Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 12

Following the dismissal of Russia’s leading economic reformer, the United States urged President Yeltsin not to abandon the path of reform. (7) Calling Anatoly Chubais "perhaps the most important official dealing with economic reform in Russia," State Department spokesman Nick Burns said the United States would be watching the Russian government closely to see if it continued with market-oriented reforms. Burns called on the Russian government to work with the IMF, the World Bank, and American, German, and other governments "who wish it well" to keep reforms on track.

Russia’s fledgling stock and currency markets, which scarcely missed a beat when Yeltsin was hospitalized last October, reacted nervously yesterday to the news of Chubais’s resignation. Share prices in some of Russia’s largest companies fell while some foreign investors moved to sell Russian bonds. (8) However, other investors saw the news as a welcome sign that Yeltsin — viewed as the only candidate with any hope of defeating a communist challenge in June’s presidential elections — has resolved to launch a serious bid for re-election. (9) Meanwhile, advisor to the Russian government professor Richard Layard of London University noted that while Chubais’s departure would probably slow structural reform, fundamental change in economic policy was unlikely before June’s all-important presidential elections. (10) Despite the absence of Chubais, IMF negotiations on a $9 billion loan to support economic reform continue in Moscow and an agreement is generally expected to be signed.

Dagestan Hostilities Jeopardize European Relations.