Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin approved on October 15 a deal which allows the auto giant AvtoVAZ to pay off its tax arrears over 10 years. The firm owes 2.9 trillion rubles to the federal government and 1.8 trillion to Samara oblast, and will have to pay off 100-150 billion a month over the next decade. In the interim the Federal Property Fund will hold a controlling packet of shares as collateral and will sell them off if the firm defaults. First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais had repeatedly threatened AvtoVAZ with bankruptcy: this deal seems to satisfy both sides. (Kommersant-daily, October 17)
Moscow Mayor Accuses Army of Killing Journalist.