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Russia: IMF Hopes For Loan Approval In Mid-May

Washington, 25 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus says he believes final agreement with Russia on the 1997 targets of the three-year 10.1 billion loan will be reached in time for the fund's board to approve it in mid-May and resume disbursements.

Camdessus told a news conference in Washington yesterday that he has proposed loosening a bit the strict conditions on monthly disbursements followed in the first year of the loan, but that nothing has been worked out yet. Monthly disbursements of around $340 million were frequently delayed at the end of 1996 because faltering tax revenues did not meet reform program targets.

No drawings have been made this year pending agreement on the targets.

The Managing Director said Russia's continuing tax collection and revenue collection crisis is serious and if prolonged could lead to a "major risk of anarchy and dictatorship." However, he said he is impressed by the quality and determination of government's new financial leaders to take Russia into a prosperous new era.