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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IMF to Review Russia's Economic Performance




An International Monetary Fund mission will review Russia's economic performance in meetings in Moscow on Tuesday, and a decision on the release of new loans to Russia could be made in mid-July, a Russian finance official said Monday.


The IMF team will stay until Wednesday and will consider whether Russia has done enough to secure $4.5 billion in loans over 18 months that would prevent it from missing more payments on its $140 billion foreign debt.


Progress on meeting the terms for the loan has been patchy and the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, has rejected some of the revenue-raising laws asked for by the IMF. But it has approved others, leaving officials optimistic.


"From our point of view, despite the rejection of some bills, we have a sufficient safety margin for the program to be effective even without these bills,'' First Deputy Finance Minister Oleg Vyugin said Monday.


Negotiations with the IMF will be held Tuesday at the Finance Ministry, Vyugin said.


Russian officials, trying to haul the country out of the economic crisis that engulfed it last August, have said alternative measures can be taken to plug the gaps left by the laws rejected by the Duma.


Vyugin said the IMF board of directors, whose approval is needed for the loans to be released, would meet around July 18. Russia hopes that a first part of the loan, worth around $630 million, will be paid that month.


The government has ended some restrictions on trade in the battered ruble, which were said to infringe IMF rules on currency convertibility. The first of the new, less restricted sessions is due Tuesday.