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IMF loans in limbo as Russian Parliament adjourns for summer

SHARE IMF loans in limbo as Russian Parliament adjourns for summer

The government's effort to line up a series of preconditions for $17 billion in new loans fell short of its goal Friday when the Communist-dominated Parliament failed to pass a land code and adopt a series of revenue measures.

The International Monetary Fund is scheduled to meet on Monday to decide whether to begin distributing $11.2 billion in additional loans to Russia this year. The $11.2 billion is part of a $17.1 billion package of new loans the fund has proposed for Russia over the next 18 months.Adoption of the land code, which involves property rights and taxation issues, was among the fund's demands for the loan package. The IMF could decide that Russia has met enough of its demands and begin releasing the funds, or it could delay its meeting.

In Washington, fund officials said they were still studying the details of the legislation passed by the Parliament and would have no comment until next week.

President Boris Yeltsin has signaled that he will enact some measures by decree if the Parliament blocks them. But under Russian law some actions can only be imposed by the legislature.

"Much can be done through presidential decrees and government rulings but not everything," said Sergei Kiriyenko, the prime minister.

The government has asked the Parliament to approve 102 billion rubles ($16.4 billion) in revenue, including 71 billion rubles ($11.4 billion) for the federal government.

But the measures adopted by the legislature would raise only 28 billion rubles ($4.5 billion), including a mere 3 billion rubles ($480 million) for the federal government.

"We failed to resolve the problems of raising revenues," Kiriyenko said. "There will be no miracles. We are facing a very tough two or three months."

Kiriyenko made clear that the government was determined to press the fight for its economic reforms. He said the Kremlin might demand that the Parliament interrupt its summer vacation and hold an extraordinary meeting during the first part of August.

Kiriyenko began a small offensive to win over deputies Friday. He instructed his aides to present women deputies with bouquets of flowers.