Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Thursday, August 13, 1998 Published at 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK

World: Europe

Russian PM talking tough

Sergei Kiriyenko wants backing for his reform package

The Russian Prime Minister, Sergei Kiriyenko, has ruled out any change in the government's economic policy, in spite of a financial crash that led to the stock market again being suspended.

He said there were no financial grounds for the deterioration in the markets blaming "psychological" reasons.

BBC Moscow Correspondent Robert Parsons: The odds must be against Mr Kiriyenko
Mr Kiriyenko said the only way to solve the problem would be to stick to the government's anti-crisis programme.

"I can state quite authoritatively that the government programme has been drawn up - a joint programme of the government and the Central Bank - and the only thing we are doing, and will be doing, is to carry it out unswervingly," he said in comments on Russian television.

The trouble began when billionaire financier George Soros warned that the turmoil in Russia's financial markets had "reached a terminal phase".

Stock markets in Europe tumbled as dealers feared that yet another emerging market was going into meltdown.

[ image: The Russian rouble is under pressure amid devaluation fears]
The Russian rouble is under pressure amid devaluation fears
Trading on the Russian stock market was suspended briefly for the second time this week, after the share prices index fell by 10%.

Share prices have plunged to a two year low.

Germany has urged Mr Kiriyenko to speed up implementation of the reforms agreed with the International Monetary Fund.

However Mr Kiriyenko needs to persuade the Communist and nationalist-dominated lower house of parliament, the Duma, to back his package of reforms.

Parliament session

Russia's prime minister has urged the Duma to meet as soon as possible.

"The Duma's extraordinary session should go ahead in August," said the premier, referring to the MPs' decision to scrap next Wednesday's two-days of debate.

Mr Kiriyenko is hoping the Duma changes its mind and approves the parts of the package that deputies failed to approve before a summer recess.

In a hopeful sign, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov said that he would, after all, agree to a special parliamentary session as early as next Monday.

"An absolutely urgent situation has arisen," Zyuganov said. "If there is devaluation of the rouble and a collapse of banks the impoverishment of the people will follow."

Moody's Investors Services has downgraded Russia's foreign debt - which will make it more expensive to borrow abroad. It said the outlook remained negative.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

13 Aug 98 | The Economy
Russia faces meltdown

13 Aug 98 | The Economy
Russia on the brink

13 Aug 98 | The Economy
Europe's shares tumble again

12 Aug 98 | The Economy
Kiriyenko gets tough

11 Aug 98 | The Economy
Russian shares nosedive

05 Aug 98 | The Economy
Crisis cuts Russian MP's holidays short

30 Jul 98 | The Economy
Fresh blow for Russian economy

13 Jul 98 | The Economy
Russia gets $22.6bn aid

Internet Links

Russian Government

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift