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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A brief look at the stories making headlines in the Russian-language press


The treaty on creating the Russian-Belarussian union state took effect Wednesday. The story calls this state the "Kremlin offshore" with many high-level Kremlin officials standing in line for promising posts. They say Boris Yeltsin, too, is not against taking a job in the new union. The conclusion is that a virtual Kremlin, an original offshore free from the dangers of Russian reality in the form of the Criminal Code, may flourish in this virtual state governed by Alexander Lukashenko. Also covered in Kommersant Daily and Noviye Izvestia.

Through his meeting with acting President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov is likely to have corrected his own "tactless October act" when he refused to meet with Boris Yeltsin, the story notes, saying that after the meeting with Putin, Primakov, if he agrees, will only take part in the presidential elections as outward competition. Also covered in Vremya and Moskovskiye Novosti.

The State Duma on Wednesday approved the candidacy of Deputy Alexander Zhukov, from the Russia's Regions faction, to the post of head of the budget and taxes committee. In an interview, he talks about the plans of this key committee for the near future.

The Tax Ministry demands that national power grid Unified Energy Systems pay its debt to the federal budget. UES' 90 daughter enterprises' debts amount to 26.2 billion rubles ($918 million). The story describes the situation and the company's response.

President of the International Football Federation, Zepp Blatter, who arrived in Moscow for the Commonwealth of Independent States Soccer Cup, made public a global program, Goal, which aims at giving financial aid to CIS soccer clubs. The story highlights the program.

The story offers new facts in the murder case of entrepreneur and financier Ivan Kivelidi and his secretary, who died Aug. 1, 1995. Kivelidi's business partner, Vladimir Khutsishvili, is suspected of committing the crime. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

Commonwealth of Independent States customs and tax officials have failed to come to an agreement on creating a free trade zone. The story says why, focusing on Russia's stand on the issue.

Sergei Yastrzhembsky, recently appointed to the post of presidential adviser responsible for coordinating information and analytical work of the federal executive bodies, which are taking part in the anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya, stated his view Wednesday on the informational aspect of the Chechen war. The story offers his stance. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

The story reports on how the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, may use the experience of the British Parliament in its relations with the Kremlin.

The government intends to do everything in its power to help Rosselkhozbank survive. The story examines several measures taken for this purpose.

In an interview, former Fuel and Energy Minister Sergei Generalov, now a State Duma deputy, says why he resigned, what Duma committee he may join and which oil companies may merge in the near future.

Due to the flu epidemic, the Moscow region administration Wednesday signed a decree imposing a quarantine in 11 districts starting next week.

The story describes a festival of archive films that is taking place this week in Belyie Stolby, Moscow region.

The story reports on how foreign secret intelligence services are hunting for Russian military-industrial complex technologies.


The Defense and Interior Ministries have made public the latest reports on federal forces' human losses in the North Caucasus. Federal authorities, nevertheless, are continuing to assure that this is an anti-terrorist operation rather than a war.

The arrest of two officials from the Kalmyk tax inspectorate questions the efficacy of the whole tax system in Russia. Though the stolen sum is not large, the Tax Ministry is unable to explain how to protect the Russian tax system from similar crimes. The story concludes that the system in general is obviously defenseless.

The first parliamentary crisis this year is over. The story analyzes its lessons and possible consequences.

The tax police Wednesday summed up the results of its anti-corruption struggle last year, when the service returned 40 billion rubles ($1.4 billion) to the state budget. The story looks at the main results.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan was to arrive in Moscow on Thursday to meet with acting President Vladimir Putin. The story features the program of his two-day visit.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Thursday is expected to decide the fate of Russia: Will it become a member state? It's most probable, notes the story, that Russia's expulsion will not take place until April.

The national power grid Unified Energy Systems on Wednesday endorsed a program of creating a transnational energy and coal company, UralTEK. UES head Anatoly Chubais and Sverdlovsk region Governor Eduard Rossel agreed to include another two electric-power stations in the new company. The story comments on the project.

It took First Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, as newly appointed head of the Commission on Operation Issues, three hours Wednesday to find money to finance the metro and northern deliveries in 2000.

The Economist has printed the results of the investigation "The World Prognosis 2000," conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit to predict the expected economic growth rates in different countries this year. The story looks at its results.

The struggle for the oil-product market in northwest Russia has become very acute this week. Surgutneftegaz, the main fuel supplier to St. Petersburg, has increased its fuel-selling prices and, as a result, has lost nearly a half of its share in the region's petrol market. The story gives figures to illustrate the point

The Tax Ministry leadership Thursday was to meet an International Monetary Fund mission to discuss issues concerning the tax payments of oil companies. In connection with this, the ministry Wednesday announced the beginning of signing agreements with oil companies for 2000.

Coca-Cola is expected to announce soon its intention to fire 6,000 workers. The story comments on the reason behind the measure.

The story examines a large investment deal in the Russian Internet information system and its participants.

The story comments on a draft of the new provision on the procedure of forming reserves, which was prepared by the Central Bank with the intention of increasing the reliability of Russian banks.

Insurance agencies have sustained a serious defeat in the struggle for corporate clients against non-state pension funds. The story reveals the essence of the problem.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has signed a directive on the transfer of the accounts of the Moscow budget income from commercial banks to the Central Bank's chief board in Moscow. The story comments on his step.

The story offers an analysis of citizens' bank accounts in Sberbank and commercial banks, focusing on their preferences.