Prime Minister Viktor Chenomyrdin met on Thursday with the editors of major Russian media outlets, and told them that they would soon be the beneficiaries of new government largesse. He announced a package of tax and other financial benefits for media organizations, and at the same time cautioned them about the manner in which they should cover the impending parliamentary elections. Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Ignatenko as saying the benefits would include exemption from the Value Added Tax on transport and distribution costs, while sales from scientific, cultural and educational publishing would be untaxed. Chernomyrdin told media leaders not to give in to pressure which he said would be exerted on them from all sides in the run-up to the December election. He urged television editors not to allow "odious candidates" to buy screen time. "You must not allow yourselves to be pulled along by idiots." (1)
Chechnya Commander Now Peacekeeper.