State Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov reported that the lower parliamentary chamber had no money for transportation and communications, and had even run out of paper. Duma Chief Of Staff Nikolai Troshkin said that there wasn’t “one kilogram” of paper in the Duma, that the building was without heat and that Duma deputies living nearby in the Hotel Moskva had been threatened with eviction for unpaid bills. A Moscow-based correspondent who visited the Duma on Thursday confirmed to Monitor that the building was without heat, and said that its cafeteria had no coffee. Seleznyov said the government owed the Duma 146 million rubles (US$9 million), and accused Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov of “flagrant violation of the federal law on the budget.” Deputy Duma Speaker Vladimir Ryzhkov said that the Duma would no longer be able to meet if the funds were not provided. Deputies were scheduled to meet with Zadornov on Friday to discuss the issue.
FISHING IN MURKY WATERS.