The Russian government has changed the dialling codes in Moscow and 18 other regions to bring the country into line with other international numbering systems. The IT and Telecommunications Ministry approved the plan in early August and implemented the changes yesterday. The Moscow city area code becomes 495 instead of 095, while codes in 18 regions which were prefixed with a zero, including Voronezh, Tver, Kursk and Yaroslavl, now also start with a ‘4’. However, both the old and new dialling codes remain valid for a short transition period, which ends on 31 January 2006. According to the head of the IT Ministry Vitaly Slizen, the government has further plans to amend its numbering systems in 2006, including the introduction of a new system for international dialling codes, which will affect ‘federal’ mobile numbers.