Ukraine is ripe for the shock doctrine; Like many states in crisis before it, Ukraine serves as a perfect opportunity for neoliberal transformation.

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(opendemocracy.net – Sean Guillory – July 27, 2015) Sean Guillory is a UCIS/REES postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh. He hosts the podcast New Books in Russian and Eurasian Studies and received his PhD in History at UCLA. Follow him on Twitter @seansrussiablog While a crisis of faith, of sorts, has resounded in western discourse on the economic effectiveness […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: Ukraine puts new debt restructuring proposals to creditors – minister

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Reuters covers the restructuring of Ukrainian debt. Heavily indebted Ukraine has made new proposals to its creditors for restructuring $23 billion of foreign debt and is now awaiting their response …. *** The IMF has brought relief to Ukraine by saying it will disburse $1.7 billion in fresh funds under a $17.5 bailout package irrespective of a restructuring deal being […]

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Ukrainian PM expects more substantial financial aid from West

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KYIV. July 27 (Interfax) – Ukraine does not receive appropriate financial aid from Western countries, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said. “We are grateful for the existing level of support but it is necessary to admit that we are awfully underfinanced,” Yatsenyuk said during a board meeting of the Finance Ministry in Kyiv on Monday. According to the prime minister, […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal/Stephen Hadley, Robert Zoellick: Crucial Weapons in the Defense of Ukraine. Without debt reduction and more aid, a young democracy could vanish.

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Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Stephen Hadley and Robert Zoellick address the issue of Western assistance for Ukraine amidst the Russo-Ukrainian War, including financial and debt-related assistance. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is an assault on the vision that emerged from the end of the Cold War of a Europe whole, free and at peace. For that vision to be realized, the […]

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Ukraine’s default ducks are all in a row

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – June 30, 2015) Ukraine has lined up all the ducks it needs to successfully default on its privately held bonds. Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko indicated she wanted to meet with both the IMF and the ad hoc committee of private creditors in Washington before or on June 30. […]

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IMF Staff Said to View Ukraine Russia Bond as Official Debt

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Elena Popina, Marton Eder – June 23, 2015) International Monetary Fund staff formed a preliminary view that $3 billion in bonds sold to Russia by Ukraine should be classified as official rather than private debt, according to a person familiar with the matter. Treating the bonds as state aid, as Russia has sought, would exclude them […]

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What will happen if Ukraine defaults?

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Berlin – June 12, 2015) With Ukraine edging closer to the world’s first unilateral sovereign default since Argentina’s in 2001, analysts are grappling with the question of how this might impact on the ex-Soviet republic as its strives for deeper integration with the EU and the West. Ukrainian default on $23bn […]

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IMF will still lend to Ukraine if private creditors go unpaid

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – June 10, 2015) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it will continue lending to Ukraine, even if the country fails to make payments to private creditors. “We have a policy of lending into arrears which allows us to continue lending to a member state when it has arrears with private creditors, […]

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IMF Offers Ukraine a Poisoned Chalice

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – June 10, 2015) A top International Monetary Fund official is offering Ukraine a generous gift: continued loans, even if it stops paying private creditors. It is, however, a trap of sorts. Accepting the deal risks undermining Ukraine’s ability to borrow on the open market and strengthening its dependency on the IMF. “If at […]

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Will Ukraine’s bondholders force a default on purpose?

