Deputy Economics Minister Nikolai Shamrayev, said today (October 6) that Russia’s gross domestic product will shrink by 5.5-6 percent this year. Speaking at a conference of gas company executives and analysts, he also reported that without further loans from the International Monetary Fund, inflation will total 200-230 percent in 1998. Aid from abroad, he said, could keep the inflation rate down to 100 percent. Imports, meanwhile, will fall by 20-23 percent by the end of the year, he predicted, while exports will fall 13 percent (AP, October 6).
Shamrayev said that foreign aid is “vital” to Russia’s economic recovery. Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov and First Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Maslyukov have all made similar comments in recent days.
MOSCOW WARNS MILOSEVIC.