Russian Central Bank Met IMF's Goals
A letter to the Editor
By Thomas C. Dawson
Director, External Relations Department
March 29, 2001
Sir, Judge Kasper-Ansermet of Switzerland is quoted as suggesting ("IMF silent over Russian probe", March 16) that International Monetary Fund financing provided to Russia in 1998 "was not used to serve the goals of the IMF". That statement is not accurate. The IMF has established that, after receiving Fund financing, the Central Bank of Russia used an approximately equivalent amount in exchange market intervention to support the rouble. Of course, financing provided by the IMF cannot be traced through a member's financial system because the funds, once acquired by the country, are indistinguishable from other resources. Nonetheless, the central bank's intervention was consistent with the goals of the IMF's assistance to Russia.
PricewaterhouseCoopers confirmed these facts in a detailed report of the central bank's activity in the foreign exchange markets in the relevant period, including review of the counterparties and amounts involved. The proviso referred to in the article - to the effect that the auditors do not verify the completeness of the information on which it was based - is standard "boilerplate" language in audit reports and does not call into question the findings of the report.