Experts from Russia’s Federal Border Service claimed on October 21 that Russia loses $2 billion annually because of illegal fishing in its waters, and that illegal export of crab to Japan costs Russia more than $500 million in 1996 alone. On the same day, a Russian daily claimed that a "framework agreement" is to be signed during President Boris Yeltsin’s November 1-2 talks with Japanese prime minister Ryutaro Hashimoto that will allow Japanese fishing boats to operate freely in Russian waters off the disputed Kuril Islands. The newspaper claimed that the agreement would open the way for "mass pilfering" of Russia’s marine resources. (Itar-Tass, Komsomolskaya pravda, October 21)
Russia-Libya Look to Strengthen Ties.