Promises Boost Russian Markets

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MOSCOW: With stock prices continuing to recover slowly by week's end, Boris Yeltsin and Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko declared Russia's financial crisis over and cut interest rates from a dizzying 150 percent down to 60 percent. (Of course that still left them at double what they were two weeks ago.) TIME Moscow correspondent Andrew Meier warns, however, that traders are buying again because they believe the West is planning large-scale financial aid to Moscow. "Investors are banking on a bailout, and they started buying again this week following President Clinton's encouraging noises about rescuing Russia," says Meier. "Despite the signs of confidence, it's too early to declare the crisis over."

Western leaders may want to keep on making encouraging noises, however: "The strategy appears to be to do everything possible short of writing a check," says Meier. And it seems to be working.