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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


Visa Rule No Mistake

In response to "Religions Hit By New Visa Rule," Aug. 6:


In regard to your editorial I have two comments. First, there is the suggestion that the Ministry of Justice might be trying to raise money from fees. But that doesn't make sense. If it were just a matter of money they could have raised fees across the board and not created four times as much work for themselves. Or, they could have put the three-month visas onto businessmen instead of religious workers. Businessmen are far more numerous and far more capable of paying quadrupled fees.

Second, you suggest this is just "a simple bureaucratic glitch." That is hard to believe. If it is so innocent then why do the changes affect religious workers primarily? It appears that pages of regulations have been rewritten methodically, line by line, to single out religion. This is no accident, It is intentional. And it will have the effect of harassing religious workers and driving them away.

Kenneth Ballie, Colonel

The Salvation Army, Russia/CIS

Assets Not Being Sold

In response to "Investors Block Yukos Asset Sale," June 4:


The article stated that at two general shareholders meetings for two Yukos subsidiaries -- Samaraneftegaz and Tomskneftegaz -- in late May "minority shareholders blocked attempts to sell off assets and issue new shares." In fact, at neither of the two meetings was the question of issuing new shares or the sale of property discussed or on the agenda.

The Samaraneftegaz shareholders meeting last May 28 did not concern any attempts to sell off assets. The amendments to the company charter only formalized the exclusion of several corporate divisions from the list of Samaraneftegaz's subsidiaries. This was a reflection of changes that had occurred in the internal organization of the company and that had been given preliminary approval by a shareholders meeting in September 1997.

At the Tomskneft shareholders meeting, which took place May 28, some changes and additions to the company charter were also rejected. None of them concerned raising the company's charter capital.

Amendments proposed to the charter would have increased the power of the shareholders meeting in the event of a share issue and strengthened the rights of shareholders. In our opinion, the decision was not passed only because some foreign shareholders in Tomskneft are insufficiently familiar with Russian law.

V.S. Shakhnovsky

Deputy Chairman

Yukos Oil Company