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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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



The government has no intention to cut state expenses in the next three years. No matter what liberal economists say about the necessity for cutting expenses for modernizing the economy, the 2002-2004 socio-economic development program that the Cabinet will discuss tomorrow does not contain any reforms in this sphere.

Statistical data printed yesterday by the Economic Development Ministry show that Sberbank's share on the domestic market of private deposits in the first quarter of this year decreased for the first time since the August 1998 crisis. The story gives figures to illustrate the point.

The floods in Yakutia have made federal authorities take resolute measures with the aim of receiving additional funds. Thus, the government intends to increase its share in the ALROSA company from 37 percent up to 40 percent and to make clear the situation with handing over Yakutalmaz's property to the Yakutian authorities. These issues will be discussed Tuesday at a meeting of Yakutian head of state Mikhail Nikolayev with President Vladimir Putin.

Export duties will most probably be adopted through legislation rather than through government decisions. The pro-government Duma is willing to rid the Cabinet of the possibility to stop up budget holes with oil money. In exchange for this, the extracting companies are willing to pay a tax on extracting minerals, though the tax, as the story notes, is unfair.

Regional governors today will get together for a regular session of the State Council to discuss reform of the housing utility sector. Unlike the program of reforming the national power grid Unified Energy Systems, the housing utility reform does not cause any serious disputes. The story examines its major provisions.

The Russian government, starting July 1, will not only have to present to Belarus $1 billion a year, but it will create a tax loophole for domestic companies. All this may be explained by Belarussian authorities dragging on with signing the agreement concerning the procedure of raising indirect taxes. The situation is rather serious. The story offers several methods to improve it.

The volume of foreign investment in the Russian economy in the first quarter of this year increased by 11.1 percent as compared with the same period last year and amounted to $2.7 billion. The direct investment amounted to $1 billion and increased by 12.8 percent.

The growth of industrial production in January-April of this year, as compared with the same period last year, remained the same in all federal districts, except the Far-East. The brief cites several figures to illustrate the point.

Leading domestic brokers are enlarging their businesses: their assets, capital and trade turnovers are growing. This is evidenced by statistical data made public by the National Association of Stock Market Participants (NAUFOR ). The story cites several statistical figures to prove the point.

The national power giant Unified Energy Systems may soon receive a $100 million credit from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the purposes of restructuring. The word "restructuring", however, means not reforming the company, but funding the old investment programs of the holding.

The French Alcatel firm and the U.S. Lucent Technologies company have made considerable progress in their negotiations on a merger. The companies' boards of directors will most probably approve the details of the deal Tuesday.

The Russky Mir company with 100 percent Dutch capital has bought from a Railways Ministry branch 40 percent of stock of its competitor, the SFAT company. Experts say that the new alliance will control one-fifth of railway transportation of oil products.

The American consulting World Steel Dynamics firm has published a rather gloomy prognosis of development of the steel smelting sector. The story cites figures to illustrate the point.

LUKoil's subsidiary — the LUKoil-Permnefteprodukt — Monday began to sell colored petrol, thus wanting to emphasize the high quality of its oil products. The company ignores the fact that in Soviet times colored petrol showed its harm or limited use, being a signal for controlling agencies.

Sberbank has summed up results of the competition for the right to insure about 100 of its buildings and equipment. Two companies — Ingosstrakh and the Military-Insurance Company — will receive contracts.

Paging communications operators have to seek new methods of using their infrastructure, since the demand for their traditional services is continuing to fall. The story gives figures to illustrate the point.

On the eve of the shareholders meeting scheduled for May 30, the Rambler managers will have to make a choice for the company's future role. The story focuses on its most probable preference.


The story again raises an acute issue on new Russian racism, citing the example of a worrying situation with African students in Voronezh.

In an interview Sergei Ovsyannikov, chief of the Consular Department of the Russian Embassy in Washington, examines problems with issuing US entry visas to Russian travelers.

The "UES" Board of Directors at a session on Monday re-elected chief of the Kremlin staff Alexander Voloshin as its chairman. Kakha Kiknavelidze, an energy analyst from the "Troika-Dialog" investment company, commented on the re-election and on the board's other decisions.

The National Council on Pension Reform Monday approved 4 draft bills changing the pension system. In a couple of days they will be submitted to the State Duma. The story comments on the documents , focusing on the major issue — the way the pension money will be invested — that has remained unsolved.

The 2nd Global Anti-Corruption Forum opened in The Hague on May 28. General Prosecutor Vladimir Ustinov heads a Russian delegation. Along with corruption, Ustinov intends to discuss there problems concerning the extradition of Vladimir Gusinsky and Mikhail Zhivilo to Russia. The story describes the forum, its agenda and participants.

