Meanwhile, Shumeiko has asked Yeltsin to suspend, until after the parliamentary elections, the series of privatization auctions that began on November 17. (6) These auctions, which represent the second phase of the Russian government’s attempt to transfer state property to private ownership, aim to raise capital against the collateral of the state’s (often substantial) residual shares in some of Russia’s largest industrial enterprises. The auctions have already aroused controversy because of regional opposition to outside investment, whether Russian and foreign, (7) but the government is claiming success for the first round. State shareholdings in seven companies were offered and four credit agreements were reached, raising 1.02 trillion rubles. A further 22 packets of state shares remain to be auctioned at auctions due to be held within the next few weeks. Given the strength of opposition among some regional elites, Shumeiko seems to be playing to the gallery with his call for the auctions to be postponed for "two to three months." A communist/nationalist dominated Duma might well try to put a stop to the process altogether.
Economic Effects Of "Red-Brown" Victory Assessed.