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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Press Review

Izvestia
Kommersant
Vedomosti
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Novaya Gazeta
Komomolskaya Pravda
Moskovsky Komsomolets


Izvestia
www.izvestia.ru

Mayor Yury Luzhkov late last week called on city officials and City Duma deputies to sign a petition requesting the president to return to Moscow tax collections and money from the Territorial Road Fund. The point is that today the city must pay 67 percent of all municipal tax proceeds to the federal budget, whereas the previous figure, under Yeltsin's rule, was 50 percent. A story comments on the issue, looking at the major parameters of the Moscow City budget. (1)

In an interview, American writer, historian and feature journalist Gore Vidal harshly criticizes the Bush administration for mistakes made in both domestic and foreign policies. (1,3)

In an interview, Alexander Ponomaryov, general director of the state television and radio broadcasting company Kultura, expresses hope that his company soon will receive a license. He speaks about the company's programs and future plans. (1,8)

Moscow is currently facing an acute lack of land for housing construction. State Duma Property Committee Deputy Alexander Novikov has made a proposal to abolish the boundaries of the Moscow region, which, in his opinion, are holding back Moscow's development. In an interview, Moscow Region Vice-Governor Mikhail Men calls this idea "absurd," and defends the region's land interests. (1,4)

Valery Andreyev, chief of the Nature Department of the Arkhangelsk Municipal Museum, has said that he has seen a bird, typically found in warmer countries, in Russia. This fact, he says, is the first visible sign of Russia's changing climate. (2)

The Gazprom-Media board of directors is expected to discuss the selling of its assets. Analysts say that if a concrete plan of action is not drafted, the Gazprom-Media empire lose considerable value. A story examines the structure of Gazprom's media assets. (2)

A story details Pope John Paul II's virtual visit to Moscow on Saturday when in the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception he delivered an unusual service. Moscow Catholics called on the pontiff to visit Moscow. (2, Kommersant Daily, 1,7, Vremya Novostei, 1,2, Gazeta, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2

A court session in Tallinn is expected on March 6 to consider the registration of the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. This topic was discussed at the recent meeting of Estonia's President Arnold Ruutel with Metropolitan of Tallinn and All Estonia Korniliy.

RTR, starting Monday evening at 7 p.m., will air a new program entitled "Good Night, Kids." In a short interview, the program's hostess Anna Mikhalkova talks about her program and its heroes. (3, Gazeta, 3)

March 4 marks the 150th anniversary of the death of writer Nikolai Gogol. A special committee has organized a large program of cultural events in honor of the great writer. A story examines some of the highlights. (3)

A story examines three major economic initiatives that came out of the informal CIS summit in Kazakhstan. (4, Vremya Novostei, 1,2, Gazeta, 1,2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4)

A story looks at how political parties can act as instruments to ease Russia's integration into a general European structure by lobbying Russian interests abroad. (4)

Though Aeroflot and Sheremetyevo executives officially confirmed a project to construct the Sheremetyevo -3 terminal, there is little evidence that the plan will in fact be put into action. (5)

10 years ago Russia ranked fourth in the world in pulp and paper production. Today Russia sits at 18th place. The decline and future fate of Russia's pulp and paper industry was discussed late last week at a visiting session of the Union of Timber Industrialists and Timber Exporters in Syktyvkar. A story examines several decisions made by the session to improve the situation in the domestic timber industry. (5)

Top OPEC officials arrived in Moscow on Sunday to persuade Russia to limit its second quarter oil exports. Analysts believe that this Russia-OPEC dialogue will be a complicated one, since many domestic oil companies are inclined to increase their oil exports. A story reflects on the issues involved, noting that OPEC will not likely decrease its own oil extraction quotas. (5, Kommersant Daily, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1,4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3)

On Tuesday, Severnaya Neft is expected to launch an offering of its bonds worth 850 million rubles. (5)

A story describes the battle between Arbat residents and Moscow City authorities over a plan to build elite apartment blocks in the area. (10)

The Sistema Financial Corporation has promised to invest $60 to $80 million in a major renovation of the Detsky Mir department store. Brief. (10)

The Moscow government has made the decision to move the Moscow City Transport Museum to Strogino. Deputy Director Mikhail Yegorov has warned that many valuable exhibits may not survive the move. Brief. (10)

Construction on a stretch of the 3rd Ring Road connecting Zvenigorodskoye Shosse with Ulitsa Begovaya has begun. A story examines the project. (10)

After a planned overhaul this year, the Moscow Hippodrome is expected to finally become profitable. A story examines the renovation effort. (11)

The Moscow International University is intent on bringing the "brains" back to Russia by inviting the children of Russian emigres living in Europe and America to study in Moscow. A story comments on the initiative. (11)

Kommersant
www.kommersant.ru

American experts arriving in Moscow on Monday are to persuade the Russian Agriculture Ministry to lift a ban on American poultry imports. A story speculates on their chances. (1, Vremya Novostei, 8)

Late last week Poland and Norway simultaneously launched large-scale NATO military exercises. A story describes the aims of the operation. (2)

The Founding Congress of the Socialist United Party of Russia took place in the Moskovsky State Farm in the Moscow Region. The new party is composed of representatives from 20 small social-democratic organizations. Ivan Rybkin is the party leader. (2)

Supporters of Abkhazia's unification with Russia have won Saturday's parliamentary elections. A story comments on the election results, and focusing on Abkhazian President Vladislav Ardzinba's proposal to establish associated relationships with Russia. (3, Gazeta, 1,2)

