Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 116

Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin, who met yesterday with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Michel Camdessus in St. Petersburg, said today that Russia has the chance to receive a “rather large” credit from the IMF in July if the State Duma passes a package of revenue-enhancing legislation demanded by the Fund as a condition for further loans. Stepashin called his talks with Camdessus yesterday “very constructive,” adding: “We reached a concrete agreement–we will fulfill our obligations and the IMF will fulfill its.” On the other hand, Stepashin, in a speech today to the Third International Economic Forum, also held in St. Petersburg, warned that Russia’s current economic crisis could turn the country into an international “outcast.” Stepashin said that Russia could get by without foreign loans, but it would mean a delay in economic stabilization. Speaking at the same forum, Camdessus stated that the IMF “on the whole” will finance Russia and continue to give technical support to the implementation of reforms (Russian agencies, June 16). Duma leaders and some leading governors have said they oppose the revenue-enhancing legislation, which would lead to large price hikes on gasoline and alcohol. Such moves would be unpopular, and it is an election year in Russia.