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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Kiev Should Stop Nuclear Stonewalling

When the Soviet empire broke up a year ago, one of the first questions to grip the rest of the world was this: how to prevent the instant creation of three additional nuclear powers - Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus - all of which had inherited very considerable nuclear arsenals. President Jimmy Carter reminded the world of this concern over the weekend, when he criticized Ukraine's reluctance to abide by earlier agreements and give up its nuclear weapons. It was a good subject tor Carter to choose on his brief trip to the Commonwealth. Under the START agreement between , the United States and the Soviet Union, the republics were due to give up most of their strategic nuclear weapons for destruction anyhow. and when Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed an agreement in Alma-Ata promising to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, it seemed that the issue had been settled. Russia would be the sole inheritor of the Soviet nuclear arsenal. But the whole process appears to have gone astray in Kiev recently.

Confusion Surrounds Future of Copyrights

American entertainment executives in Moscow for talks on artistic piracy say they doubt the Russian parliament will meet its year-end deadline to pass legislation making copyright infringement a criminal offense. The violation of international copyright protocol in Russia is severe enough that Hollywood's top studios imposed a film embargo last year and President George Bush required Russia to pass a law by the end of the year if it wants to keep its trade status as a Most Favored Nation, which was granted at last June's presidential summit. ""Everyone is saying they hope the deadline will be met"", said Lise Middleton, manager Eastem Europe for 20th Century Fox Corp. , who was in Moscow last week for a conference that brought together Russian officials and American executives. ""We want to believe it. It is important to get back into the market"". Piracy of intellectual property has turned into a virtual industry in Russia.

Petition On Land Complete

Parliament's radical democrats have collected over 1. 5 million signatures, or 1. 5 times the number they need, to call a nationwide referendum on whether Russians should have the constitutional right to own land, Interfax reported. The success of the Democratic Russia movement, the liberal coalition that organized the petition, means that one of the country's most hotly debated issues has been forced back onto the parliament's agenda, President Boris Yeltsin has been locked in battle with parliament over the passage of a land reform law, which is considered crucial for reforms. Parliament now has three months to verify the signatures gathered. If at least 1 million are valid, then the referendum will take place. Opponents of land reform contend that by amending the constitution to allow the sale of land, Russia would allow foreigners to buy up the country.
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