Yuri Luzhkov, who is gaining a reputation as Yeltsin’s most likely successor, has never been a favorite with the oligarchs, and has given them further reason to have sleepless nights. On October 8, the Moscow mayor gave what he tactfully called his “recommendations” to the Primakov government on how it might overcome the economic crisis. Among other things, Luzhkov, always a sharp critic of the privatization program developed and carried out by Anatoly Chubais, suggested that the legality of past privatizations should be “verified,” and that the holdings of those banks which “acquired their property in a far-from-indisputable way” should be renationalized. Shares in these holdings should then be used to reimburse foreign investors who suffered losses last August when the government of then-Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko defaulted on the state’s short-term treasury bills.
Luzhkov softened the blow however, adding that Russian banks who suffered losses in the T-bill market should be compensated by the Central Bank–meaning, presumably, with newly minted rubles (Vremya, October 8).
NO MOVEMENT FROM RUSSIA ON KOSOVO CONFLICT.