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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Noviye Izvestia
Komomolskaya Pravda
Moskovsky Komsomolets


Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov on Monday stated that, starting 2002, the import duties on used foreign vehicles may be the same as the duties on new ones. Restrictions may affect cars older than seven years. The story comments on Klebanov's statement, focusing on heated debates raging now around imposing new auto duties on used foreign cars. Various viewpoints on the issue are discussed. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Noviye Izvestia, Vremya MN, Vremya Novostei

In an interview world-renowned musician Mstislav Rostropovich speaks about his current Cello Festival in Riga, about his lost Russian citizenship, about his response to Vladimir Putin's activities, and about computers and to the nature of success.

President Vladimir Putin's cabinet Thursday will discuss government preparations for the 2001-2002 heating season, with fuel and energy supplies to the North being a priority. Cities built in areas of permanent frost were a source of pride to the Soviets', but today they are a financial headache for the government. In an interview Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Mukhamed Tsykanov elaborates on the issue, saying that the government has allocated 6.65 billion rubles for the northern supply.

President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a bill making the salary of the Federation Council deputy the same as the wage of the federal minister. In addition the Finance Ministry, starting next year, will double the compensation for business trip expenses. The story examines the measures. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Nezavisimaya Gazeta

The criminal case of Viktor Tikhonov, charged with organizing an attempt upon the life of Kemerovo governor Aman Tuleyev will be considered now by the Novosibirsk Regional Court. The story details the case. Also covered in Kommersant Daily

Seventy-five million dollars on Credit Agrocol Indosuez correspondent accounts has been frozen in the Bank of France in Paris on demand from the Russian National Reserve Bank. The story gives details about the long-standing court dispute.

Western specialists are continuing to come up with new reasons behind the sinking of the Kursk nuclear submarine. The story examines some of these reasons, offered by the British newspaper The Observer and by the authors of the popular BBC television program Horizon.

The story examines the situation on the domestic car market, explaining why the middle class today prefers to buy foreign cars.

As it has turned out, German convicts charged with looting, mugging, assault and rape have the right to "receive accommodation" in Russian prisons in Siberia and other remote places. The story notes that most of them are neo-fascists, who German authorities believe, will be reformed under the difficult conditions and strict work regimen of Siberian prisons.

A Gazprom delegation headed by the company's new management Chairman Alexei Miller and Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko on Monday arrived in Istanbul to have a look at the unique Italian pipe-laying ship Saipem-7000 being used in the project Blue Stream. The story examines the project, focusing on how Gazprom will gain from it. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta

President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed the amendments to the Law concerning the status of the Federation Council and State Duma deputies and also the amendments to the Law on Militia. The story examines both documents.

The story describes North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's visit to St. Petersburg on Monday, focusing on how the world press assesses his visit to Russia. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Vremya MN, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Rossisiskaya Gazeta, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Moskovsky Komsomolets

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has signed a decree on creating in Moscow the Inter-Ethnic Consultative Council to function under the city government, with its chairman having the rank of first deputy prime minister of the Moscow government. The story examines major duties of the new agency.

Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko stated Monday that a program of Russia's energy strategy up to the year 2020 will be ready for discussion in the government in several months, and a concept of the domestic gas market will be drafted by September. The story comments on Khristenko's statement.

The Communications Ministry stated Monday that it will cooperate with the Property and the Economic Development and Trade ministries, since the end of 2000 has been drafting a concept of restructuring the agencies of federal postal communications. The document should be submitted to the government by December. The story examines the aims and principles of the project.

The story examines a new version of the computer virus Red Code that has caused panic in the U.S. government in the past six weeks.

The Chinese government on Monday released a report on the country's foreign trade turnover in the first half of this year. The story comments on the document, focusing on Russia's place in it.

