Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund /IMF/ Horst Koehler believes that "Russia and the IMF have obviously entered a new phase in their relations." This became possible mostly "thanks to Vladimir Putin's personal effort to speed up reforms," said Koehler during a Thursday meeting with the Russian president. Besides, Russia has by now come to "feel the results" of these reforms, he added. On his part, Putin confirmed that Russia is eager to launch a three-year cooperation program with the IMF. According to Putin, Russia regards this cooperation as an important element of stability in the financial sector and the entire economic sphere and as an element of integration into the world economy. Taking part in negotiations on the Russian side are Vice Premier Alexei Kudrin, the president's economic adviser Andrei Illarionov, and first deputy Chairwoman of the Central Bank of Russia Tatiana Paramonova.
By summer, the Russian army may break through Ukrainian defences, reach Odessa and liberate Transnistria. The West will only “condemn” Russia's actions and continue supporting Chisinau in words