08/27/1998 09:47:33 KOHL -- NO INTERNATIONAL, GERMAN FINANCIAL HELP FOR RUSSIAWITHOUT REFORMS
BERLIN, Aug 27 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Helmut Kohl
said on Thursday that Russia could not expect any financial
help, either from Germany or the international community, if it
did not pass crucial reforms.
Kohl, who said he was concerned about the crisis in Russia,
also told reporters he planned to speak to U.S. President Bill
Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President
Jacques Chirac about the situation.
Kohl said: "Without the reforms it will not be possible to
mobilise money either from international financial organisations
or from Germany."
He said he wanted to talk to fellow Western government
leaders to sound out what could be done to help push through
Russia's reforms. "If they don't follow through (on reforms) the
situation will look bad," Kohl said.
The chancellor was speaking after the Russian central bank
suspended trading on Moscow's currency exchange, fearing that
the rouble could extend Wednesday's dramatic 40 percent plunge
against the German mark.
Panic spread across the country as people tried to exchange
their rapidly depreciating roubles for scarce dollars. Acting
Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin was trying to put together a
government, while President Boris Yeltsin, whose authority is in
question, was holed up at a residence outside Moscow.