In his televised address Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Primakov assured Russians that there would be no shortage of food staples this winter, saying they would be “fully provided with vegetables, fruit and potatoes.” He also said that the government would make good on its promise to pay off back wages and pensions–one of the main demands of the protesters who are taking to the streets today in seventy-eight of Russia’s eighty-nine regions. Primakov added that the government will find the necessary funds without resorting to printing money. Meanwhile, government spokesman Andrei Korotkov denied rumors that the government has already secretly printed money. Korotkov said all social payments are being carried out on the basis of the 1998 federal budget, and that federal ministries and agencies are in the process of drawing up suggestions on how to find funding for pressing social needs (Russian agencies, October 6).
…BUT REMAINS UNCLEAR ABOUT HOW IT WILL PAY ITS BILLS.