Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 237

The IMF declined to comment yesterday on an article that appeared in Nezavisimaya gazeta claiming that the Russian government had taken the decision to bankrupt two tax laggards — the Omsk and Angarsk oil refineries — after receiving two letters urging such a move from the IMF and the World Bank. (Nezavisimaya gazeta, December 18) President Yeltsin’s aide, Aleksandr Livshits, added further fuel to the flames yesterday when he told a press conference that the letters sent to the Russian government by the IMF and the World Bank were suspiciously similar. Livshits implied that they had been written at the instigation of First Deputy Premier Anatoly Chubais, and that Chubais had provided the two international financial organizations with confidential information to support their arguments. Livshits also said that last week’s decision by the Provisional Emergency Commission for Enforcing Tax Discipline violated the commission’s mandate when it decreed the two oil refineries bankrupt and ordered the seizure of their property to pay their tax arrears. Livshits said that President Yeltsin’s decree setting up the commission stipulated that the prime minister should sign its decisions. However, the decision to bankrupt the two refineries was taken by Chubais in Chernomyrdin’s absence, prompting the prime minister to reverse the decision on his return to Moscow this week. (NTV, December 18; see also yesterday’s Monitor)

Yeltsin Promises to Prioritize the Budget.