P.M. BRIEFING : Soviets May Now Spend Foreign Currency, No Questions Asked

FROM TIMES WIRE SERVICES

Soviet citizens will be allowed to spend foreign currency at home beginning next Wednesday without telling the government where they got the money, the Tass news agency reported today.

The new rules were announced at a news conference Tuesday by Deputy Prime Minister Stepan Sitarian, head of the government's foreign economic commission, the official Soviet news agency said.

Sitarian said individual Soviets had $324 million in foreign currency that they had legally acquired but were unable to spend in the Soviet Union, except at special shops for foreigners that have only a limited amount of goods.

And when they spent money in the special shops, known as beriozkas, or opened hard-currency bank accounts, they were required to explain where the funds came from.

Tass said that under the new rules, a network of stores and trade houses will be set up, and Soviet enterprises and organizations as well as private citizens will be able to buy "imported and high-quality domestic goods."

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