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – May 26, 2015) Will Ukraine’s private bondholders force the country to default on its debt on purpose by refusing to negotiate on the restructuring, or “haircut”, that Kyiv is demanding on $10bn worth of debt? It’s not such a crazy question, because it has happened before. In 2009, Morgan […]

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Ukraine Creditors Said to Offer Coupon Cuts, Debt Extensions

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Natasha Doff – May 28, 2015) Ukraine’s creditors including Franklin Templeton put forward a restructuring proposal that includes maturity extensions of up to 10 years and reductions in interest payments of about $500 million. The offer, submitted on May 9 by a group owning about $8.9 billion of Ukraine’s debt, involves amortizing the bonds over a […]

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IMF joins ‘worst is over’ crowd by predicting weaker recession for Russia in 2015

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – May 22, 2015) In the latest prognosis of Russia’s economic prospects by the big-league financial institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has presented a revised and more optimistic scenario than some of its peers. GDP will fall by 3.4% in 2015 and return to growth in 2016, with a 0.2% increase […]

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Russia-Ukraine conflict overshadows EBRD meeting

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Tbilisi – May 15, 2015) The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has overshadowed the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) annual general meeting in Tbilisi this week, with Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak accusing the bank of a “political motivated” decision to suspend lending to Russia. The development bank’s […]

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Ukraine Shouldn’t Hold Out for Haircuts

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – May 13, 2015) With Greece missing one deadline after another to reach agreement with its creditors, it’s easy to forget that a day of reckoning is also nearing for Ukraine. The government is supposed to reach a debt restructuring deal with private bondholders by June, but is no closer than when talks began […]

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Debt restructuring row flares between Kyiv and creditors as IMF deadline looms

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – May 14, 2015) Ukraine’s finance ministry and holders of its sovereign Eurobonds have taken their dispute over debt restructuring public, as a mid-June deadline set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) requiring final agreement on terms draws close. The ministry criticised the level of secrecy over the identities of the mainly […]

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Ukraine plays hard ball with private creditors

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – April 20, 2015) Ukraine is ready to play hard ball in its bid to restructure $15.3bn in foreign debt, was the signal sent by Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko to corporate bondholders in Washington on April 17. The government wants to secure a $40bn bailout package assembled with the International Monetary Fund […]

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NEWSLINK IMF: The Case for Supporting Ukrainian Economic Reforms

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While the IMF Spring Meetings are just around the corner, we are not here to talk about the global economy. Rather, our focus today is Ukraine. Going into the meetings, many will want to have a clear picture of the situation in that country as they seek to understand the risks facing the world, and Europe in particular.   IMF: […]

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NEWSWATCH Moscow Times: Russia Has Ukraine’s Economy in a Choke Hold

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[“Russia Has Ukraine’s Economy in a Choke Hold” – Moscow Times – Josh Cohen – Mar. 31, 2015] Writing in The Moscow Times, Josh Cohen considers Russia’s impact on Ukraine’s economy, including within the context of Russia’s impact on efforts to restructure Ukraine’s debt in connect with bailout financing. … to paraphrase Clausewitz, while the Minsk II cease-fire continues to hold in […]

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IMF ties itself into knots over status of Russia’s loan to Ukraine

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – March 27, 2015) A confusing argument has broken out over the crucial question of whether Ukraine’s $3bn worth of bonds held by Russia and due in December are “official” debt or not. The answer is important because if the bonds are “official” and Ukraine doesn’t pay them, the International […]

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Ukraine Bondholders’ Tough Talk Signals Debt Deal Won’t Be Easy

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Lyubov Pronina, Krystof Chamonikolas – March 17, 2015) The jockeying has begun in Ukraine’s debt restructuring talks. The government’s notes slid below 42 cents on the dollar on Tuesday as Russia said it wouldn’t budge on being paid back a $3 billion loan in full on time and the Financial Times reported Franklin Templeton won’t accept a […]

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Moscow Times: Ukraine Must Make Compromises and Radically Reform for IMF Funding to Continue

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 14, 2015) With the first billions of dollars foreign aid in its pocket, Ukraine’s government can now stay afloat long enough to embark on its radical reform drive, but the hard part is only just beginning. Ukraine received the first $5 billion on Friday of $17.5 billion in aid promised by the International Monetary […]

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NEWSWATCH: Ukraine Finance Minister Seeks More Bailout Financing; Natalie Jaresko says security, political risks could push up debt-restructuring needs

