Tatyana Koryagina told a press conference May 28 that a Communist government would continue to work with the International Monetary Fund as long as the IMF agreed to review some of the terms of the $10.1 billion loan agreement reached with the Yeltsin government in February 1996. Koryagina is a former Gosplan economist who drafted the final version of Gennady Zyuganov’s economic program published this week. She predicted that the IMF would continue to grant credits to Russia in the event of a Communist victory, but said a Communist government would negotiate a new deal and would not agree to "the IMF’s demand for complete control over Russia’s economic policy." (Itar-Tass, May 28)
Koryagina defended her program from criticism by pro-market economists, who contend that it predicts overly optimistic rates of economic growth. She argued that the program errs on the side of caution and that growth rates will probably be even higher. But Aleksei Ulyukayev, who is Yegor Gaidar’s deputy at the Institute of the Economy in Transition, said the program calls for state subsidies that would increase the budget deficit beyond the 5 percent of GDP agreed with the IMF and could fuel inflation to a monthly rate of 20 percent by the end of this year (as opposed to the target of 1.9 percent agreed with the IMF). Communist deputy Aleksei Podberyezkin brushed such predictions aside, saying the monthly inflation rate would not exceed 4-5 percent under the Zyuganov program and that, in any case, inflation was not the main problem. "The best way to fight inflation is to increase production," he argued. (Reuters, May 28)
Zyuganov Courts Support of Russian Financiers.