— HARD-CURRENCY DEBT:
The government continues to insist it will pay all of the hard-currency sovereign debt contracted by the Russian Federation which falls due in 1999. That is about US$8.1 billion, of which some US$4 billion is owed to the International Monetary Fund. That will leave no more than about US$2 billion in government accounts for servicing other hard-currency debt, on which payments due in 1999 total about US$9.4 billion. Most of that is service on some US$70 billion in debts inherited from the Soviet Union and already restructured once in 1997. Negotiations on a second restructuring are underway.