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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kremlin Wants IMF Deal Before Summit

TOKYO -- Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko said Wednesday that Moscow wants to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund over an economic program before the July summit of Russia and the Group of Seven leading industrial nations.

Khristenko told Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono that Russia wants to strike a deal with the IMF in time for the summit so it can explain its commitment to structural reform at the gathering, to be held on the Japanese island of Okinawa July 21 to 23.

The IMF put on hold a $4.5 billion loan agreement with Russia last year, saying the government had failed to implement agreed structural reforms. An IMF team was in Moscow last month and agreed to hold further talks.

Khristenko is in Tokyo to attend Thursday's memorial service for the late Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, who died last month after suffering a stroke six weeks earlier.

The deputy prime minister also made a proposal to hold a meeting of the Japan-Russia Trade and Economic Committee before President Vladimir Putin's visit to Japan, scheduled for late August, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official told reporters.

The committee is a forum between the two governments that deals with a wide variety of economic issues. It last met in September 1999.

In a separate meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, Khristenko said Moscow will soon make a proposal regarding the date of Putin's visit.

Japan and Russia have agreed to sign a peace treaty by the end of the year, but a territorial row involving four islands off the Japanese island of Hokkaido remains to be settled.