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The Imf Gives Russia An Assist


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THE IMF GIVES RUSSIA AN ASSIST

Amid speculation that Boris Yeltsin is seriously ill, the International Monetary Fund gave his government a much-needed boost, agreeing Mar. 22 to lend Russia $1.5 billion. After several meetings in Moscow and a private hunting trip, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin agreed to a package that would employ spending curbs and tax increases to reduce the deficit to 5% of gross domestic product. Inflation, at 950% in 1993, is targeted to fall to a monthly rate of 7% by December. Can Russia pull it off? The IMF action, if ratified in April, would clear the way for billions more in loans and investments to help it carry out the reforms.EDITED BY KEITH H. HAMMONDS


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