Front Matter

Front Matter

Benedicte Christensen
Published Date:
December 1994
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    The Russian Federation in Transition External Developments

    Benedicte Vibe Christensen


    Washington, D.C.

    February 1994

    © 1994 International Monetary Fund

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Christensen, Benedicte Vibe.

    The Russian Federation in transition : external developments / Benedicte Vibe Christensen.

    p. cm.—(Occasional paper, ISSN 0251-6365 ; no. 111)

    Includes bibliographical references.

    ISBN 1-55775-371-7

    1. Russia (Federation)—Foreign economic relations. 2. Soviet Union—Foreign economic relations. 3. Former Soviet republics—Foreign economic relations. 4. Russia (Federation)—Economic policy—1991- 5. Soviet Union—Economic policy—1986-1991. 6. Former Soviet republics—Economic policy. I. Title. II. Series: Occasional paper (International Monetary Fund) ; no. 111.

    HF1558.2.C47 1994

    337.47—dc20 94-5967


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    The following symbols have been used throughout this paper:

    • … to indicate that data are not available;
    • —to indicate that the figure is zero or less than half the final digit shown, or that the item does not exist;
    • –between years or months (e.g., 1991–92 or January-June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;
    • / between years (e.g., 1991/92) to indicate a crop or fiscal (financial) year.

    “Billion” means a thousand million.

    Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

    The term “country,” as used in this paper, does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice; the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states, but for which statistical data are maintained and provided internationally on a separate and independent basis.


    The Russian Federation (subsequently referred to as Russia) has recently witnessed a turbulent period in terms of political and economic developments: the demise of the former U.S.S.R., the breakup of the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA), and the collapse of central planning followed by market reforms.

    This paper summarizes Russia’s balance of payments developments in recent years: the initial imbalances and systemic shocks that set the stage for the critical balance of payments difficulties Russia faced in the early 1990s; the lessons from the early phases of Russia’s economic reforms; the choices faced by the Russian Government and support by the international community; and the external debt situation. The existing problems are also relevant for Russia’s ability to achieve external adjustment in the future.

    This study, which includes information available until mid-1993, provides information on external developments during this turbulent period when there was a lack of continuity in government officials, institutions, and statistical information in the U.S.S.R. and Russia.

    The author is grateful to several colleagues for helpful assistance and comments in preparing this paper, in particular to Jack Boorman, Julian Berengaut, Hans Flickenschild, Martin Gilman, Nancy Happe, Naheed Kirmani, Michael G. Kuhn, Augusto Lopez-Claros, Luis Mendonca, John Odling-Smee, Robert Rennhack, and Thomas A. Wolf. Rachel Hall of the External Relations Department edited the paper for publication and coordinated production. The IMF Graphics Section provided composition and artwork. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IMF or of its Executive Directors.

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