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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

Monday, September 4



The draft budget for 2001 contains a "top-secret" Article 27 on budget spending and authorities' plans for working with the mass media. This was announced to Ekho Moskvy radio station by State Duma Deputy Leonid Maievsky. The article notes that no other budget article, except the state program of armaments, has been marked "top secret." The article speculates on the proposed measures.

When asked in an Ekho Moskvy telephone opinion poll Friday ? Should Russia give the Kuril Islands to Japan to accelerate the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries? ? 1,064 out of the 1,969 respondents answered in the affirmative.

According to Segodnya's sources, Navy headquarters and the government are inclined to believe that material on the Kursk submarine should be declassified. This decision was made on the eve of President Vladimir Putin's meeting with U.S. President Bill Clinton. The government commission has three versions of what happened in the Barents Sea on Aug. 12. The article looks at them in detail.

The State Council ? and its presidium to be headed by President Vladimir Putin ? has been established. The article describes several governors' reactions to it. Also covered in Kommersant, Izvestia, Vremya Novostei, Vremya MN and MK.

Geneva prosecutor Daniel Devo has set forth new accusations against Viktor Stolpovskikh, head of the Merkata Trading company. The article gives details.

The deadline for investigating the criminal case of former Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov was Saturday. Prosecutors dismissed accusations that he had purchased the services of prostitutes. The article looks at the remaining accusations. Also covered in Vremya MN.

Gazprom's board of directors decided Friday to pay out intermediary dividends ? 0.07 rubles (0.25 cents) per ordinary share ? based on the company's performance in the first half of 2000.

A photo exhibition "Moscow in 1920-2000" opened Friday in the Museum of Modern Art under the guardianship of sculptor Zurab Tsereteli. Art critic Maya Odina covers the event. Also featured in Vremya Novostei.

The five-year renovation project of Gostiny Dvor, was completed Friday. This architectural masterpiece, built in 1825-1830 by Jakomo Kvarengi, has cost over $300 million to renovate. The article describes the finished project.

The article looks at possible outcomes of the Russia- Japan now underway in Tokyo. Also covered in Kommersant and Vremya Novostei.

Political scientist Leonid Ionin, dean of the political science faculty of the Higher School of Economics, examines traditional and rational approaches to the Kuril Islands problem.

In an interview, Institute of the World Economy and International Relations Deputy Director Sergei Blagovolin, who has studied the Kuril Islands problem for 20 years, shares his views on the issue.

In an interview, Ashot Yegizaryan, deputy head of the State Duma Budget Committee, discusses the draft budget for 2001.

In an interview, Anatoly Aksakov, deputy head of the State Duma Economic Policy Committee, points to articles in the draft budget for 2001 that may cause heated discussion.

Several articles discuss different television broadcasting systems in various countries in light of the recent fire at the Ostankino television tower.

Moscow police officers Thursday arrested a married couple, who allegedly tried to sell their two-year-old daughter for $4,000. The article gives details. Also covered in Kommersant and MK.

The article says several regional governors will not reclaim their posts, as was previously the practice, because they hope to join a new political elite ?the Senate ? as regional representatives. The article comments on the issue.

President Vladimir Putin on Saturday attended the first international conference in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk devoted to problems with Production Sharing Agreements. The article focuses on their significance and Putin's attitude toward the issue. Also covered in Izvestia.

President Vladimir Putin has determined his stand on the territorial issue ? the main subject of the Russian-Japanese dispute. He says Russia acknowledges the Kuril Islands problem, but their return is out of the question. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matviyenko introduced new leaders to the ballet and opera troupes of the Bolshoi Theater on Saturday. The article highlights the Bolshoi's new artistic director and administrators. Also covered in Izvestia and Vremya Novostei.

The consideration of the criminal case of Anatoly Bykov, former head of the KrAZ aluminum plant, will be extended until Nov. 29. This was announced Saturday by Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Kolesnikov. The article comments on his statement.

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Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev has asked President Vladimir Putin to deliver real military aid to the Central Asian states in their struggle against the "common enemy" ? Islamic extremists. In his report to the president, Sergeyev stressed that Russia now has a real chance of strengthening its position in this region. However, generals and diplomats were categorically against Sergeyev's demand. In an interview, Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, head of the International Military Cooperation Board in the Defense Ministry, shares his stand on the issue.

U.S. President Bill Clinton said Friday that he had postponed the building of a national missile defense system, which means that the corresponding U.S.-Russian confrontation has also been postponed. The article comments on Clinton's decision. Also covered in Izvestia and Vremya Novostei.

The article highlights the agenda of President Vladimir Putin's official trip to Japan starting Monday Sept. 4.

