08/17/1998 08:51:17 Russian PM denies rouble devaluation
Обновлено: 17 авг. 2018 г.
MOSCOW, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko on Monday said a raft of new currency policy measures, including a wider band for the rouble, was not a devaluation. Asked if the measures were a devaluation, Kiriyenko told a news conference: "No, it is impossible to say. It is a new approach to currency policy." He said a declared 90-day moratorium on foreign debt was not a default. "No action connected with a default is taking place because no one is backing down from any obligations," he said. Interational Monetary Fund rules allowed a 90-day moratorium on debt without it being considered a violation of obligations, he said. Anatoly Chubais, the Kremlin's special representative for relations with international organisations, said in a separate statement that Russia was not refusing to pay its debts. "We are not refusing our debts nor our priorities," Chubais said. "The steps taken today do not affect the external debts of Russia but we are forced to delay the term of fulfilling the obligations of our internal debt," he said, adding that the exact timing would be announced later. Kiriyenko said the new measures were the government's way of taking "rather quick and decisive action" to meet a crisis on Russia's financial markets. He repeated an earlier government and central bank statement that the rouble would be allowed to float within a band of 6.0/9.5 to the dollar, wider than the previous 5.27/7.13. "The system of a floating rate allows for a more flexible reaction to what is happening on financial markets," Kiriyenko said. The measures taken by the central bank and government were non-inflationary and they would allow the authorities to defend the banking system, which suffered last week from a severe liqiudity crisis, he said.. He said the 90-day debt moratorium could be used for talks between Russian banks and companies with creditors. ((Patrick Lannin, Moscow Newsroom, +7095 941-8520 firstname.lastname@example.org))