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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

01/19/1994

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Luzhkov Urges Food Subsidies

Mayor Yury Luzhkov raised the specter of food shortages in Moscow on Tuesday, urging the state government to maintain subsidies to the capital in an open letter printed in Russian newspapers -- which some analysts called a political gambit. Luzhkov wrote to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin that ""under the pretext of accelerating economic reform and defending domestic agriculture,"" Russian officials have advocated ending the subsidies and imposing new food import tariffs that could ""impoverish"" Muscovites. Many Moscow distributors now receive federal subsidies to buy basic foodstuffs like sugar, meat and milk without passing on high prices to consumers, said Yevgeny Korepanov, press spokesman for Moscow's Food Resources Department. Even with subsidies, Luzhkov wrote, Moscow distributors at a wholesale fair in December contracted to buy just 7 percent of the sunflower oil, 41 percent of the butter and 35 percent of the meat products the city needs for the next six months.

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