Fool's gold

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

MOSCOW (Reuter) - Valentin Pavlov, the last Soviet prime minister, confirmed in an interview with the newspaper Sovietskaya Rossiya yesterday that the Soviet Union systematically deceived the West about the size of its gold reserves.

The financial world was rocked by discovery after the 1991 coup attempt that Soviet gold stocks amounted to little more than 200 tons. Mr Pavlov said Soviet ministers had successfully attracted foreign credits by fooling Western firms into believing their money was going to a wealthy state.