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08/17/1998 14:08:20 IMF shows understanding on Russia measures-Chubais

MOSCOW, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Russia's top debt negotiator was quoted as saying on Monday that the International Monetary Fund had shown understanding for steps taken by the government and the central bank to stabilise Russia's financial system. "International monetary organisations, naturally, were not enthusiastic about our proposal to restructure the state debt... but they showed understanding of the situation," RIA-Novosti news agency quoted Anatoly Chubais as saying after a meeting with an IMF delegation. The IMF delegation was headed by John Odling-Smee, head of the IMF's Second European Department which deals with the former Soviet Union. Russia's government and central bank announced drastic changes in exchange rate policy on Monday, allowing the rouble to float freely, effectively devaluing the currency in response to intense pressure from financial markets. The IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus in a statement earlier on Monday appealed for public and private solidarity with Russia as it introduced new exchange rate and other measures to deal with a financial crisis. The measures included government debt restructuring and restrictions on some foreign debt repayments. "These measures and their potential impact will immediately be analysed by the staff and management of the IMF, and submitted to the Executive Board," the statement said. He urged the government to press ahead with its anti-crisis programme so that the IMF could release in September the next tranche of an $11.2 billion credit package agreed last month. ((Moscow Newsroom, +7095 941-8520 moscow.newsroom@reuters.com))

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