Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 43

Aleksandr Kazakov, who last month succeeded Anatoly Chubais as chairman of Russia’s State Property Committee, said in Moscow yesterday that his ministry will concentrate in the future more on managing state property efficiently than on selling it off. (3) "The strategic policy of privatization has not been abolished, but privatization will no longer be the priority for the committee that it was for my predecessors," he said, adding that the rate of privatization of state property would be slowed down. His remarks aroused suspicion that the government might be about to abandon the commitment it made to the IMF last week when, in return for a three-year $10.2 billion loan, it undertook, among other things, not to backtrack on the denationalization of state property. At the least, the government is likely to discontinue the "shares-for-loans" auctions that aroused such controversy at the end of last year. On Monday, the claim of Oneksimbank to a controlling packet of shares in the Norilsk Nickel company was upheld by the Moscow Arbitrage Court but, before the court’s decision takes effect, the company has one month in which to appeal. Meanwhile, the managers of Russia’s largest manufacturer of aircraft engines, Rybinsk Motors, announced yesterday that they are continuing their fight to prevent the government’s efforts to put the bankrupt company up for sale. (4)

Russia Joins Council of Europe…