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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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2 Changes Will Raise Tax Bill for Businesses

Western business advisers said Wednesday that the Russian government had unveiled two decisions that will substantially increase the tax burden on many foreign firms. The two decisions -- at a time when Russian officials have tried to calm foreign investors' anxiety about the tax system -- officially extend to foreign companies a 38 percent wage tax on all salaries of more than $60 per month and a 23 percent value-added tax on property rental. Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Alexashenko confirmed the two taxes. He said both were ""normal"" decisions taken to level the tax system for foreign and Russian companies. In addition, Economics Minister Alexander Shokhin surprised Western business leaders Wednesday by implying that the application of the 23 percent value-added tax to foreign loans entering Russia would not necessarily be abolished.

Russia Gives Secret Files To Prague

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- Russia has released more secret files on the buildup to the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, including details of a previously unknown warning by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Rudolf Pikhoya, Russia's chief archivist, handed over Monday what he called ""materials of outstanding importance"" to Czech President Vaclav Havel. It is the second batch of materials turned over to the Czechs. Soviet diplomatic dispatches were released in December 1991. On Aug. 21, 1968, armies of five Warsaw Pact countries crushed the democratic reforms of Alexander Dubcek, known as the ""Prague Spring."" Dubcek and several other Communist Party leaders were hijacked to Moscow and kept in isolation until they publicly complied with the invasion. The invasion served as proof of Moscow's readiness to use force to maintain its empire and helped to prolong the Communist era in Eastern and Central Europe for another two decades.

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