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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 29, 1998


Russia's Economic Situation

I strongly welcome Russia's announcement today of its new economic program for 1998. This program, developed in consultation with the IMF, signals Russia's commitment to a bold economic reform agenda to strengthen financial stability and encourage investment and growth. The United States intends to support this program when it is reviewed by the IMF Board.

Yesterday President Yeltsin called me to discuss Russia's strategy for creating strong economic growth. In addition, Prime Minister Kiriyenko called the Vice President. President Yeltsin underscored that he and Prime Minister Kiriyenko will spare no effort in implementing this program. Recent months have been difficult for Russia and other emerging markets. President Yeltsin and Prime Minister Kiriyenko aim to establish a firm defense against financial market turmoil.

Russia's new economic plan puts in place a solid strategy for fiscal reform. It gives Russian officials the authority they need to collect taxes, crack down on companies that ignore their obligations to the government and control spending in line with revenues. What is now important is to carry out these reforms decisively and resolutely. The United States will continue to encourage strong IMF and World Bank engagement in support of reform.

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