Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkovvisited Minsk and conferred with its President and Prime Minister,Aleksandr Lukashenko and Mikhail Chigir, about expanding deliveriesof Belarus foodstuffs to the Moscow market, Moscow media reportedAugust 4 through 6. The talks focused on potatoes, vegetables,meat, fresh and powdered milk and dairy products. Luzhkov offeredBelarus producers storage and commercial spaces for their goodsin Moscow housing projects. Belarus officials hope that massiveRussian purchases might postpone the day of reckoning for theirinefficient and deeply indebted kolkhoz system. The opportunitieshave opened in the wake of the elimination of customs barriersbetween Russia and Belarus and the imposition of duties on Russianimports of Western agricultural products. But with its inordinatelyhigh production costs stemming from inefficiency, Belarus seemspoorly placed to compete against other ex-Soviet republics orEast European countries for the Russian food market.