It became known on Monday that the plan for the first stage of reforming the electrical energy sector presupposes the creation of the Federal cellular company along the lines of UES, already in the 4th quarter of this year. Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has signed the plan for the first stage of reforming the company. An operator on the energy market — a 100 percent daughter of UES — will be created early next year. The story examines the project. Also covered in Vremya MN


President Vladimir Putin has adopted the concept of creating the Single Tariff Agency, with the Federal Energy Commission being its core. A draft of the presidential decree on imposing STA should be ready by Aug. 15. The story examines the aims and duties of the new body.

Lipetsk regional Governor Oleg Korolyov decided to pay off debts to the Unified Energy Systems company through the property of municipal energy networks. The story describes how this will be done.

Cuba's leader Fidel Castro has summed up results of recent anti-globalism riots in the world, recommending the G-8 leaders hold their summits in outer space.

Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov on Monday completed the personnel restructuring in his agency. He appointed Lieutenant-General Mikhail Rudchenko his deputy in the Southern Federal District, that includes Chechnya. The story comments on the appointment.

KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov Monday sent telegrams to President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, Press Minister Mikhail Lesin and VGTRK Chairman Oleg Dobrodeyev, blaming them for not infuencing the mass media to generate a celebration for the anniversary of the Orel-Kursk Battle on Aug 5.

Georgian authorities stated Monday that they had detained several persons involved in the recent killing of Georgian journalist Georgy Sanaya. The American FBI has provided invaluable assistance to them.

The Chechen administration has completed the formation of the judiciary system. Twelve out of the 15 district courts and the High Court of the republic are already functioning today. In an interview Alexander Gusev, General Director of the Judiciary Department of the Supreme Court, who has just returned from Chechnya, speaks about its courts and cases they are considering today.

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko on Monday held a session devoted to preparations for the upcoming military exercise Neman-2002 scheduled for late August or early September. The story examines his pronouncements at the session.

Russian scientists believe that seals may be used in the operation to raise the sunken Kursk submarine. The story comments on the idea.

The Board of Directors of the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant (KrAZ) at its session on Saturday decided to schedule the shareholders' extraordinary meeting for Sept. 22 in order to discuss only one issue — the holding of a large-scale additional issuance of shares by an open subscription. The story notes that it most probably means that Russian Aluminum Corp. has despaired to buy out 28 percent of stock from the structures of Krasnoyarsk entrepreneur Anatoly Bykov.

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov on Monday signed the directive allowing the Finance Ministry in 2001 to increase the volume of issuance of state securities by more than one-third. The story comments on the document.

The Communications Ministry has provided new federal codes to cellular communications operators. The story describes them in detail.

Telecominvest Holding on Friday presented in Krasnodar a new cellular GSM network, Mobicom-Kavkaz, with the trade mark Megafon. The story examines the project.

MDM Bank head Andrei Melnichenko on Monday proposed to the Nuclear Energy Ministry to sell Konversbank at an open auction. First Deputy Minister Vladimir Vinogradov stated in reply that the answer to the proposal may be given already this week.

The international rating agency Fitch has decreased its prognosis in relation to prospects of development of Japanese banks. Brief.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has signed a directive on holding a competition on the right to supply trolleybuses to Mosgortrans. The brief mentions its demands.


Russian Aluminum Corp. (RUSAL) has found a way to cancel its partnership with entrepreneur Anatoly Bykov, who has been up to now controlling about 28 percent of stock of the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant (KrAZ). RUSAL decided to hold an additional issuance of KrAZ stock on open subscription, as a result of which Bykov will lose his share.

Russian imports by July had almost doubled as compared with the figure for the same period last year. Domestic producers, however, are not worried. Many believe that expanded imports will help them.

First Vice-Premier of the Moscow city government Boris Nikolsky stated that Yury Luzhkov had appointed a repeated competition on projects for the construction of the most expensive (about $0.5 billion-$1.5 billion) stretch of the 3rd traffic ring road around Moscow — a two-kilometer-long tunnel under Lefortovo Park. Three companies have already announced their intention to take part in the competition.

