08/28/1998 13:08:58 Russian police to watch out for "speculators"
MOSCOW, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Russia's interior minister said
on Friday police were keeping an eye on "speculators" in an
effort to stabilise the crisis-ridden country.
"All necessary measures to stabilise the situation in
Russian cities were being taken," acting Interior Minister
Sergei Stepashin said in remarks reported by Interfax news
"The main thing is that the majority of the population not
fall into the paws of speculators. Several shops have been
closing. I understand that we have a market economy, but there
are also state and law-enforcement organs to regulate it."
He said police were controlling all exchange points and
banks and taking steps to crack down on capital flight.
In a country where so-called "speculation" was once a
capital crime and armed commandos still rappel down the sides of
buildings to collect taxes, officials sometimes threaten to use
force to regulate the market.
Their remarks are usually dismissed as bluster, although
this week's sudden sharpening of Russia's economic crisis has
raised the spectre of social unrest.