said the Bank is ready to lend up to $1 billion to Russia, if the IMF approves a new Russian program. But that is not assured. The most recent IMF program for Russia, approved in July 1999, provided a $4.5 billion credit to be disbursed over eighteen months. The Fund suspended that program in October 1999, after one transfer of $640 million. Slow action on promised reforms was the ostensible reason for the suspension, but Western reactions to revelations of Russian money laundering through the Bank of New York and Russia’s renewed attack on Chechnya probably had more influence on the Fund’s decision. Fund officials recently left Moscow after intensive meetings with Finance Ministry and Central Bank officials, but nothing is publicly known of their visit beyond the fact of their departure. Russia already owes the IMF over $20 billion.