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Soskovets Attacks Market Reform Policies

Moscow, Jan. 24 (RFE/RL) - Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets today called for changes to market reforms which he said had hurt the country in many sectors.

Speaking days after the resignation of privatization chief Anatoly Chubais, Soskovets said Russia had made "many mistakes" in attempting to copy Western economic practices without taking into consideration the uniqueness of the Russian market. He said: "This experience should be acknowledged as negative."

Soskovets added that Russia needed "structural and financial maneuvers aimed at correcting the government, especially in the social sphere." He also said the ruble corridor, which fixes the Russian currency in a broad range against the dollar, was hurting export-orienting firms, especially in the metals industry.

President Boris Yeltsin, in his address before the Federation Council yesterday, called for changes to social policies in order to soften the blow of economic reforms for ordinary Russians.