The Russian government’s extraordinary commission on tax collection has discovered that, of 40 tons of gold (worth $500 million) lent from state reserves to gold mines since 1992 to help finance their operations, only eight tons has been returned to the state treasury. The report blames regional authorities in Sverdlovsk, Magadan and Chukotka for diverting the money. National gold reserves fell from 300 tons in 1994 to 84 tons on January 1, 1997. (Kommersant-daily, September 25)
Chechnya Wants to Participate in Olympics.