Russia Behind Schedule On Millennium Bug : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Russia Behind Schedule On Millennium Bug Full Coverage Year 2000 Problem MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has fixed fewer than a third of the millennium bug computer problems that threaten to strike at New Year, its top telecommunications official said Monday.

Officials told a government meeting that Russia was behind schedule and underfinanced in dealing with the problem, but predicted it would still be resolved on time.

``Only 30 percent of this work has been completed,'' Prime-Tass news agency quoted Alexander Ivanov, head of the state committee for telecommunications, as saying.

He expected preparations to finish by November but also recommended precautions such as cutting the number of commercial flights on New Year's Eve and having computer specialists stand by.

Many Russian computers, like others the world over, could confuse the year 2000 with 1900 when midnight strikes at the end of this year. The so-called millennium bug has generated fears that anything from nuclear missiles to elevators could fail.

Ivanov also suggested darkly that foreign spies might try to infiltrate state computer systems under the guise of helping Russia cope with the computer problem.

News agencies quoted Finance Minister Mikhail Kasyanov as saying government ministries and agencies, which had collectively requested $370 million to combat the problem, had agreed $187 million would be enough, with priority funding for defense applications.

Ivanov told the meeting that Russia as a whole should have spent 13 billion roubles ($533 million) by mid-year to fix the problem, but had only spent two billion.

Government officials have said the eventual cost to the economy of dealing with the millennium bug could be as high as $2-3 billion.

($ - 24.40 roubles)

-- justme (, July 12, 1999


and how much of this money will you and I have to put in??

How much of a risk will you and I have to take?

-- confused (, July 12, 1999.

Ivanov also suggested darkly that foreign spies might try to infiltrate state computer systems under the guise of helping Russia cope with the computer problem.

Yep, just like what is happening here. Believe it.

-- Dog Gone (, July 12, 1999.

Officials: Only one-third of Russia's vital computers Y2K-ready (AP)

Monday, July 12, 1999 bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/1999/07/12/ international1123EDT0549.DTL

(07-12) 08:23 PDT MOSCOW (AP) -- Only one-third of Russia's vital computer systems are ready for the millennium, and the government probably won't have the money to fix the rest in time, officials said Monday.

Finance Ministry officials told a Cabinet meeting on Monday that Russia needs at least $187 million to prepare its computers for the year 2000, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

The new estimates were dramatically lower than previous figures, which said Russia would need $1 billion to $3 billion to fight the millennium bug. The Finance Ministry did not explain the discrepancy.

Still, the money will be hard to find, and Moscow will probably have to give priority to defense and security sectors while withholding money from other agencies, Finance Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said, according to ITAR-Tass.

The Defense Ministry needs $13 million to fix the problem, and the Interior Ministry needs $6 million, Kasyanov said.

Russian government agencies have 28,000 vital computer systems, one- third of which are ready for the Year 2000 changeover, said Alexander Ivanov, head of the State Communications Committee.

He said many of Russia's government agencies don't fully appreciate the risks. ``The situation with resolving the Y2K bug in Russia provokes concern,'' Ivanov told the meeting, according to the Interfax news agency.

Russia plans to reduce the number of airplane flights on Dec. 31, halt some hazardous industrial processes and switch others to manual control, ``just in case'' anything goes wrong, Ivanov said.

But the Russian Central Bank and most fuel and energy companies are prepared, he said.

Russia has been slow to address the millennium bug because of more pressing problems, including a severe cash shortage.

The problem may occur if older computers that use two figures to designate a year mistake the year 2000 for 1900 and shut down or produce erroneous information.

-- Diane J. Squire (, July 13, 1999.

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