Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow Rations Butter

MOSCOW () -- Mayor Yury Luzhkov has written an open letter to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin to complain about the "burning" problem of food supplies to the capital and demanding government assistance in dealing with it.

The letter followed serious butter and vegetable oil shortages Moscow faced because of reduced deliveries and a lack of funds. As a result, butter has been rationed in the city since Dec. 6, the first restrictions imposed on food purchases since the shortages of fall 1991.

According to city food procurement department officials, Moscow will also soon face a shortage of sugar because of a 1-million-ton cut in production in Russian and the break in traditional links with Ukraine and Cuba. "Measures should be taken immediately," said department spokesman Gennady Koripanov. "Otherwise it will be difficult to feed the city's 9 million residents."