Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 154

Officials from the International Monetary Fund are in Moscow this week for talks with the Russian government on the IMF’s three-year extended financing program to fund Russia’s economic reforms. The talks got off to a good start with the announcement that the IMF has agreed to pay the eighth tranche of the stand-by credit worth 359.4 million SDR (special drawing rights), or about $530 million under the current exchange rate. (11) The IMF’s $6.25 billion stand-by loan to Russia was suspended immediately following the military intervention in Chechnya. In March, when the IMF agreed to resume payments, it took the unusual step of declaring that it would disburse the money in monthly installments, subject to good economic behavior by Russia. This week’s decision to extend the latest installment reflects the IMF’s approval of the appointment of Sergei Dubinin as head of the Russian Central Bank and of the Duma’s passage of a (relatively) austere federal budget for 1996. Four more tranches remain of the stand-by credit, whose term expires in February 1996.

Thomas Wolf, head of the IMF mission in Moscow, told Interfax that, while it was possible that agreement on the three-year extended financing program would be signed before the end of this year, this was more likely to happen in January. As for the figure of $9 billion which the media have reported the IMF plans to allocate for the program, Wolf said this was "an approximate figure which is being considered but is subject to confirmation."

Estonia’s Dismissed Army Commander Hangs In with Political Support.