Heads from three specialized institutes on Monday met with journalists at the Central Design Bureau "Rubin" to tell them about how they will participate in the upcoming operation to raise the sunken "Kursk" submarine. The story examines the latest details of the operation.

A regular session of the World Bank, a symbol of the "New World order," will take place in Barcelona in late June. The story examines its agenda, focusing on anti-globalists' possible actions.

Film star Nikolai Yeryomenko, Jr., died on Monday at the age of 52 because of cerebral thrombosis . The story notes that it's impossible to believe that he is no longer with us.

Several districts of the Altai region have been flooded. The brief describes the tense situation there, saying that specialists predict other floods.

The story examines the aim of the working visit by Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat who arrived in Moscow yesterday. Today he is to meet with President Vladimir Putin.

Little-known businessman Sergei Darkin, a protege of the former Primorye governor, Yevgeny Nazdratenko, is likely to win the gubernatorial elections in the region. The story comments on the preliminary results of their first round.

Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu and Mayor Yury Luzhkov are reported to meet on Thursday May 31 to discuss prospects of merging "Unity" and "Fatherland" into one party. The story examines several differences in their approach to the issue.

The State Customs Committee (SCC) in a couple of days intends to considerably simplify the procedure of handling customs documents for big domestic companies that were created by firms participating in the Consultative Council on Foreign Investment in Russia. The story comments on the SCC's decision.

The 3rd national trading forum "The State and Ways of Promoting Russian Trade" is to open in Moscow tomorrow. In an interview Deputy Economics Minister Vladimir Strzhalkovsky examines its major aims and participants.

AvtoVAZ Director-General Vladimir Kadannikov has come up with an interesting initiative: he has offered to AvtoVAZ competitors — GAZ — in Nizhny Novgorod the services of the plant's Research and Technical Center in developing new models of "Volga" cars. The story reveals the essence of his offer.

The story presents an analysis of the situation on the inter-banking market, which was much better developed before the 1998 crisis than it is today. A list (and commentary) of 30 big operators on the domestic inter-banking market.


"Severnaya Neft" Board of Directors head Andrei Vavilov was hospitalized yesterday from the Prosecutor General's Office where he had been summoned for questioning. The story gives details.

The Prosecutor General's Office makes several claims to the "Sibneft" company. As it has turned out, it is accused not only of using false export schemes on oil deliveries to Kirghizia, but also of intrigues in exporting raw materials to other CIS countries. The story gives details.

A qualifying soccer match of the world championship between Georgia and Italy scheduled for June 2 may not take place, because the Georgian soccer players stated yesterday that they will not play unless Levan Kaladze, a brother of a Georgian team member is released.

Chechnya's government has stated the final date of 160,000 refugees returning home, but they are unwilling to do this. The story describes the situation.

Highly regarded athlete Alexander Tikhonov and his brother Viktor may be sentenced to 20 years in prison, as now they are viewed as participants in the attempt upon the life of state bureaucrat Aman Tuleyev. The story gives details.

Enterprises have received another chance from the government to restructure their debts — Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has signed the corresponding decree. The story reveals its essence.

Gazprom top managers together with head of the company's securities department Alexander Semenyaka this week are visiting several provinces with the aim of meeting with shareholders before their annual meeting. The story describes the event.

The story reports on how several shareholders of the Stupinsky Metal Combine together with the enterprise's discharged managers yesterday made an attempt to establish control over the combine by force.

TNK First Vice-President Iosif Bakaleinik stated Monday that the company's share in the charter capital of the state-owned "Slavneft" company may top 30 percent after its consolidation. The story comments on his statement.

British Airways has imposed new rules for its passengers. The story describes factors that have urged the company to do it.

"Volga-Petroleum," a big operator on the retail oil products market in the Nizhny Novgorod region, will soon become a daughter structure of "Tatneft".

"Norilsk Nickel" has won the competition for the right to deliver energy to Taimyr within the framework of the northern supply program.

The struggle for control over the Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant (MHP) has intensified between the State Investment Corporation ("Gosinkor") and the Inter-Regional Investment Bank. The Moscow Arbitration Court Monday ruled in Gosinkor's favour in its suit against MHP. The story details the conflict.

Crime. Two leading specialists from the Federal Securities Commission were detained on Monday when they received bribes. The story gives details.

The "Intel" company Monday announced the launch of the production of a new powerful processor "Itanium". The story examines its advantages.

The Finance Ministry on June 6 plans to conduct an auction to sell its three-year OFZs with a fixed coupon income to the tune of 5 billion rubles. Brief.

The Agency for Restructuring Credit Organizations (ARKO) Monday sold 85.15 percent of stock of Investbank.