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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IMF $l billion fails to reconcile Central Bank with government

The recent decision by the International Monetary Fund to advance Russia $1 billion ahead of agreement on an economic program has so far failed to stem the infighting between the Russian Central Bank and the Russian government over the monetary and fiscal policy targets proposed by the IMF.

Vladimir Rasskazov, deputy chairman of the Central Bank, said in an interview that his institution was still at odds with the government over its attempt to negotiate a budget deficit target with the IMF.

Rasskazov accused the government of manipulating its budget figures for the IMF and of demanding an interest-free Central Bank loan of 200 billion rubles to camouflage the projected budget deficit this year.

According to Rasskazov, the IMF credit will have little practical effect on current economic conditions.

"For Russia, it is peanuts", he said, adding, "It is impossible to make the IMF conditions effective in a short period of time".

Rasskazov said that for Russia's economic survival, much more would depend on the volume of grain and other food to be harvested in the next four months.

"The harvest situation is crucial to the chances of stabilization by the time of winter", he said.

Current Agriculture Ministry statistics indicate that the spring sowing of grain ought to result in output that will be marginally ahead of the low production scenario projected by the World Bank in March. According to the World Bank, this should allow a reduction of grain imports from the West from 22 million tons to 20 million-tons.

On the basis of current sowing information, the Russian potato and vegetable crops are also projected to-rise.

However, these forecasts assume that yields will remain stable and harvest losses will not increase over earlier levels.