Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 74

Russian president Boris Yeltsin has issued a decree that increases government control over the privatization of enterprises in Russia’s military-industrial complex, a Russian news agency reported yesterday. The action, which is aimed at "ensuring effective state control" over defense privatization, was also said to be motivated by a desire to prevent "damage to national security." The decree included creation of a government commission to oversee privatization of defense enterprises. It is to be headed by Oleg Soskovets, whose areas of responsibility as first deputy prime minister in the Russian government include the defense industries and military conversion. The commission is to draw up a list within two months of military-industrial enterprises whose privatization will be prohibited. (Reuter, April 15) The decree appears to be a victory for those opponents of defense privatization who have argued that many top firms were being sold off too cheaply, in some cases to foreigners, and that strategic national resources were thus being squandered.

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