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World Bank Ponders Loan to Russia

July 20, 1998

MOSCOW (AP) _ The World Bank will decide early next month whether to release a $1.5 billion economic restructuring loan to Russia, officials said Monday.

The decision will be strongly influenced by the International Monetary Fund, which is considering that largest part of a $17 billion loan package to the country, the World Bank’s Moscow representative Michael Carter was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

The IMF board was meeting Monday in Washington. Russia’s chief negotiator with the fund, Anatoly Chubais, said the chances for loan approval were ``80 to 20.″

The World Bank’s economic restructuring loans are conditional on reforms in various sectors of the economy, but the funds are distributed directly to the Russian Finance Ministry.

If the loan is approved, Russia will receive $800 of the money this year, and the rest in 1999.

World Bank board hearing is scheduled for early August, and the exact date will be announced next week, the official said.

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