The Russian government yesterday sent six taxation bills to the State Duma–the first in an estimated twenty backing up the government’s “anticrisis” program aimed at restoring confidence in Russia’s battered economy. President Boris Yeltsin has given the Duma–which is expected to debate the six on July 1–a little less than a month to approve the government’s measures. (Reuters, June 24) Deputy Speaker Aleksandr Shokhin of the pro-government Russia is Our Home faction warned yesterday that this might be too little time in view of the fact that the Duma is due to recess on July 16 for its summer vacation. (Reuters, June 24)
The government got an unexpected boost yesterday from Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the Yabloko faction, which makes up the government’s liberal opposition in the Duma. Yavlinsky announced that Yabloko will support “all reasonable” measures put forward by the government to overcome Russia’s financial crisis. Until now, Yabloko has consistently voted against virtually all the government’s economic proposals, but went on to warn yesterday that public anger is building up against the Yeltsin leadership. This sentiment, he said, could give real weight to communist-led threats to impeach the president. Yavlinsky said that, to be effective, the government must take steps to dismantle “the corporate, semicriminal and oligarchic foundations” of the present economic system. Borrowing from international organizations, he continued, was like “taking aspirin for the toothache” and would not resolve the fundamental problems of the economy. (Russian agencies, June 24)
IMF CONTINUES TO PONDER RUSSIAN BAIL OUT.