Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 79

Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov, who has complained about biased media coverage of his presidential campaign, was interviewed by the NTV independent TV company on Sunday night. (NTV, April 21) Quizzed on his party’s economic plans, Zyuganov said he would soon be publishing his economic program (publication is reported to have been delayed as a result of internal party policy disagreements). Zyuganov refused to give detailed answers to the kind of questions that are worrying Russian and foreign investors. Asked, for example, whether Russia would follow the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund, Zyuganov said a Communist government would follow those that were "appropriate" to Russia’s situation, but that "any country that calls itself independent" has the right to set its own economic policy.

Pressed by the interviewer to say why the words "private property" do not figure in Communist party position papers, Zyuganov insisted that his party approves "all forms of property." He added that while the Communist party has only half a million members, its presidential campaign is being supported by 200 organizations which together represent 22 million people. He acknowledged that he has critics on both right and left, but said this "probably means we are getting policy about right." He said a Communist government would cut taxes but maintain revenues by tightening up on tax collection and reimposing a state monopoly over the production of hard alcohol. (NTV, April 21)

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