The International Monetary Fund expects Russia's new government to implement an agreement reached last month and is ready to work with its new leaders, IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus said on Sunday, May 16.
Camdessus, attending a meeting of Asia-Pacific finance ministers in Malaysia, said he looked forward to the "speedy resolution" of political problems in Russia, which initialled a plan with the IMF in April that would unlock new lending.
The government of former prime minister Evgenii Primakov reached the agreement with the IMF, but the fund has said a number of laws aimed at increasing revenues must first be passed.
"Russia is committed to taking the appropriate, entire action before I will be able to ask my executive board to vote this program," Camdessus told reporters before leaving the weekend meeting of ministers from the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
"I look forward to its full implementation by the new government of Russia."
A senior government economist in Moscow said on May 14 that Russia would place less emphasis on reform legislation in talks with the IMF, but promised much the same policy as before.
Vladimir Mau, director of the Center for Economic Reforms, a government think tank, said a new government would probably put together a plan drawing from those of previous prime ministers Primakov and Sergei Kirienko.
"I have seen that the Russian officials over there were anxious about what the IMF will do next in this somewhat confusing situation," Camdessus said May 16.
"Our line is absolute crystal clear. There is a continuity of the state. We have negotiated with Russia, made an agreement that is not yet ratified by the executive board of the IMF as it is conditional on prior actions adopted by the Duma and the government."
"But if these prior actions are properly adopted, we stand ready to continue with the new government in Russia what we were doing with Primakov's government without adding or subtracting whatsoever," the IMF chief said. Camdessus said he trusted that Russian authorities and the Duma would follow through on their commitments, and the IMF would do the same.
"We are looking forward to the speedy resolution of the present political difficulties on the agenda to put the country on the right track and have the country standing on its feet and developing a needed adjustment and reform process most urgently," Camdessus said.