Some 400 workers from the Zvezda nuclear submarine repair plant blocked the Trans-Siberian railway yesterday 20 miles north of the Pacific port city Vladivostok. They were protesting that they had not been paid for ten months (see item that follows). Police clad in full riot- gear and armed with batons cleared the railway after two hours. On the orders of local security chief Viktor Kondratov, who doubles as the Russian president’s representative in the region, no force was used against the protesters, who dispersed after Kondratov promised to meet with them to discuss their complaints. (UPI, Itar-Tass, July 1)
The situation in Primorsky krai, of which Vladivostok is the capital, topped the agenda yesterday when President Yeltsin met in Moscow with top members of his government. According to Yeltsin’s press secretary, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, the meeting was called to review the government’s record in the first six months of this year. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and his two first deputies, Anatoly Chubais and Boris Nemtsov, all took part. Russian news agencies gave few details of the meeting. Chernomyrdin is to meet today with Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznev in an effort to persuade the Duma to interrupt its summer vacation to discuss the government’s proposed austerity budget. Seleznev said yesterday that the Duma, which has so far refused even to debate the spending cuts the government wants to make, would not change its position unless the government comes up with substantial revisions to its present proposals. (Itar-Tass, July 21)
Confusion Regarding Government Debts to the Military.