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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

State Draws Up List of Firms to Be Sold in '98

The Russian government is drawing up a list of 10 state companies to be privatized this year and another list of strategic companies that cannot be privatized without parliamentary approval, Interfax said Tuesday.

"Significant" businesses will be included on the list of companies to be sold this year, Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov said after a Cabinet meeting, Interfax reported. They are expected to include the telecommunications company, Svyazinvest, and several oil companies.

The government needs to earn substantial revenues from the sale of state assets to help plug a gaping budget deficit.

The previous government tried to push the State Duma to approve such a list. However, legislators rejected those efforts, saying that privatization sales had led to numerous legal violations and, in many cases, to the detriment of Russia's national interests.

Meanwhile, the Russian government also plans to issue three more international bonds this year, each worth up to $2 billion, according to Reuters.

The program, sent to the Duma, parliament's lower house, for approval, said Russia also planned to receive up to $2.7 billion from the International Monetary Fund this year under its Extended Fund Facility.

Earlier, President Boris Yeltsin hailed last month's decision by the European Union to accept Russia as a genuine market economy and hence exempt it from punitive "dumping" rules, news agencies reported.

"At last Russia has been accepted as a country with a market economy," Yeltsin said. "We fought for this for two years, and we finally have it," he told diplomats in an address at the Foreign Ministry.

Yeltsin said the recognition, which removes the "nonmarket economy" tag from Russia that penalized its exporters, would enable Russia to enter the world economy as an industrially developed country; an equal and responsible partner."

The president urged his diplomats to consider the economy in formulating foreign policy, stressing that the ministry should fight in Russia's corner to secure favorable membership in international economic and financial organizations.

Russia's newfound economic status is due to be recognized at next weekend's Group of Seven leading industrialized nations summit in Birmingham, England, Itar-Tass cited Russian delegation sources as saying.

The new market-economy tag, adopted by the European Union late last month, means that enterprises operating in Russia may, when facing allegations of dumping, make a case that they operate according to market rules in terms of profitability and yield.

The normal value of their products will be assessed accordingly.

In the past, anti-dumping calculations made by the commission referred to costs of comparable third countries, because it was felt that in a state-planned and -controlled economy, it was not possible to assess manufacturing costs properly.