With international lenders agreeing to prop up Russia's shaky economy, President Boris Yeltsin focused Tuesday on his next key task: persuading parliament to pass an austerity plan.
Yeltsin, who has often clashed with Communists and other hard-line lawmakers, sought to charm his opponents Tuesday. He invited parliamentary leaders to the Kremlin and urged swift passage of an economic rescue package that revamps the tax system and cuts the budget deficit."We shall not be able to implement (the program) if you do not confirm it," Yeltsin told lawmakers. "Of course, I can decide some matters myself, but in the main, the destiny of the program depends on you."
The International Monetary Fund and other lenders agreed Monday to $17.1 billion in new loans as part of a bailout designed to prop up Russia's crumbling financial markets and prevent a collapse of the currency. When combined with already-negotiated loans, the package totals $22.6 billion over this year and next.
The deal gave an immediate boost to Russia's hard-hit stock market, which has lost more than half its value since the beginning of the year.
Stocks shot up 16.8 percent at the market's close Tuesday, following a 9 percent surge on Monday. It was the market's best showing since the crisis began biting in May.
"Sentiment has absolutely turned around," said Pavel Pat-yako, a trader at Chase Manhattan in Moscow.
The IMF board meets in Washington on Monday to review the loan agreement, and it could send $5 billion or more to Russia as soon as next week. However, the IMF wants Russia to address chronic problems such as the budget deficit and its inability to collect taxes.
Yeltsin's administration has sent more than 20 proposals to parliament, but Communist lawmakers and other government opponents have resisted spending cuts and tax increases.
Parliament's lower house, the State Duma, rejected several proposals earlier this month, and Communist leaders have not given any indication that their position has changed.
The Duma holds a special session Wednesday to debate the economic package.