MOSCOW (AP) _ President Boris Yeltsin on Wednesday approved the resignation of Russia’s envoy to the International Monetary Fund, who decided to quit amid reports that IMF aid to Russia may have been illegally diverted.
Mikhail Zadornov, who also served as envoy to the World Bank, abruptly submitted his resignation early this month, after reports that Russia may have funneled IMF loan money through the Bank of New York.
Zadornov said his resignation was unconnected to the allegations. He said he was stepping down to run for parliament in December with the liberal Yabloko party, which has a reputation for honesty in Russia’s often-corrupt politics.
He said all IMF money lent to Russia had been spent properly. The allegations of misuse prompted concerns that the IMF may delay new loans to Russia.
Yeltsin, who didn’t react to the resignation for three weeks, approved Zadornov’s request with a decree Wednesday, the Interfax news agency reported.
Russia is the IMF’s biggest borrower, with about $20 billion in lending since 1992. Moscow is seeking new loans to help pay off previous debts to the fund.