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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

Thursday, September 28



The Kremlin wants to accelerate reform of the Federation Council, and would hail State Council members' voluntary resignation from the upper house of parliament. When commenting on the issue, Federation Council presidential representative Vyacheslav Khizhnyakov said if the Senators behave properly the president will support and promote the State Council. Also covered in Kommersant, Izvestia, Vremya MM and Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

The article reflects on a possible personnel reshuffle in the Cabinet of Ministers, and analyses several potential candidates for the post of head of government.

At a working conference of Security Council members on Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin explained why a regular planned session had been postponed until November. The president also voiced a need for considerable cuts in all power agencies and commented on the upcoming reform of the army. Also covered in Kommersant, Izvestia, Nezavisimaya Gazeta and Komsomolskaya Pravda.

When asked in an Ekho Moskvy telephone opinion poll Wednesday: Should school children study the biography of the country's acting president, 1,726 — 88 percent — of the 1,961 respondents answered in the negative.

The Sovetsky Court in Makhachkala is expected next week to hear the case of Radio Liberty correspondent Andrei Babitsky, who is accused of using deliberately fake documents. His lawyer Genri Reznik said Wednesday that everything happening with his client is nothing but perpetual arbitrary rule. The article details the Babitsky case. Also covered in Kommersant, Noviye Izvestia, Vremya Novostei, Vremya MN and Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov at a Federation Council session on Wednesday announced the details of the plan to retrieve the remains of the Kursk crewmen. The article comments on these plans.

Prosecutors have completed their investigation into the criminal case of U.S. businessman Edmond Pope who has been officially charged with espionage. The article comments on the final assessments made by the Prosecutor General's Office. Also covered in Vremya Novostei, Vremya MN, Nezavisimaya Gazeta and Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Russia and Ukraine on Wednesday launched three-day negotiations in Taganrog on the state border between Russia and Ukraine. The article comments on the issue, focusing on its complex character.

Five agencies participating in the International Space Station, or ISS, project have endorsed a Code of Behavior for ISS crewmembers. The article details its contents.

Italian police officers in the early hours of Wednesday arrested eight Russian and Italian dealers on charges of spreading Russian pornographic products. The article gives details. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.

The article says President Vladimir Putin is hesitant to dismiss Alexander Voloshin from the post of head of the Kremlin administration.

The State Council Presidium on Friday is expected to discuss the agenda for the fist session of the State Council tentatively scheduled for October. In an interview Tomsk Governor Viktor Kress speaks about his duties as a member of this new agency. Also covered in Kommersant.

Education Minister Vladimir Filippov said that in the next four years the government will allocate funds to provide all domestic schools with computers. This program is part of a large-scale Internet education project that is being discussed at the government level. The article highlights the project.

September 29 marks the beginning of the Jewish year. The article highlights the origin of this holiday.

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Former Chechen brigade General Sulim Yamadayev, who is now an ally of pro-Moscow Chechen administration head Akhmed Kadyrov, has arrived in Moscow. In an interview he says that he plans to head Chechen OMON troops, which were previously under the command of Bislan Gantamirov.

Geneva prosecutor Daniel Devaud says Pavel Borodin, former head of the Kremlin Economic Affairs Directorate, could turn out to not be involved in the Mabetex and Merkara corruption case. The article comments on the statement.

Sibneft is conducting negotiations to sell 40 percent of the stock of Orenburgneft. There are two potential buyers: oligarchs Lev Chernoi and Mikhail Chernoi. The article looks at their chances.

The crews of six vessels belonging to Vostoktransflot plan to sink one service compartment in each vessel. Through this act they hope to accelerate the organization of a commercial auction to sell the vessels and to get their pays. The article describes the protest.

An extraordinary meeting of the Bank of Austria's shareholders Wednesday approved its absorption by HypoVereinbank, the second largest bank in Germany. The article comments on the event, and says it could lead to serious changes on the Russian market.

An official presentation of the Tsarev Sad business center took place in Moscow on Wednesday. The first part of the project will be commissioned in a month and the whole project is to be completed in 2002. The article features the project.

The leadership of the New Zealand Dairy Board has visited Russia to negotiate on expanding cooperation in diary production. The article focuses on the results of the talks.

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Moscow authorities have issued a decree concerning trade in underpasses, on adjacent territories, in the metro and in outdoor markets. According to the document, their number and assortment will be halved by the beginning of 2001. The article comments on the decree.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin and his deputy, Sergei Kolotukhin, met Wednesday with Western financiers, who have returned from the annual session of the International Monetary Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Prague, to listen to their thoughts on the event.

The Moscow City Duma on Wednesday approved its draft budget for 2001, which calls for a five- percent increase of the profit tax and a one- percent increase of the sales tax.

Media tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky's has been summoned as a witness for the Prosecutor General's Office.

Political analyst Semyon Novoprudsky comments on the recent massive anti-globalization protests in Prague, concluding that such riots will be repeated in the future.

Will the government be able to limit the use of transfer price formation? Three financial experts share their views on the issue.

The article outlines the mechanism for distributing federal aid to regions.

A Federation Council session to discuss military reform was postponed because of a conflict between the Security Council and the government over the budget for the armed forces. Instead of the planned Security Council session, President Vladimir Putin conducted a working meeting. The article looks at its decisions.

The Federation Council on Wednesday announced their proposals for changes the main parameters of the draft budget for 2001. The article outlines several proposed changes.

The government was expected Thursday to discuss selecting a system for taking stock and control of nuclear facilities in order to prevent unsanctioned access to nuclear materials.

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

Three large bottle-makers, which together control over one-sixth of the domestic packing market, have announced the creation of an RKM holding and an exchange of assets. Its participants say that the holding's turnover next year should amount to about $50 million.

Tyumen Oil Company, or TNK, and Sibneft that have been conducting negotiations over the assets of Onako oil company for over a week now.

Sberbank has been involved in a struggle between Kemerovo regional Governor Aman Tuleyev and MIKOM metal holding head Mikhail Zhivilo. Tuleyev on Wednesday made a public statement that could scare many depositors. The article gives details.

Air France on Wednesday lodged a suit against Continental Airlines, accusing the U.S.-based company of involvement in the crash of a Concord plane on July 25. The article details the case.

Udmurtia's government on Wednesday signed a decree on the transfer of a package of 25-percent-plus-one share of the Izhmash concern to the government of the Udmurt republic to clear off Izhmash's debt to the government. The article comments on the deal.

Rosneft plans to receive an $80 million credit from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to fund an environmental protection program within the framework of the Sakhalin-1 project.

Cherepovets Severstal's daughter company has bought over 40 percent of stock in Kolomensky Zavod, the only domestic maker of diesel locomotives.

Alfa-Eko announced Wednesday that it had accumulated a blocking package of the Taganrog Metal Plant and called an extraordinary meeting of the plant's shareholders.

The British-Swedish Avesta Sheffield company and a section of the Finnish Outokumpu steel smelter intend to merge. The article details the deal.