Biathlete and entrepreneur Alexander Tikhonov, who is accused of involvement in a plot to assassinate Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleyev, has been moved from a Novosibirsk pre-trial detention center to a prison in Iskitim. The article details Tikhonov's case.

The Experts' Council of the Federal Securities Commission on Friday recommended the Commission allow the free purchase and sale of investment fund bonds, making them equal with shares. The article gives further details.

Gazprom's board of directors decided Friday to buy an additional stock issuance of Gazprom-Media, which controls mass media packages of stock that belong to the gas concern. The article looks at Gazprom's plans.

The division of money in the atomic sector is nearly complete, with MDM-Bank as the winner. The latter will receive Konversbank, the main bank of enterprises controlled by the Atomic Ministry. The article gives details.

Unikombank's new manager Leonid Gurevich said Friday that he intends to abrogate contracts on leasing the affiliate network signed by his predecessors. If he manages to do this, Vneshtorgbank will take up Guta bank's place in the Moscow region.

Starting in November, all mobile telephones sold in the United States will carry information on their radiation level, or SAR. According to Internet information, the mobile telephones with the highest radiation level are sold in Russia. The article reveals the essence of SAR.

The Bloomberg agency reported that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development might become owner of 14 percent of shares of the AvtoVAZ-General Motors Co. joint venture.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is expected to extend $325,000 to the Russian Principal insurance company to increase its charter capital. As a result, the bank's share in this company will increase from 10 percent to 32 percent.

A new law concerning state language went into force in Latvia Friday. The article comments on the document. Also covered in Izvestia.

The Chernomorsky branch of Moscow State University opened Friday in Sevastopol. The article features the event.

"101 Stories of Great Ballets," one of the most popular books by George Belanchin about ballet in the West, has been published in Russia by Kron Press Publishers. The article explains why the book has failed to become a significant publication here.

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President Vladimir Putin in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on Saturday attended an international conference on Production Sharing Agreements. Putin made the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade in charge of this matter. The article comments on Putin's speech.

State oil company Rosneft is to be responsible for selling the state-owned share of oil extracted under the Production Sharing Agreements. In his speech at the SRP international conference in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk President Vladimir Putin made this point clear.

Poland will in the next two years have to resolve the question of building on its territory a gas pipeline from Russia to Western Europe. The article provides comments.

U.S. authorities claim to have arrested the person responsible for making the Emulex company's shares plummet last week. Mark Jacob, 23, allegedly made a $240,000 fortune with the scheme. The article gives details.

The Audit Chamber, headed by Sergei Stepashin, want to have its powers extended to auditing the performance of the Central Bank. Stepashin reported Saturday that he had submitted to the State Duma a corresponding draft amendment to the Law on the Audit Chamber.

Political analyst Mikhail Leontyev looks at the independent mass media's coverage of the Kursk submarine's sinking and the fire at the Ostankino television tower.

Will the imposing of an obligatory oil exchange sale help evade taxes in transfer price formation? Five experts share their views on the issue.

The article reports on the ever-increasing powers of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade headed by German Gref.

U.S. President Bill Clinton on Friday said he would not build the national missile defense system and that the final decision on the matter would be passed on to his successor.

The draft city budget for 2001 was submitted to the Moscow City Duma this weekend. The document assumes increased revenues for next year.

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

Large-scale auto withdrawals from the market that began in August are continuing. Thus, the French Peugeot company intends to withdraw 40,000 206th model cars, which are in high demand in Russia.

The Experts' Council attached to the Federal Securities Commission endorsed the commission's draft decree on the circulation of units of the mutual investment funds. If the document is passed, these units will be traded at stock exchanges. The article comments on the document.

The overall debt of the Railways Ministry's enterprises to energy companies as of Aug. 1 amounted to 3.2 billion rubles ($115.3 million), while the energy companies' debt for railway fuel transportation amounted to 1.025 billion rubles ($37 million).

State owned oil company Rosneft intends to buy part of Royal Dutch Shell's share in the Sakhalin-2 project. The article comments on the company's plans.

The State Duma Economic Policy Committee intends to propose its own way of resolving the MinFin's debt to the Central Bank. The deputies along with the committee's head, Sergei Glazyev, plan to work out a draft bill on turning this debt into the bank's charter capital. The article details the proposal.

The Agency for Restructuring Credit Organizations is working with U.S. courts to declare ARKO's measures to restructure Rossiisky Kredit legitimate, particularly the imposition of a moratorium on meeting creditors' demands.

MOST-Bank shareholders have decided to decrease the bank's charter capital from 550 million rubles ($19.82 million) to 154 million ($5.55 million).

Sobinbank, Rosbank and Alfa-Bank placed in the top three leading positions on volume of dollars traded in August. This was established by the Moscow-Inter-Bank Currency Exchange. The brief provides the relevant figures.