Soviets lift limits on magazine subscriptions

After months of public outcry, the Soviet cabinet has lifted restrictions on subscriptions to popular newspapers and magazines, Pravda reported yesterday. The action by the Council of Ministers signaled a victory for Soviets who had deluged the press with letters complaining about the restrictions.

The council said the Communications Ministry and State Publishing Committee committed ``huge inadequacies and oversights'' in limiting 1989 subscriptions.

In imposing the limits, the Ministry had said there was not enough paper to print all the newspapers and magazines needed to keep up with demand. But in September, the government found new paper supplies for next year. But the ministry did not lift the restrictions.

Thousands of Soviets had been turned away from post offices where they hoped to apply for 1989 subscriptions. Some claimed the paper shortage explanation was just an excuse by conservatives to stifle Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of openness.

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