Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov met with Boris Yeltsin yesterday and got the president’s permission for Moscow to opt out of the nationwide reform of housing and utilities being coordinated by First Deputy Premier Boris Nemtsov. Luzhkov argued that the situation in Moscow is so different from that in other parts of the country that it makes no sense for Moscow to be included. (Itar-Tass, May 7) Earlier in the week, Luzhkov was blunter about Moscow’s reasons for opting out, telling journalists that the government’s reforms are "doomed to failure" because the public will be unable to pay higher prices for rent and utilities as long as the economy is still in recession. (Itar-Tass, May 6)
Yeltsin and Maskhadov to Meet Soon in Moscow.