The city of Moscow yesterday became the forty-sixth Russian region to sign a power-sharing treaty with the federal authorities. Moscow’s treaty–which covers finance, real estate and law enforcement issues–has been a long time in the drafting. Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov was determined to secure special tax and budget privileges, and was negotiating the final details with President Boris Yeltsin up until the last minute before yesterday’s Kremlin signing ceremony.
As befits the city attracting the lion’s share of Russia’s foreign investment, Moscow’s treaty includes a number of features not found in other such accords. Other regions are fiercely jealous of the financial support Moscow receives from the federal budget, but Yeltsin made it clear yesterday that Moscow’s status as the federal capital justifies the city’s privileges and that he will defend them against sniping by other regions. (NTV, 16 June 1998)
RUSSIA’S INTERIOR TROOPS TO BE HALVED.