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Gomel Radio Plant

Gomel Radio Plant [Gomel Radio Works or Gomel Radio-Engineering Plant] is an electronics producer that exports to Russia.

The Vympel corporation designs, develops, and produces missile attack warning systems and space control systems, and is involved in the production of anti-ballistic missile systems. It includes design and production facilities in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. It is currently seeking to apply its high-technology resources to civil applications. The corporation includes five major R&D centers, the Radio Plant in Gomel', Belarus, and the Machine Building Plant in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.

As of mid-2001 a total of 627, or 41.3 percent, industrial enterprises in the Gomel Region were unprofitable. The sum of their losses reached 31,500 million roubles, and account payable of the enterprises and organisations exceed accounts receivable by 1.5 times. A total of 21,400 people worked part-time in the first half-year and about 7,000 were on enterprise-initiated unpaid holidays. The figures of unemployment in the Gomel Region grew up by 8 per cent compared to the same period of in 2000. The official number of unemployed is here 18,000 or 2.6 per cent, and it is far not the limit. Enterprises of the region go on in layoffs of employment.

The director of Gomel Radio Plant Anatoly Kirikov expressed the opinion that he would dismiss all the 2,300 workers to be able to take on only 600 after that. Over the first six months of 2001, they fired 235 employees and 93 more had been notified of the future dismissals. The administration was prepared to sack another 300 staffers. The company remained in shambles. Debts for consumed electricity reached 1,5bln rubles, indebtedness before the budget rose to 500mln rubles, plus the overdue credit worth 105mln. rubles, acquired from bank back in 1997. For the delay in payments the plant was cut off from gas supplies. By July 2001 they only cleared off 50% of salary indebtedness for May 2001 out of another credit from bank worth 80mln. In early January 2002, Anatoly Kirikov, director of the Gomel Radio Factory, was accused of abuse of office (Art. 424, par, 3, of the Penal Code) and placed in a detention center. Local activists believed that the wave of economic arrests are indicative of Lukashenko's desire to settle scores after the elections with critics of political and economic policies.

A working group with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov visited Minsk on 10 February 2000, and the negotiations resulted in the signing of an intergovernmental agreement setting up a Russian-Belarussian international financial industrial group called Defense Systems. The group, which would design, manufacture and sell joint air-defense technology, would include Belarussian companies like the Gomel radio factory and the Minsk truck factory. Using Belarussian-made chassis and electronic equipment, the group could manufacture mobile anti-missile systems such as the S-300 and S-400.

Gomel is a modern social and economic centre of the of Gomel region. Its population is about 500 thousand people. Gomel is a large industrial centre. Agricultural machine-building, machine-tool construction and instrument making, timber and wood-working, light and food industry enterprises work in the city. The biggest industrial producers are grain and feed harvester producer Gomselmash, glass and glass goods plant Gomelsteklo, furniture plant Gomeldrev, diamond-working company Kristall, oil-refining enterprise Belarusneft, machine tool producer Gomel Kirov machine-building plant, cast iron goods producer Tsentrolit, knitting mills Eighth of March and Komintern, confectionery factory Spartak. The Gomelkabel electrical appliances plant, Bekker-system-Belarus and Chebel companies, which belong to the free economic area "Gomel-Raton" are also functioning. Gomel is one of the biggest educational centres of the country. There are 5 higher educational establishments in the city.

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