Originally created 08/15/98

Clinton receives economic assurances from Yeltsin



WASHINGTON -- President Clinton received assurances from Boris Yeltsin on Friday that Russia is taking the necessary steps to weather its latest economic crisis, Clinton's spokesman said.

The Russian president and Clinton spoke for about 40 minutes, said Mike McCurry. They did not discuss whether a new aid package from the West would be needed, he said.

"This was not a phone call about money. It was a phone call about doing the things necessary" to stabilize an economy that has been struggling, McCurry said.

"President Yeltsin sounded strong and confident in his economic team," McCurry told reporters at the White House. "They discussed some of the steps that will be necessary to, over the long term, assure economic stability in Russia."

The Russian stock market staged a strong rally on Friday with investors expressing hope that the United States and others will come forward with a new package of financial assistance.

Finance officials of the world's seven richest countries -- the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada -- discussed what further measures should be taken during an emergency telephone call on Thursday.

The crisis is occurring less than a month after the International Monetary Fund approved the latest installment in foreign assistance to Russia -- a $22.6 billion loan package.