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IMF Says CIS Growing Fast, But Care Needed


http://gdb.rferl.org/5D692E4B-E328-4FE7-BB40-ADD2D5C96A8E_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/5D692E4B-E328-4FE7-BB40-ADD2D5C96A8E_mw800_mh600.jpg CIS leaders at a summit in Minsk in 2006 (ITAR-TASS) April 11, 2007 -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the 12 former Soviet countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have some of the world's fastest-growing economies.

But it says wise public spending and careful reforms are needed to maintain the boom.

The findings are contained in the IMF's semiannual World Economic Outlook, released today in Washington.

The report says the 12 CIS members (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan) will likely see brisk economic expansion on high commodity prices and strengthened domestic demand.

But it cautions that inflation and overdependence on raw materials remain serious risks as gross-domestic-product (GDP) growth slows.

The report say that while GDP growth is expected to moderate in the CIS countries, its pace will be "second only to emerging Asia among the major regions."

As a whole, it says GDP growth in the CIS is set to slip from 7.7 percent last year, to 7 percent this year, to 6.4 percent in 2008.

(AFP, dpa, AP)
The Post-Soviet Petrostate

The oil-export terminal at Primorsk, Russia (TASS)

WEALTH AND POWER. At an RFE/RL briefing in Washington on January 24, Freedom House Director of Studies Christopher Walker and RFE/RL regional analyst Daniel Kimmage argued that energy-sector wealth is preventing many former Soviet countries -- Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan -- from developing strong democratic institutions.


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