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Russia: IMF Officials Arrive In Moscow To Check Tax Collection Progress

Moscow, 14 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - Officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrived in Moscow today to assess the Russian government's efforts to improve tax collection and make recommendation on whether to release a $340 million loan installment frozen last month.

Tom Wolf, the IMF's head of mission in Moscow, said talks with Russian government officials will start tomorrow and are expected to continue over 10 days.

Wolf told the French AFP news agency that "the focus of the visit will be very much on tax revenue." He said the IMF officials will be looking for a "substantial improvement in revenues, and evidence as to whether the improvement appears to be sustainable."

The team left Moscow late last month without completing its regular review. That review is required for the monthly disbursement of drawings from Russia's $10 billion, three-year loan from the fund.

Russian Finance Minister Alexander Livshits says he is hopeful but uncertain about how quickly that delayed tranche will be disbursed. The Russian government said yesterday that tax revenues had begun to increase in October and were rising this month.