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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Chaotic Banking System Mislays Trillions of Rubles

The system of payments between banks in Russia is a shambles but Western computer and systems companies can do little to improve the process until the Russian Central Bank can decide on basic banking rules, a Central Bank official told a banking conference Wednesday. In a frank admission at the International Conference on Banking, Tatyana Panoramava, a Central Bank deputy chairman, called the current payment-transfer system one of the bank's biggest failures. Presently, the Central Bank runs its own interbank payments system known as the Central Settlement Account. She said the collapse of interbank"" payments was one of the biggest threats to reforming the economy. The inefficiency of the system can be perfectly glimpsed through the experience of a British embroidery joint venture, Avtokomp. On April 3 it sent over 11 million rubles, about $100, 000 at the April exchange rate, from its St. Petersburg branch to its Moscow branch by bank transfer.

Privatization Anxiety Afflicts Letter Writers

Far from Moscow, in the furthest reaches of the former Soviet Union, ordinary people have a lot to say about the changes being implemented in the capital. As we are a city newspaper, those voices rarely come to us. But the national press receives letters from many concerned citizens of the new era. This new column will bring other voices to The Moscow Times through a selection of letters and comment from the Russian press. It will treat a wide range of topics, from the serious to the bizarre, affecting the people of Russia. Russians pride themselves on their ability to adapt to the most trying circumstances. But these days, many are having a hard time coping with the new reality, as we see from this letter to the Moscow evening newspaper Vechernyaya Moskva: ""I've tried to live by my wits, the best I can"", writes K. Kolosovsky of Moscow. ""I was a Communist Party member, I greeted perestroika with great enthusiasm. I believed the democrats.

Now, Not Later, for the Constitution

There is enough hooliganism in the ongoing power struggle between the executive and legislative branches of Russia's government to warrant looking at it as soccer match. Parliament's adoption of a law on Wednesday taking over control of the government from President Yeltsin was only the latest move by the parliamentary team. Yeltsin's team, represented by Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shumeiko, cried foul in midplay, warning that even if parliament scored with this latest law, he would advise Yeltsin not to count it. And at that point one of Russia's most pressing problems becomes equally clear. There is no referee in this game, because Russia lacks an applicable constitution. Whatever move the legislature makes to increase its powers at Yeltsin's expense, the president will cry foul. and if the president just ignores parliament's legislation, they can do no more than cry foul too. Russia does, of course, have a constitution, drawn up in 1978 at a time when constitutions were something of a fiction.
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