President Yeltsin has ordered an end to the ambitious project to build a new high-speed rail link between Moscow and St. Petersburg. The High-Speed Rail company (VSM) was launched in 1991 and became a notorious source of political pork barrel, running up debts that are thought to approach US$500 million without having laid a single rail. Most recently, VSM was trying to raise US$200 million to build a lavish terminal-cum-business center in St. Petersburg. (Kommersant-daily, July 2)
STRATEGIC SUBMARINE LAUNCHES GERMAN SATELLITE.