The conciliation commission appointed by the Russian parliament and government to work out a compromise federal budget for 1998 held its first meeting yesterday. Last week, the Duma rejected the government’s draft in the first reading. First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais, who attended yesterday’s meeting with his right-hand man, First Deputy Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin, said afterwards that the government is prepared to make some concessions on its original draft, including hiking its estimate of GDP for 1998 from 2.75 trillion rubles to 2.81 trillion rubles. This would permit increased spending in some areas. But Chubais said the government will not compromise on other key indicators, such as inflation, which the government is determined to bring down to an annual rate of 5.7 percent by the end of next year. (Itar-Tass, Reuter, October 13)
Russian Parliament to Decide Today on No-Confidence Vote.