Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 213

The Saratov oblast Duma yesterday approved in the second reading a groundbreaking law "On Land" which will, for the first time, sanction the free sale of agricultural land. Voting in the 35- member Duma was 26 for, three against. (RTR, ORT, November 12) The bill now goes to oblast governor Dmitry Ayatskov, who seems certain to sign it into law since the text was drafted and presented to the Duma by his administration. The Duma ruled that the law would come into force 15 days after its official publication. The measure has the strong support of the Yeltsin administration, which has so far failed to persuade Russia’s Communist-dominated State Duma to sanction similar legislation at the national level. The Kremlin hopes that Saratov’s example will be followed by other reform-oriented regions such as neighboring Samara oblast.

Rumors that Maskhadov May Not Return from Foreign Trip Hint at Trial of Strength with Parliament.