08/25/1998 14:57:00 Livshits says worst over for rouble-radio interview
BONN, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Alexander Livshits, a former close
economic advisor to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, said on
Tuesday that the worst was probably already over for the rouble
following last week's de facto currency devaluation.
"The worst of what could have happened to the rouble has
already happened," Livshits told Deutsche Welle radio's Russian
language news service.
Livshits, who was fired a week ago by Yeltsin but is in the
running to join the team of acting Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin, was speaking after the rouble plunged by 10
percent on Tuesday.
He said Moscow was still discussing a planned swap of GKO
treasury bills for longer-term debt instruments, and he said
foreign investors, which have bought around $15 billion worth of
GKOs, would not be worse treated than domestic investors.
He also told Deutsche Welle that the rouble devaluation had
not been motivated by a desire to boost exports.
"We don't have major industrial exports. They are mostly
commodities which are limited by the capacity of pipelines. On
the other hand, imports would become more expensive. The net
positive effect would be exactly zero," he said.
Livshits also said he was optimistic about talks with the
International Monetary Fund on the release of the next tranche
of a multi-billion dollar aid package.
Deutsche Welle released extracts of the Livshits interview
in a statement in German.