The Russian government has referred to the Constitutional Court the law–passed earlier this month by the State Duma–restricting foreign ownership of Russia’s electricity giant, United Energy Systems (UES), and other energy sector companies to a maximum of 25 percent. At present, foreign investors are believed to own at least 30 percent of UES shares, while the state owns 51 percent. The chairman of Russia’s Federal Securities Commission, Dmitri Vasiliev, told journalists yesterday that the law violates Russia’s Civil Code and the constitutionally-guaranteed right to private ownership, and the government will challenge it on those grounds. (Itar-Tass, May 19)
OPPOSITION THREATENS YELTSIN WITH IMPEACHMENT.