Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 67

The Russian Procurator General is reported to have agreed, following a meeting with the head of the Duma’s Auditing Chamber, that there appear to have been violations of the law by individual officials responsible for the privatization process. Legal action is expected to be initiated against Petr Mostovoi and Alfred Kokh, deputy chairmen of the State Property Committee (GKI), on charges of abuse of office. (Interfax, April 4; See Monitor, April 3) The announcement represents a victory for the Communist-dominated Duma in its war against the privatization process as a whole.

So far, the Duma has managed to snare only two officials on minor charges, but the chairman of the Auditing Chamber, Veniamin Sokolov, made it clear yesterday that the Duma will continue the war. Denationalization has "failed to improve the efficiency of the Russian economy," Sokolov said, and confiscation might be necessary. He called for the halting of mass-scale privatization and for the creation of a state inventory and property commission which would rule "who owns what in the country." Aleksandr Kazakov, present head of the GKI, told Interfax that the Procurator General was unlikely to challenge the results of last autumn’s "loans-for-shares" auctions in the Court of Arbitration or to invalidate their results. However, he said that if the Communists win the presidential election, "deprivatization" and confiscation clearly could not be ruled out.

Arms Export Talks Collapse.