Russia can solve its problems without foreign loans

The draft 2003 budget enables Russia to solve its problems related to both social commitments and paying off foreign debts without loaning from international financial organisations, said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin after a session of the G-8 finance ministers in Washington. He is in the American capital to take part in the autumn session of the IMF and WB managing bodies.

"We shall not ask either the IMF or the WB for loans even if the situation develops pessimistically" next year, when Russia will have to pay the bulk of its foreign debts, said Kudrin. He recalled that the cabinet had demonstrated to the parliament "the reserves which we have and to which we will resort if the situation aggravates." The premier referred to a decrease in oil prices or deterioration of the market situation regarding Russian enterprises' privatisation as to an example of possible aggravation.

He pointed out at the same time that "if necessary, we can use the variants of loaning minor funds - up to $1.5 billion this or next year, but not more." While replying to journalists' questions on economic implications of the American military operation for Russia, he stressed that the cabinet had considered possible variants. "We have a scenario of behaviour in this situation," he pointed out.

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