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[“Ukraine Finance Minister Seeks More Bailout Financing; Natalie Jaresko says security, political risks could push up debt-restructuring needs” – Wall Street Journal – Ian Talley – March 16, 2015] The Wall Street Journal covers Ukraine’s efforts to gain more financing to spur growth and development. Ukraine needs more bailout financing than currently promised to help jump-start the embattled nation’s economy, Finance Minister […]

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IMF cash to do little to change grim reality for ordinary Ukrainians

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Kateryna Killyashenko in Kyiv and Nick Allen in Berlin – March 13, 2015) After the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) approval on March 11 of its $17.5bn loan package to Ukraine, with $5bn due to flow immediately to bolster Kyiv’s dwindling coffers, the population could be forgiven for thinking the material hardships of recent months […]

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IMF Loan Package For Ukraine Promises Pain, Questionable Gain

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Mark Baker – March 13, 2015) From higher home heating costs to lower pensions, Ukrainians are about to feel the pinch from austerity measures attached to a newly approved International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan package. The long-awaited $17.5 billion credit announced this week holds out hope of an eventual economic recovery for the country. But that […]

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Ukraine expects IMF to agree up to $11 billion cash disbursal

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – March 11, 2015) The International Monetary Fund is ready to disburse to Ukraine the first tranche of an agreed extended funding facility (EFF), confirming on its website that the sole subject of discussion at an IMF board meeting on March 11 will be the loan. At the same time, Ukrainian President […]

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Ukraine Risks Losing IMF Support for Aid If War Escalates

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Andrew Mayeda – February 26, 2015) Ukraine risks losing support from IMF member countries for a proposed $17.5 billion bailout if the conflict in the former Soviet republic continues to escalate, according to two people familiar with the matter. The new four-year loan program is awaiting approval by the International Monetary Fund’s executive board, which represents […]

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IMF agrees $17.5 billion facility with Ukraine to give total aid package of $40 billion

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Kateryna Illyashenko in Kyiv – February 12, 2015) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has tentatively agreed a $17.5bn extended fund facility with Ukraine, part of an overall $40bn funding package for the country over the next four years, the fund’s managing director, Christine Lagarde, said on February 12. The package will go some way […]

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The high price of democracy in Ukraine

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(opendemocracy.net – Andrii Ianitskyi – January 5, 2015) Andrii Ianitskyi was born in Sevastopol in 1983 and since 2007 has been living in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. He graduated from the Sevastopol branch of Moscow State University in 2007 and became a qualified journalist before working as a journalist and editor in the business media, for companies including Ukrainian News, […]

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Ukraine Wants New IMF Bailout as War Squeezes Economy

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(Voice of America – Henry Ridgwell – October 7, 2014) As the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank gets underway in Washington, Ukraine wants to adjust the terms of its $17 billion bailout. Kyiv says the country is now at war and needs to build new armed forces. But some analysts say the terms of […]

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Russia heads toward stagnation

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – May 6, 2014) [Charts here http://www.bne.eu/content/russia-heads-toward-stagnation] The Ukraine crisis has been an economic train wreck for Russia. The outlook for this year was never good, but on April 30 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) argued the Russian economy is already in recession and a growing number of analysts believe […]

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Russia expects Ukraine to spend part of IMF loan toward clearing gas debt – minister

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WARSAW. May 2 (Interfax) – Russia expects that Ukraine will spend part of the loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) toward clearing its debts for Russian gas already supplied to it, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. Speaking in Warsaw on Friday, Novak pointed out that Ukraine had received the first tranche of an IMF loan in an amount […]

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IMF lowers Russian GDP growth forecasts to 1.3 percent in 2014, 2.3 percent in 2015

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(Interfax – April 8, 2014) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered its 2014 Russian GDP growth forecast from 2 percent to 1.3 percent. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update that the 2015 forecast was now 2.3 percent, down from the 2.5 percent the Fund was predicting in January. CIS economic growth might be 2.3 […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia not forcing Ukraine to pay back loan early – Finance Minister Anton Siluanov

