Russia `critical'

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday called the economic position in Russia "critical", but said it would only give Russia more funds if the government worked out an appropriate economic programme.

In a statement released after a senior delegation left Moscow without no agreement on disbursing a $4.3bn (pounds 2.6bn) loan, the IMF said: "The economic situation in Russia is critical and must be resolutely addressed.

"The government will need to consider urgently the narrow range of alternatives still available and quickly decide on economic strategy. IMF management would consider the size and timing of further disbursements once such a ... program had been agreed."

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