make good on its debts, but said Western creditors should show understanding. He said that 80 percent of the debt must be restructured and 20 percent paid in hard currency to both residents and nonresidents: The payment procedure, he said, could take ten to fifteen years. Like Mikhail Zadornov, Maslyukov said that Western financial aid is crucial for Russia’s anticrisis plan (NTV, October 4).
HAVE THE PRINTING PRESSES STARTED ROLLING?