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08/13/1998 20:51:05 Soros seen seeking distance from Russia turmoil

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

NEW YORK, Aug 13 (Reuters) - As Russia's financial markets

buckled amid a call that the rouble should be devalued, the man

financial markets blamed for the latest tremors attempted late

Thursday to distance himself from Russia's troubles.

"The turmoil in Russian financial markets is not due to

anything I said or did," international financier George Soros

said in a written statement released in New York hours after he

published a letter to the editor in a British newspaper that

helped wipe out a modest market recovery.

He also insisted that his fund has, "no short position in

the rouble and (has) no intention of shorting the currency",

and stressed, "our portfolio would be hurt by any

devaluation."

To Wall Street analysts, Soros's statement underscored

financial markets' extraordinary nervousness and the fact that

George Soros may not wish to be remembered as the man who was

instrumental in bringing down Russia.

"His comment indicates how tenuous the situation in

international financial markets is and that nobody wants to be

seen to be in the position of causing further turbulence," said

Chris Widness, international economist at Chase Securities.

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