08/24/1998 13:58:41 Russia's Chernomyrdin vows to protect rouble
MOSCOW, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Acting Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin said on Monday the priority of Russia's new
government would be to protect the rouble and to save the
"Our main task is to protect the rouble. We must have a
banking system...we must not lose it," he said in televised
remarks made to a session of Russia's acting cabinet.
Chernomyrdin added that some banks might be allowed to fail
as part of the drive to rescue the debt-laden financial system.
President Boris Yeltsin nominated Chernomyrdin as acting
prime minister on Sunday after dismissing the four-month old
government of Sergei Kiriyenko amid an acute economic crisis
that has led to an effective devaluation of the rouble and a
90-day moratorium on debt repayments.
Earlier on Monday Yeltsin appealed to parliament to swiftly
approve Chernomyrdin as prime minister. Chernomyrdin served as
prime minister for more than five years until his abrupt
dismissal by Yeltsin in March.
The rouble was fixed earlier on Monday at 7.1400 to the
dollar, down from Friday's rate of 7.0050. It had been 6.31
before Kiriyenko allowed the de facto devaluation on August 17.