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All the News of the World The world's press comment on the devaluation of the rouble

THE FUNDAMENTALS of the Russian economy have not changed, and nor should the team that has led the country for the past four months. It would be wrong to blame them for problems which have been five years in the making. The only way the government will be able to win back the confidence of financial markets is to proceed with the anti-crisis plan it was pushing through when its policy was derailed by the second wave of the Asian markets crisis and the renewed fall of the world price of oil. And now, when Russia is struggling to defend its drifting rouble, continuing Western aid is more necessary than ever.

St Petersburg Times

RUSSIANS DO not anger easily, and are likely to live with higher prices as long as the government seems to be leading the country toward greater financial stability. But the steps taken yesterday will no doubt deepen public cynicism about political leaders and could make it more difficult for reform candidates in the next parliamentary and presidential elections. Their prospects would be even less promising if the economy collapsed. Finding a way for the economy to recover will not be easy. But it is in no one's interest to see the Government disintegrate.

The New York Times

EXTERNAL FACTORS, including concern over the drop in international oil prices, have hastened the Russian crisis. But the key to any permanent improvement in the financial system lies in sweeping reform. Without that, it is doubtful if devaluation alone can stem the tide."

South China Morning Post, Hong Kong

WHAT IS needed to forestall worst-case outcomes is substantial progress on structural reform in fiscal management, the tax code, landowners' rights and bank soundness. Unfortunately, those were the same reforms that were obviously needed last week, and the week before.

The Washington Post

IT IS as clear as day that Prime Minister Kiriyenko's government cannot handle the crisis and cannot even adequately understand what is happening on the markets."

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Russia

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