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Russia: Government 'Doing Well' With Economy, Says Camdessus

Washington, 4 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Despite "enormous difficulty," the Russian government is "doing well" and fully complying with its very challenging economic stabilization and reform program, Michel Camdessus, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said yesterday.

Camdessus told a news conference following the annual meetings of the fund and the World Bank in Washington yesterday that even though Moscow has had real problems with tax collections, the government is taking "courageous" steps to fix its administration and reform the system.

The IMF Managing Director said the reform program "has already delivered zero inflation" in August. Camdessus said that by next year, Russia will meet the European Union's Maastricht criteria, which set a maximum three-percent limit as an acceptable budget deficit.

Camdessus said he will give official and private creditors his "most positive assessment of the progress of Russia" and said he hopes Moscow will "continue finding the support it deserves both among its bilateral partners and in the financial markets."

Russia is in the first year of a three-year extended IMF program under which it must meet monthly criteria regular disbursements ranging from around $300 to $350 million.