The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Michel Camdessus, told reporters that release of the next $640 million loan disbursement is “a matter of days or weeks, not a matter of principle.” With an eye on Chechnya, he later amended his statement: “If I see that the budget is over-shooting because of an uncontrolled increase in military spending, we shall interrupt our support.” Prime Minister Vladimir Putin admits that “the military operation in the North Caucasus is putting additional pressures on the budget.”