The major financial problem for ORT television is a $100m debt to Vneshekonombank allocated after the 1998 default, general director of the TV channel Konstantin Ernst reported today. He pointed out at a meeting of the Federation Council commission for informational policy that over several months the company had been negotiating the restructuring of this debt. In Ernst's opinion, the channel could repay the debt in five years. He also reported that over the past six months ORT had repaid $45m of the debt. According to Ernst, about 92 percent of revenues of the TV channel, which it received from other sources than the budget, are earned by commercial advertising.
Additionally, the ORT general director reported that at the beginning of July, the company was to enter the US TV market. He stressed that all ORT programs, which had been previously broadcasted in the USA, were pirated. According to Ernst, ORT is actively working on entering foreign TV markets. For example, in fall 2002, ORT is to start work on the European market.
Europe which is panic-stricken over the consequences of rising energy and food prices could strike a treacherous blow to Ukraine this winter, writes Simon Tisdall for The Guardian.