Russian Mob Holds Summit In Austria
RUSSIAN organized crime leaders held a mob summit in Austria in May to discuss gambling, contract killings, and other shady business back home, a Moscow newspaper reported June 28.
The report in the daily Izvestia underscored the increasingly international character of Russia's organized crime and came as top United States officials, including Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Louis Freeh, began high-level meetings throughout Europe to discuss, among other things, ways to combat the powerful Russian mafia. On July 4 Mr. Freeh will open a two-man FBI office in Moscow that will largely focus on organized crime, drug trafficking, and the threat of nuclear weapons.
In the past year, US and Russian law enforcement officials have tripled their number of joint cases.
The focus of the mob's ``Vienna Congress,'' Izvestia reported, was relations with non-Russian gangs from the Caucasus Mountains region, but casino gambling in Moscow was also discussed. Vienna was chosen for the summit because Austria and Germany are the Western countries most ``developed'' by Russian mobsters, it said. Norway premier urges `yes' on EU
NORWAY should join the European Union to influence the new cooperation with neighboring Russia, Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland said June 28, offering another argument to persuade voters to back membership.
The EU signed a landmark friendship agreement with Russia on June 24 that promised new political and economic ties to help Moscow reform its economy.
Mrs. Brundtland's Labor government says Norway should join the EU, since the end of the cold war has removed neutrality as a reason for Sweden and Finland to stay out. Austria, Finland, Norway, and Sweden hope to join the EU on Jan. 1, 1995.
Norwegians, the most skeptical of the three Nordic applicants, are due to cast their vote Nov. 28. Many are concerned about giving up sovereignty to distant Brussels and the loss of control over rich natural resources such as fish and North Sea oil and gas.
A recent opinion poll showed 59 percent of Norwegians as being against membership and 41 percent in favor.