Officials of Russia’s CIS Cooperation Ministry and customs service said yesterday that the 20 percent Russian value-added tax on goods imported from Ukraine went into effect on October 1. Moscow’s move ignores Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma’s appeal to Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin at their September 28 talks in Moscow to postpone implementation of the VAT pending further talks. (Interfax-Ukraine, Itar-Tass, October 1). Moscow had agreed to suspend the measure for the month of September but is now charging the VAT retroactively on Ukrainian goods that entered Russia last month. President Boris Yeltsin decreed the tax in August for the stated purpose of generating budget revenue and protecting Russian producers, despite the Russian-Ukrainian free trade agreement. The measure is expected to reduce severely Ukrainian exports to Russia.
Armenian Opposition Appeals for International Intercession.