IMF Team Leaves Russia without Agreement
A top IMF team has left Moscow without agreeing to a new program of cooperation that would open the way for Russia to restructure its massive Paris Club debts, the IMF said on Tuesday.
"Progress was made in a number of areas and outstanding issues were clarified for further consideration," the International Monetary Fund said in a statement.
"Work will now continue on both sides in the weeks ahead in preparation for the next round of discussions when this work is sufficiently advanced."
The IMF and Russia had agreed a program in July 1999 allowing for loans of 4.5 billion dollars (5.23 billion euros) but the IMF suspended it two months later because Russia was not moving fast enough on structural reform.
Russia inherited a backlog of debt when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and the country's debt to its public creditors, who make up the Paris Club, has risen to 48 billion dollars.
It is also due to make interest payments of 1.7 billion dollars on IMF loans next year.
Banking on a deal to restructure the debt, the Russian government has made no allowance in next year's budget for the 3.3 billion dollars it must theoretically repay to the Paris Club in the course of 2001 -- MOSCOW (AFP)
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