Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said in Voronezh yesterday that — assuming Boris Yeltsin is reelected — the government will approve by the end of the year a program boosting military-technical cooperation with foreign states. Chernomyrdin described the program as a key element in the government’s broader efforts to support the defense industrial sector. A second element in that strategy, Chernomyrdin reminded his audience, is the government’s decision to allocate some 6 trillion rubles in order to liquidate in the current year all government debts to defense enterprises for the period 1994-1996. "This is difficult," Chernomyrdin said," but the money will be ear-marked." (Interfax, ORT, "Vremya," June 11)
Meanwhile, Russian first deputy prime minister Oleg Soskovets was stressing some of the same themes during a speech the same day to aircraft workers in Irkutsk. According to Soskovets, Russia is expected to sign contracts in July for the export of Su-27 and Su-30 military aircraft that could be worth $10 billion. He also said that by early 1997 a powerful aircraft production corporation would be created by combining the Sukhoi design bureau with aviation plants in Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, and Komsomolsk-na-Amur. Not unexpectedly, Soskovets added that the Irkutsk aircraft production complex would receive state support through a program promoting defense conversion and the transition to production of civilian planes. (Interfax, June 11)
Talk of Election Fraud on The Rise.