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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IMF Starts New Loan Talks in Moscow

An International Monetary Fund delegation started talks Thursday on the possibility of new loans for Russia after warning that the government must make extensive budget changes if it wants help.

Russian leaders are seeking about $5 billion from the IMF, mostly to help pay off old loans to the fund totaling about $16.8 billion.

The talks with the IMF delegation that started Thursday are expected to last several weeks. No details were released from Thursday's meetings, but First Deputy Prime Minister Yury Maslyukov's office said they were to address the government's tax policies and the 1999 budget.

The IMF says new loans will depend on Russia's ability to draft a feasible budget and believes the current budget proposal that Russia's parliament approved in draft form Tuesday isn't good enough.

According to IMF officials, the budget calls for tax cuts at the wrong time and distributes too much money to Russia's regions.