In Father's Name
The son of Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader who threatened that communism would "bury" America, is soon to become a U.S. citizen.
Almost 40 years after his father memorably thumped his shoe on a desk at the UN, Sergei Khrushchev and his wife Valentina Golenko are to take a citizenship examination on June 23 and swear the oath of allegiance.
Khrushchev, 63, a rocket engineer and computer scientist who once headed the Soviet Missile Design Bureau, is now a senior research scholar and lecturer at Brown University's Center for Foreign Policy Development. He arrived at the university in the autumn of 1991 for a two-year exchange program and later applied for permanent residence. He refused to call it a defection at the time since Russia and the United States "were no longer enemies."
At Daggers Drawn
Georgian President Eduard Shevarnadze said May 17 that a plot exposed last weekend was aimed at overthrowing the country's government, and that the coup leaders were based in Russia.
Shevarnadze, 71, has survived two assassination attempts-a nail-filled bomb explosion in 1995 and a grenade attack on his motorcade in 1998.
Georgia's relations with Moscow have been strained for years, complicated by what the Georgian leadership believes is covert Russian support for separatists in Abkhazia, in the northwest of the country.
Russia has four military bases on Georgian soil and several thousand peacekeepers in Abkhazia.
More Talks of Peace
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov met with his Japanese counterpart, Masahiko Komura, May 29 to discuss the Kosovo crisis and the signing of a Russian-Japan peace treaty by the end of the year.
The two countries have never signed a formal peace treaty because of a dispute over four islands in the Kuril chain seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War II.
President Boris Yeltsin is expected to go on a state visit to Japan next fall, but no date for the trip has yet been set.
Komura is also scheduled to meet with Viktor Chernomyrdin, Boris Yeltsin's special envoy to the Balkans, to discuss the conflict in Yugoslavia.
A court has halted a bankruptcy lawsuit against Inkombank, one of Russia's major insolvent banks, the bank announced Thursday.
Bankruptcy proceedings will only continue after the Moscow Arbitration Court has reached a decision on Inkombank's lawsuit against the Russian Central Bank for revocation of its license.
Inkombank said last week that it plans to restructure its $4 billion in debt, restore liquidity and pay off private depositors through the transfer of bank branches to Guta-Bank.
Since Russian commercial banks were devastated by the financial crisis last August, Russia's Central Bank has been notoriously slow in bankrupting them.
A survey conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation revealed 72 percent of Russians are in favor of a union between Russia and Belarus, up from 65 percent two years ago.
Of the 1,500 Russians surveyed, about a third of the respondents said they would vote for the union under any circumstances. Forty-seven percent said their final decision would depend on what the common state would look like.
Russia and Belarus signed a union agreement in 1996, which called for strong political, economic and military ties between the two nations, but stopped short of creating a single state.
Muzzled in the Far East
A Russian court has thrown out a civil suit launched against a Pentecostalist church in the Far East under Russia's controversial religion law.
Prosecutors in the port city of Magadan had tried to outlaw the Word of Life Pentecostalist Church, accusing its chief pastor of hypnotizing congregants in order to extort donations.
Russia's religion law gives courts the right to ban religious groups found to be inciting hatred or intolerant behavior.
The law, passed in 1997, recognizes Russian Orthodox Christianity as the state's leading faith and pledges to respect Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. Other denominations have to prove they've had a presence in Russia for at least 15 years before they're permitted full legal status.
Human rights groups have protested Russia's religion law as a violation of the Russian Constitution, which protects the freedom of religion.
The prosecutors have until next week to appeal the case.