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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IMF May Offer Words, Not Money

The International Monetary Fund's mission to assess Russia's ability to improve a dismal record on tax collection could offer words of support, but economists said the IMF purse could well stay shut.

The IMF last month delayed handing over one monthly payment of a $10 billion, three-year loan to Russia because of poor tax collection. A monitoring team arrived Thursday for a 10-day visit.

"If the IMF says nice things about the country, but waits another couple of weeks to see if the current increase in tax revenues continues, [the outcome] is not going to be particularly negative," said Roland Nash, chief economist at Renaissance Capital.

Though they sorely want the IMF seal of approval, some Russian officials said a decision not to release the delayed funds would not be an economic tragedy.

"We do not have to be obsessed with receiving the $340 million," Central Bank chief Sergei Dubinin told the newspaper Segodnya.