The Central Bank's assets increased from 1,128 billion rubles as of July 1, 2000 up to 1,599 billion rubles as of the beginning of July this year. The increase has been posted on the CB Internet site. The brief gives other figures on the bank's finances.

The Foreign Ministry is continuing to work actively for to defend the rights and interests of Russian citizen Dmitry Sklyarov, who was arrested in the United States. This was stated by the ministry's top official Boris Malakhov. Brief.

The State Duma Banking Committee has drafted a new version of the law concerning the Central Bank. The lower house of parliament will consider it in the second reading in September. The document has taken account of all agreements with the president's administration, including those on the new status of the National Banking Council.

The ban on cooperation of American and foreign companies with Libya and Iran on Sunday was prolonged for another 5 years. The document embraces Gazprom, LUKoil, YUKOS , Slavneft and other major companies of the domestic fuel and energy complex. The story comments on the American president's mandate.

A large-scale campaign aimed at lowering the number of sales of hard currency proceeds from 75 percent down to 50 percent launched by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and legalized with backing from Economic Development and Trade Minister Gherman Gref is not so significant as it seems at first glance. The story explains why.

Vimpelcom-R Corp. was founded by Vimpelcom two years ago with the aim of putting regional projects into effect. In an interview its general director Alexei Mishchenko speaks about his company's ambitious plans.

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

Head and owner of MDM-Bank Andrei Melnichenko has found a way to finish the struggle for control over Konversbank — he offered to Nuclear Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev on Saturday to pool 62 percent of stock of Konversbank that belongs to ministerial enterprises with a package of 34 percent of stock controlled by MDM and put it up on a tender for sale.

Moscow law-enforcement officers earlier this month conducted raids on Ramstor and 7th Continent shops, searching for Smirnov vodka that was made by the OST-Alko distillery in Chernogolovka (Moscow region). Upon seizing the vodka, they demanded that its production be suspended.

Mobile TeleSystems and North-Western GSM have received from the Communications Ministry new federal telephone codes that function throughout Russia. Vimpelcom Corp. will be the next to receive them.

The Commission on Protective Measures in Foreign Trade and Customs-Tariff Policy at its next session will discuss an issue on raising import duties on vehicles older than seven years. This was stated today by Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov. Brief

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has signed a government directive on adopting the plan of measures of the first stage of reforming the electrical energy sector. Several ministries were instructed to draft a bill on imposing amendments to the Civil Code. Brief.

The Finance Ministry today is expected to submit to the government a draft decree on returning to AvtoVAZ its controlling interest, which was handed over to the state in 1999 with the aim of ensuring the restructuring of the company's debt before the budget for 10 years. Brief.

YUKOS not long ago announced its purchase of the controlling stake of the Angara Petrochemical Company, and intends to initiate a full merger. Its shareholders were proposed either to buy out their shares or to exchange them into YUKOS securities.

The airline Enkor, a daughter company of Chelyabinsk Aviation Enterprise in the Moscow region has bought the property of Buryat Airlines and plans to further expand its control by absorbing other small companies in the region.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Abdul -Khakim Sultygov, Executive Secretary of the State Duma Commission on Political Settlement and Human Rights Observance in Chechnya, offers his program of resolving the Chechen problem, with a transition to civilian rule at its core.

Federation Council group Federatsia, starting its first session in the fall, intends to work boosting the efficiency of the Russian Senate. The story examines several reasons that urge it to make efforts in this direction.

The number of forest fires in Siberia this summer has reached 510, while the figure for the same period last year was 183. The story describes how the Federal Aviation Forest Protection Service is struggling with the problem.

The story comments on the political aspect of North Korean leader Kim Jong il's visit to Russia and his negotiations with President Vladimir Putin. The visit, in the author's opinion, may help North Korea, South Korea and the USA resume normal relations.

