BLOOMBERG in Moscow International Monetary Fund managing director Michel Camdessus said the fund would increase its loan to Russia and extend the three-year loan programme for another year, until 2000. The fund will decide how much more money it will add to its loan programme when it draws up its plans for 1999, Mr Camdessus said. The existing programme is worth about US$9.3 billion. 'We entirely share a common assessment of the situation and the strategy that the situation requires to bring the programme to full success given the prevailing complexity of financial markets,' Mr Camdessus said. He did not say how much money Russia might get in the next instalment of the loan, or whether the agency would disburse the cash as expected. Mr Camdessus arrived in Moscow two days ago to evaluate the government's progress in market reforms and to communicate his efforts to resolve financial crises in Asia. 'I came to Moscow not to add to the negotiations for the programme for 1998, but to share with the president, prime minister, and parliament my recent sobering experience in Asia,' Mr Camdessus said. 'I have been in charge of extinguishing fires there.' Mr Camdessus lauded the Russian central bank for opting to support the rouble by raising rates, at the risk of stunting growth this year. 'I came to say how Russia can preserve itself from the crisis,' he said. 'The central bank is doing professional and persevering work in maintaining the currency.' Mr Camdessus stressed 'realism, consolidation, and transparency' as a guide for the government. Russian officials have been suggesting for two weeks that they were optimistic the government could meet the fund's conditions. Still 'the talks are difficult and the problems are abundant', an unidentified government negotiator told the Interfax news agency. The fund wants Russia to cut import duties to 20 per cent from 30 per cent and levy excise duties on the transport of oil, Interfax said.