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(RIA Novosti – March 20, 2014) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has addressed Russia with a proposal to take part in developing a programme of structural reforms in Ukraine, the Russian RIA Novosti reported on 20 March, quoting Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. The implementation of the programme will be a condition for allocating an IMF loan to Ukraine. Siluanov […]

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Interfax: Crimean leaders blame Kyiv for selling Ukraine off for IMF loans

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(Interfax – March 9, 2014) Crimea’s deputy prime minister, Olga Kovitidi, described as predatory the terms of an agreement Kyiv is ready to accept from the International Monetary Fund. The tentative agreement with the IMF which the Ukrainian authorities signed with the IMF on March 2, says that the country’s entire gas pipeline system will be handed over for free […]

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IMF deal in cards as Ukraine said to cave in to demands on gas tariffs

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – November 4, 2013) Facing down Russian bullying on one side and an economic collapse that could only be months away, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has reportedly caved into long-standing pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on November 4 by saying his government would hike domestic gas tariffs. Ukraine’s hard currency reserves have been […]

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IMF urges Russia to reform economic policy

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WASHINGTON. Oct 22 (Interfax) – Russia needs to conduct extensive economic policy reform with the emphasis on attracting investment, pursue a firm budget policy and make more efficient use of resources as the post0crisis factors that drove economic growth in the country are now exhausted, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its annual report on the Russian economy. “Growth […]

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IMF Says Russian Economic Growth Model Exhausted

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(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 9, 2013) The International Monetary Fund warned in a report published Wednesday that Russia’s economic model has exhausted itself and predicted that future growth will be constrained by negative demographic trends. The IMF’s annual World Economic Outlook said that the Russian economy has managed to grow on the back of rising oil prices and by […]

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World Bank and IMF added Russia to the list of rich countries

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – July 5, 2013) World Bank and IMF upgraded Russia’s position in national income rating. World Bank has ranked the country 72nd in its gross national income (GNI) per capita rating. Now Russia classifies as a country with a high income level, as follows from the organization’s statement. “The major change for 2013 classification (FY14) […]

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Russia’s Putin Calls for IMF Overhaul, Bigger Role for BRICS

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(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 14, 2013) Russia will use its presidency of the G20 to push for a radical overhaul of the International Monetary Fund and changes to its voting system to give developing economies a stronger voice, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday in an interview with RIA Novosti. “The IMF frequently fails to keep up with the rapidly […]

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Russian official: G20 tackling too many issues, IMF reforms stalled

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 11, 2013) The range of issues being considered by the G20 has gotten too broad and the Seoul agreements to recapitalize and redistribute quotas in the International Monetary Fund are not being carried out, but the group of 20 major economies has managed to resolve the problem of bailing out too-big-to-fail banks with taxpayer money, Russian […]

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IMF More Upbeat Than Medvedev on GDP Growth

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – February 21, 2013) The International Monetary Fund took an optimistic stance at Russia’s prospects Wednesday, saying that its economy could demonstrate a faster pace of growth over the next few years than the annual goal of 5 percent set by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. To attain those growth rates, the government should […]

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Russia should stimulate supply, not demand – IMF

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MOSCOW. Feb 20 (Interfax) – Russia should not boost domestic demand more quickly than it increases the economy’s productive potential, Senior Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Russia Odd Per Brekk told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. On the basis of its latest research, the IMF has arrived at the conclusion that the Russian growth model of […]

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Global Economic Situation Remains Uncertain, IMF Says

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TOKYO. Oct 15 (Interfax) – The ongoing uncertainty in the economic policies of developed nations is restraining investment in these countries and slowing global growth, while a decline in activity in emerging markets is making it more difficult to achieve balance in the global economy, the IMF said in a communique following a meeting of its International Monetary and Finance […]

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