WASHINGTON (AP) _ The International Monetary Fund approved a $4.5 billion financial package for Russia Wednesday aimed at helping to keep the country afloat through December parliamentary elections and presidential voting scheduled for June 2000.

A total of $640 million would be made available immediately, said an IMF spokeswoman, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Other installments will be paid out over the next 17 months, she said.

President Boris Yeltsin's special envoy to international financial institutions, Mikhail Zadornov, worked out the final details with the IMF's deputy managing director,Stanley Fischer, and the 24-member executive board during a daylong meeting.