• ACI Russia

08/17/1998 08:45:32 Yeltsin to meet Kiriyenko at 0900 GMT-Kremlin

MOSCOW, Aug 17 (Reuters) - President Boris Yeltsin will meet Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko in his Kremlin office at around 1 p.m. (0900 GMT) on Monday after the cabinet announced dramatic changes in its rouble policy, a presidential spokesman said. The spokesman said the meeting was expected to last about one hour and would be closed to the press. He said a statement may be expected after the meeting but gave no further details. The government and central bank on Monday morning announced drastic changes in its monetary policy to allow the battered rouble to float freely, and declared a 90-day moratorium on foreign debt repayments. Analysts said the decision to let the rouble drop amounted to a devaluation, but Kiriyenko denied this at a news conference. Asked about possible changes in the government, he said: "I don't exclude that some changes are possible. Some individual members of the government's financial sphere may change functions...It's a question for the president to decide." Yeltsin has been on holiday for the past month and during a brief public appearance on Friday he appeared confused at times. He vowed that the rouble would not be devalued.

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