The procuracy in Russia has generally been seen as the toothless handmaiden of the civil power. It came as a surprise, therefore, when the oblast procurator in Saratov Oblast, Nikolai Makarov, issued Saratov Governor Dmitri Ayatskov an official and public warning that, if Ayatskov goes ahead with his plans to legalize prostitution in the oblast, the procurator will open criminal proceedings against him. Many people in the oblast object to the governor’s plans on moral grounds. Makarov’s objection, however, is that prostitution is outlawed by Russian federal legislation. Ayatskov does not, therefore, have the power to legalize it in his oblast. The Monitor’s correspondent in Saratov Oblast reports that Makarov’s threat came after the governor instructed to the oblast Security Council to prepare a feasibility study on legalizing prostitution, by way of experiment, in Saratov’s second city, Balakovo. Most observers believe that Ayatskov’s real aim is to tax a booming area of the black economy.
Moscow Proposes CIS Agreement on Protecting Intellectual Property.