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Russia: Report Warns Of Organized Crime Threat

Washington, 30 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - A report by a private American research organization contends that unless organized crime is curbed in Russia, the country will be in danger of evolving into a state run by an alliance of gangsters, corrupt bureaucrats and a handful of crooked businessmen.

The conclusion is contained in a report based on a two-year study called "Russian Organized Crime." The study was prepared by a group of American experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. CSIS is a non-profit institute that researches international issues and makes policy recommendations.

The study was released yesterday. It said organized crime in Russia is "expanding at a dizzying pace," and is "a major force in shaping the post-Soviet political, economic and social development of Russia."

The report further says that the organized criminals in Russia also pose a direct threat to the security interests of the United States because they threaten the stability of democratic Russia.

U.S. Senator John Kyl (R-Arizona), the chairman of a Senate subcommittee on terrorism and a contributor to the CSIS report, said he plans to convene hearings on the issue of Russian organized crime in order to draft policy recommendations for the White House.