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Russia: Yeltsin, Primakov Prepare For IMF Meeting

Moscow, 1 December 1998 (RFE/RL) - The Kremlin says Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov discussed Russia's relations with the International Monetary Fund by telephone today before a visit by the IMF's managing director, Michel Camdessus. Camdessus is due in Moscow this afternoon for talks with Primakov this evening and tomorrow. Russia is expected to seek the release of the next slice of a large international loan at the talks. The IMF is not expected to unfreeze the tranche yet.

Itar-tass says Primakov told Yeltsin, who is still recovering from pneumonia in a Moscow hospital, about work on the draft of next year's federal budget. The Kremlin says Yeltsin and Primakov planned to meet soon but did not give an exact time.

Also today, the Kremlin denied reports that the government is planning to bring back the death penalty to fight the growing wave of violent crime in the country.

Oleg Sysuyev, first deputy head of Yeltsin's staff, said at a press conference today that the lifting of the moratorium on the death penalty for criminals will "not bring about the desired results."

Itar-Tass quotes Sysuyev as saying that Yeltsin intends to chair a Security Council meeting in the near future to decide on measures to combat the growing lawlessness in the country.

Earlier today, the Russian presidential Human Rights Commission said that Russia would probably lift its moratorium on the death penalty for criminals.

Russia pledged to rescind the death penalty and declare a moratorium on executions at the time it joined the Council of Europe almost three years ago.