Only after many-hour negotiations, Krasnoyarsk region’s governor Alexandr Lebebed, Taimyr Autonomous District’s governor Alexandr Khlopynin and chairman of the Legislative Assembly Alexandr Uss have signed a protocol which admits existence of disputable questions between the region and the district and have designed some ways of their settlement. The protocol consists of five points. The first admits that Norilsk’s budget must make not less than 8.5 billion rubles (approximately 283 million dollars), though because of the difficult situation in the region, the district practically receives only 6.2 billion rubles (approximately 207 million dollars). 50 percent of money additionally earned by the city will be transferred to the city budget. The second point concerns reform of housing and communal services in the region (70 percent of money aimed for keeping housing and communal services will be paid by the population, while 30 percent of the means will be subsidized, though only if municipalities present the programme of the housing reform). The third point provides for creation of a working group for conclusion of an inter-budget agreement between the region and Taimyr District. The fourth point reads that between the sides who signed the protocol consultations will be carried out about creation of the united regional government. The fifth point admits that there are difficulties in governing Norilsk industrial territory, which should be overcome with common efforts of regional, district and city authorities. Taimyr’s governor Alexandr Khloponin, while answering questions of journalists, noticed that signing of the protocol could not settle all troubles the region had, but it only witnessed that executive and legislative powers of the region and of the district for the first time started to speak the same language. Alexandr Khloponin proposed to create an all-district government, because an authoritative figure is necessary, that would be acceptable both for the region and the district. This figure, according to Khloponin, could be the head of the all-region government. As for regional and district authorities’ competence in governing Norilsk, Alexandr Khloponin said: “Nobody wants to take away Norilsk from the region.” The question, according to him, is about annihilation of administrative confusion in governing this territory. Alexandr Khloponin also said that negotiations were long and complicated, which proved that the troubles of the region were really serious. Krasnoyarsk Region’s governor Alexandr Lebed said he would sign the region’s budget co-ordinated with Uss and Khloponin, which afterwards would handed over to the Legislative Assembly and would come into effect up to April 25. Alexandr Lebed also said to journalists about difficulties in governing Norilsk, while noticing non-coordination between activities of regional and district police, courts, public prosecutor’s offices, which causes serious consequences and complicates settling of practical questions of the government. The chairman of the Legislative Assembly, Alexandr Uss said that the budged would be passed by the legislators, despite it was far from perfect, because there was no choice. As for Norilsk budget, Uss said that an agreement was reached about the budget to be a norm, therefore the city would have firm sources of financing. As for the regional government, the chairman said it would be difficult to create it. While the question about Norilsk’s status, Uss noticed, should be settled gradually, with taking into account interests of the region, of the district and of the city. Uss did not excluded that federal bodies could be implicated in settling the problem of Norilsk. The reached agreement witnesses serious progress in settling troubles of the region. Though, it is questionable if the agreement will be kept by governor Alexandr Lebed, who is known with his sudden decisions and deeds.
Petr Yermilin PRAVDA.Ru Krasnoyarsk
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/04/05/39341.html
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.