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Russia: Official Holds High Hopes For Japanese Loan

Tokyo, 31 August 1999 (RFE/RL) - Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko said today he was hopeful a decision on the resumption of a previously agreed $1.5 billion Japanese credit to Russia could be taken as early as tomorrow. Khristenko arrived today in Tokyo to take part in a session of the Russian-Japanese intergovernmental economic commission which meets tomorrow in the Japanese capital. He is accompanied by a large delegation, including the governors of three Russian Far Eastern regions. Japan promised Russia the $1.5 billion loan package early last year. But the loan was frozen following Russia's financial crisis last August and Moscow has so far received only $400 million. ITAR-TASS says at the commission's session Japan is expected to approve the disbursement of another $400 million for reforms in the Russian coal industry.