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Russia: Yeltsin Signs Telecommunications Privatization Decree

Moscow, 28 April 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin today signed a long-awaited decree on privatizing 49 percent of the giant Svyazinvest telecommunications company.

Svyazinvest controls 85 regional telephone companies and more than 20 million of the existing 25 million lines in Russia. AFP says that under the decree, 25 percent of Svyazinvest's shares will be open to purchase by foreign investors, while 24 percent of shares will be reserved for Russians.

Yeltsin also signed a decree instructing the government to draw up a plan on reforming the state housing market by the year 2000.