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Wednesday, September 9, 1998 Published at 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK

Russian separatist fears fuelled

Russian shoppers are hoarding scarce supplies of basic foods

Russia's political paralysis and moves by regional leaders to take matters into their own hands to ease the impact of the economic crisis have fuelled fears of increasing regional separatism.

Russia crisis
The authorities in several regions including Krasnoyarsk, Samara, Tambov, Stavropol, North Ossetia and Kaliningrad have announced emergency measures such as price controls and restrictions on deliveries of food beyond their regions.


The authorities in Krasnoyarsk and Buryatia in Siberia announced emergency measures on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the Republic of Tatarstan on the Volga followed suit.

[ image: Regional politicians are taking measures to ensure basic foods remain available]
Regional politicians are taking measures to ensure basic foods remain available
Russian Public TV reported that the Tatarstan government was refusing to pay some federal taxes and that defence industry workers would now receive local produce as part of their wages.

In the Novgorod region, northwest of Moscow, the authorities have set up a general commodity bank to organise the bartering of timber, cardboard, mineral fertilisers and other local products in exchange for food, ITAR-TASS news agency reported.

Local price controls, food export bans In the southern city of Tambov, the municipal assembly on Wednesday decided to block all movement of essential goods including bread, sugar, salt, meat and cereals to areas beyond the city.

Deputies argued that visiting traders had been buying up large quantities of such goods at city markets.

Meanwhile, in the Ivanovo region northeast of Moscow, the city authorities told shops on Wednesday to restricts sales of loaves of bread to no more than five per person.

They also banned deliveries of bread beyond the region.

In North Ossetia, in the Russian Caucasus, President Alexander Dzasokhov announced that he had ordered the drafting of a resolution to fix the prices of 11 basic food items.

Food police

In Stavropol region, traffic police were told to keep a round-the-clock watch at checkpoints to prevent large quantities of food being taken out of the region.

Price controls were also imposed, as in North Ossetia.

Meanwhile in the southern region of Rostov, a regional food reserve is being created to regulate food supplies, ITAR-TASS reported.

Local leaders were advised to urgently sign contracts with farmers and food-processing firms, offering them the most favourable terms of co-operation, including the supply of manufactured goods and tax breaks.

BBC Monitoring (, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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