Russian Central Bank Chairman Sergei Dubinin has announced that Russia will take steps "within the next few months" to ease currency exchange restrictions and to make the ruble fully convertible for foreign trade transactions. The move is seen as sign of confidence in Russia’s reforming economy and as a boost to Russian exporters. (Financial Times, April 6) Meanwhile, Russian shares are reported to have rallied strongly in response to increased interest by Western investors reacting to the latest opinion polls. The polls show Boris Yeltsin narrowing the gap against his closest presidential rival, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov. (Reuters, April 9)
MOSCOW REJECTS NUCLEAR SAFETY CHARGES.