STEPASHIN MEETS WITH THE FEDERATION COUNCIL

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STEPASHIN MEETS WITH THE FEDERATION COUNCIL

Russian Television, Vesti, May 17, 1999, 20:00

Acting Premier Sergei Stepashin has met with Federation Council members. He outlined the priorities of his government, promising to repay wages backlogs, and to continue efforts to stop the conflict in Yugoslavia. He added that Russia needs an economic breakthrough, which is to be achieved primarily through its own resources. As the Interior Minister, Stepashin promised to fight crime and corruption. He did not name any definite candidates for that post in the new cabinet, but stressed that many members of Primakov’s government would be included in the new cabinet.

ANALYSTS PREDICT GASOLINE PRICE RISES

Russian Television, Vesti, May 17, 1999, 20:00

Changes to the gasoline pricing system are one of the IMF’s conditions for the issue of new loan installments. The steps taken by the government in this direction have already created a stir on the domestic oil market. Sergei Stepashin has promised that the situation on the oil market would be stabilized. However, analysts predict the growth of retail gasoline prices. Some associate it with the growth of crude oil prices, some with the government’s fuel policy, and some with the new re-division of the fuel market, involving the takeover of small and medium-sized businesses by the oil monopolies.

During his press conference Alexander Volovik, representative of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, announced that oil price rises are nothing other than a conspiracy by the large oil corporations.

ELECTIONS TO VLADIVOSTOK DUMA FAIL

Russian Television, Vesti, May 17, 1999, 20:00

Another round of elections to the Duma of Vladivostok has failed. Only 7% of the voters turned out, primarily fishing industry workers who vote on their ships while at sea. In the city itself, only 4-5% of the voters participated in the elections, while at least 25% are necessary for the poll to be valid.

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