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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

08/07/1992

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Military technology could find ecological use

Internationally renowned physicists and Russian ecologists plan to meet near Moscow next week to discuss converting space-age weapons into peaceful monitoring stations to harness environmental catastrophes. The scientists hope to focus a network of satellites called ""Brilliant Eyes"" on the Arctic Sea to monitor radioactive contaminants that threaten Scandinavia and North America, said one of the organizers of the International Workshop on the Global Ecological Monitoring Project. The workshop is slated for Aug 8 to 12 at Dubna, a village about 200 kilometers from Moscow. The ""Brilliant Eyes"" project proposes using Russian defense-related devices for ""peaceful humanitarian goals', ' said Rostislav Sergeyev, head of the Ecology Safety Council of the Foreign Policy Association. Scientists envision refitting 10 Russian SS-18 rocket launchers to send off 7 to 10 low-orbit satellites. The network will enable scientists to monitor the pollutants in the Arctic and in other heavily contaminated areas of Siberia.

Minister disavows disputed bank plan

Russia's economics minister on Thursday disavowed a controversial July 28 order from the new Central Bank chief, Viktor Gerashchenko, that would have effectively written off the debt of state enterprises. The move by the Yeltsin governing team was an attempt to bring its market-oriented reform policy back on track after a week of fears, sparked by Gerashchenko's telegram, of a return to old-style economics. At a press conference, Economics Minister Andrei Nechayev said that most officials who attended a cabinet meeting Thursday had been opposed to the Central Bank plan, and that the bank's still unofficial 1. 5-trillion-ruble debt-relief plan would be rescinded. He called instead for 500 billion rubles in new credits for Russian industry, which has been staggering under the weight of a backlog in payment and a pile-up of unsold goods. Nechayev also advocated allowing certain firms to go bankrupt ""in extreme cases"", a step the Gerashchenko plan had sought to avoid.
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