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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IMF Chief Arrives for Crucial Loan Talks

Michel Camdessus, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, arrived in Moscow on Tuesday for a three-day visit aimed at finalizing an economic program for Russia under a $10 billion loan agreement.

Camdessus was met at the airport by First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais and Central Bank chairman Sergei Dubinin.

A Finance Ministry spokesman said Camdessus was scheduled to hold his first talks with Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov late Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, Camdessus is to hold talks with Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, as well as other top government and Central Bank officials, and he is due to meet with President Boris Yeltsin on Thursday.

IMF officials have refused to comment on the likely outcome of the visit, noting only that a mission of fund experts reviewing Russia's performance under the loan has extended its visit until this weekend.

Russian officials say they expect a positive outcome from the talks, pointing out that Russia met all the targets under the agreement in the fourth quarter. The economic program for 1998, according to officials, is nearly complete.

So far, there has been no official word on whether the latest IMF talks will lead the fund to release a new $700 million tranche of the loan.

The fund wants Russian tax reform to go into effect as soon as possible to increase budgetary receipts.

In 1997, Russia received $2.1 billion from the IMF rather than the $2.8 billion planned, Interfax reported.

The IMF has repeatedly delayed disbursement of loan tranches to Russia, citing the government's poor tax collection record. Russia was granted the latest loan tranche -- $667.5 million -- on Jan. 8.