Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 41

Russian president Boris Yeltsin has signed the 1997 federal budget into law. (Itar-Tass, RTR, February 26) Skepticism remains about whether the income-side estimates are realistic. The government says the target revenues can be met if tax reform is carried out, but the fact that a large number of tax breaks will have to be scrapped remains a major unresolved obstacle to implementation of such a reform. (See Monitor, February 10) Public anger over wage and pension arrears prompted Yeltsin to call this week for a major government reshuffle. The government has appealed, without much hope of success, to Russia’s trade unions to cancel a nationwide day of protest planned for March 27.

Primakov: Ball in NATO’s Court.