The administration of the Solnechnogorsky District (Moscow region) on Sunday opened the Museum-Estate of poet Alexander Blok on the occasion of the 80 anniversary of the poet's death. The story describes the museum after its major renovation.

Noviye Izvestia

Despite all manner of warnings and legislative bans, an international group of scientists intends to conduct the first experiment in cloning the human being already in November. The story describes the group's plans.

A special Northern Fleet expedition today is expected to launch the most dangerous stage of the Kursk raising operation — cutting into the first section of the submarine. Vice-Admiral Mikhail Barskov has made an unexpected and unpleasant confession, saying that the military do not exclude the possibility that there could be unexploded ammunition in the first compartment of the sunken submarine. The story comments on the statement.

Bashkiria's leadership intends to apply to the Constitutional Court with a request to check whether the amendments to the Law concerning the militia that were passed by the State Duma recently are in line with the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The story discusses the amendments , explaining why regional authorities are opposing militia reform.

Residents in Monchegorsk in the Murmansk region like to gather berries in local bogs that are contaminated by waste from the Severonickel plant. The story describes the poor ecological situation in the region, focusing on the inter-governmental agreement signed by Russia and Norway on June 19, according to which Norway will give Russia $30 million to introduce new, more ecologically friendly technology for use in the region's enterprises.

The State Duma in the fall will discuss a draft bill on the procedure of registering the incomes of poor families with the aim of providing social aid to them. In an interview Deputy Labor Minister Valery Yanvarev examines factors that will be taken into consideration when determining the families' poverty level.

The story examines new information in the so-called "case of 600 orphans" in the Volgograd region, who were illegally adopted and taken away abroad.

Komomolskaya Pravda

The story describes the ambitious international project Blue Stream, and its participants, explaining why some are calling it the project of the century.

The story examines strict measures taken by Kazan authorities to find the source of cholera infection in the region. Russian sanitation chief, Dr. Gennady Onishchenko is currently working in Kazan and has set a task before medical workers — to eliminate the cholera outbreak by Sept. 1. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta

The story reports on how 50 volunteers went to Mount Elbrus in order to pick up all the litter that had accumulated there. Vadim Karelin, who headed the group, explains what happened.

Legendary jazz pianist Mony Alexander from Jamaica will perform in concerts Tuesday and Wednesday in Moscow's LeClub . The story describes his music. Also covered in Moskva Supplement

The story describes several computer viruses, and gives advice to consumers about how to protect themselves from them. Also covered in Moskva Supplement

The story examines major advantages and several drawbacks in using gasoline as fuel for vehicles, and provides a list of cities, in which drivers use only gas for their cars.

The government recently adopted a decree, according to which teachers and tutors will be allowed to receive money for their services. The story describes them all.

Scientist Valerian Sobolev, Director of the Volgograd Metals Institute, announced that his group made an important discovery in obtaining a substance with unique properties, that can change the way life of humankind. The story describes this substance. Several specialists share their views on the discovery.

Moskovsky Komsomolets

The story examines the state of public toilets in the city, which up to now have remained a headache for Moscow authorities, because there are far too few of them for the city population, and almost all of them charge money for their services.

The number of syphilis patients in the Moscow region decreased by 11 percent in the first half of the year. The story gives figures to illustrate the point.

President Vladimir Putin has completed his first political season in office. What are its major results? What is awaiting Putin and the whole of Russia in the future? Leading political experts from Britain, the United States and Russia answer these questions.

The story offers different impressions about Nobel writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn's book "Two Hundred Years Together, Part 1", describing the 200-year-old relationship between the Russian and Jewish peoples. The second part of the book is nearly completed.

Estonian Lad Max, 23, from Tartu, hopes to enter the Guinness Book of World Records: he has announced his intention to have sexual intercourse with one hundred women in the space of three days. The current record belongs to an American. Twelve women have already agreed to take part in the attempt. The story gives details.