Nord Ost Hostages to Bankrupt Moscow?

Moscow government is not willing to cough up the cash

If a court upholds the lawsuits that were filed by former hostages of the Moscow music theatre, living in Moscow will become more expensive. This is what Vladimir Platonov, the chairman of the Moscow government, said in his interview to Echo of Moscow radio station. “This is a part of the budgetary spending, but there should be revenues as well. We did not plan such spending in the budget of the year 2003,” said Mr. Platonov.

The chairman of the Moscow government (or the Moscow City Duma, as it is officially called) said, if the court rules to pay compensations to former hostages with the sum that they claim, it will make up one-tenth of the annual budget of the city of Moscow. Platonov also stated that the Moscow government had already paid compensations to the people who suffered from the hostage crisis. Vladimir Platonov believes that former hostages should go to the federal government to ask for more compensation. This is stipulated by the anti-terrorist law. The law reads that if a federation unit is unable to compensate people for an act of terrorism that happened on its territory, the money is to be collected from the federal budget.

Vladimir Platonov mentioned that former hostages’ lawyers should have pointed out the co-defendant in their suits at once (with reference to the mentioned part of the anti-terrorist law). The chairman of the Moscow government thinks that there is obviously no such funds in Moscow’s budget.

Mr. Platonov’s logic is rather interesting. He says that living in Moscow will become more expensive. Doesn’t it become more and more expensive every month? The prices for transportation, public utilities, food, and so on keep going up. It seems that the life of common Russians is a lot different, if you look at it from the point of view of an official. Now, the Moscow government has someone to shift the blame on – former hostages of the Nord Ost musical. They can now be blamed for all the troubles of the metropolitan life. The Moscow government paid former hostages a compensation of 50 thousand rubles ($1.5 thousand) and 100 thousand rubles (three thousand dollars) to the relatives of those people, who died. Moscow officials wonder what else they want from them.

Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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