Udmurtia's government has refused to allow the construction of an industrial complex to utilize engines of solid-fuel missiles. This refusal marks the Russian Avia-Space Agency second failure to use the money allocated by the U.S. Congress for the destruction of the Russian missile engines. (3, Vremya Novostei, 4)

The Novosibirsk Vinap distillery, a leading domestic alcohol producer, has signed a large contract to export vodka to the Unites States. The 15-year contract is potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars. A story comments on the deal. (4)

U.S. pharmaceutical giant Merck stated Saturday that it had broken off relations with auditor Andersen after a 30 years relationship. PricewaterhouseCoopers is to replace Andersen. (4)

Sergei Yegorov, head of the Association of Russian Banks, has made a request to Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov to immediately regulate the licensing the countries auditors. The Institute of Professional Auditors has sent a similar appeal to Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin. (4)

The Prime-TASS agency stated on Friday that Troika-Dialog head Ruben Vardanyan would become general director of Rosgosstrakh. The last word on issue rests however, with the state. (4)

Within the next five to six years the Russian government intends to refuse loans from the World Bank (WB), the credits of which will be replaced by consultative assistance and guarantee lines. The story states several reasons for the refusal. (6)

In an interview, World Bank Director for Russia Julian Schweitzer explains how relations between the World Bank and Russia will be evaluated in the future. He also speaks about a possible change in governing WB investment programs. (6)

In an interview, financier Andrei Bugrov, who has recently left the post of World Bank Executive Director for Russia, talks about reasons behind his resignation and about the WB's future relationships with Russia. (6)

Crime. Unidentified assailants Friday killed Nikolai Burdyugov, deputy of the City Duma in Volgodonsk in the Rostov Region. The story describes how it happened. (9

A powerful earthquake on Sunday hit the territory of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. The brief mentions loss of life and the extent of material damage. (9, Vremya Novostei, 1)

Vedomosti
www.vedomosti.ru

Troika Dialog investment company head Ruben Vardanya will replace Alexei Golovkov as head of Rosgosstrakh. A story describes how Vardanya is preparing for his future job. (A1)

The State Statistics Committee is to announce a ten percent decrease in direct foreign investment in Russia last year, ending a two-year trend of increases. The announcement could reflect badly upon the government, which has recently put much effort into increasing the amount of direct foreign investment coming into Russia. (A1)

A story comments on a list of the world's billionaires, seven of which are Russians, recently published in Forbes magazine. (A1)

In an interview, Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky shares his feelings about being included in a Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people. (A1)

A brief explains the American reaction to Russia's ban on imports of U.S. poultry. The brief focuses on a joint statement made by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Venemen and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zellick. (A1)

A fierce struggle between the Agriculture Ministry and Soyuzplodimport over the rights to the Stolichnaya vodka trademark has been going on for nearly 2 years. In an interview, Soyuzplodimport owner Yury Shefler declares himself as the King of Vodka and explains what he shall do now should his "throne" collapse. (A2)

On Monday the Press Ministry is expected to consider an application to register non-commercial partnership founded by Yevgeny Primakov, head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Arkady Volsky, head of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurship. If the partnership is registered, the Primakov-Volsky team will be able to participate in the March 27 tender for TV-6. (A3)

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

A group of Credit Suisse First Boston bankers played a key role in creating the overbalanced structures that pushed energy giant Enron to bankruptcy. Such is the conclusion of investigations made by The Financial Times into the reasons behind Enron's financial collapse. (B1)

On March 6 Gazprom's board of directors will discuss the company's budget for 2002. In order to cover an expected deficit, Gazprom will have to borrow 175.5 billion rubles ($5.8 billion). (B1)

Late last week the Moscow City government approved a list of companies that are to participate in the construction of Khodynskoye Pole in the city center. Mosfundamentstroi-6 (MF-6) will become a major investor in the project. A story describes the project in detail, listing all participants. (B1)

Specialists from the United Financial Group propose to invest money into shares of Bashneft. A story looks at their recommendations. (B1)

OPEC has mollified its stand in relation to Russia: The cartel no longer insists that Russia prolong cuts on crude oil export. This was stated by an OPEC official on the eve of the OPEC visit to Moscow. (B2)

The results of the scandalous tender for the Talakan oil deposit were canceled late last week. The Yakutian company Sakhaneftegaz was unable to find the money to pay for their tender-winning bid. The Talakan deposit will again be put up for an auction with Yukos and Surgutneftegaz are considered the main competitors for the new tender. (B2)

The Magnitogorsk Metals Combine (Magnitka), following the lead taken by Severstal and Eurasholding, has decided to buy a port in the Far East. Magnitka has so far consolidated a 26 percent stake of the Vladivostok port and would like to occupy several seats on its board of directors. (B 2)

The Federal Securities Commission has made public a list of the most active operators on the exchange market according to last year's fourth quarter results. The majority of players have kept a hold on their positions, though Sberbank has behind the pack as of late. A story cites figures the illustrate the point. (B3)

Presidential administration and Gazprom board of directors Deputy Dmitry Medvedev stated that the liberalization of the Gazprom share market may begin much earlier than expected. A story comments on his statement. (B3)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta
www.ng.ru

In an interview, Union of Right Forces leader Boris Nemtsov answers questions regarding the fate of his party in light of the recent loss of voter support. (1,2)

TV6 general director Yevgeny Kiselyov has voiced his support for plans by Chamber of Commerce and Industry head Yevgeny Primakov and Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs chairman Arkady Volsky to join the consortium of businessmen interested in backing Kiselyov's team in the March 27 tender. A story looks at the role Primakov and Volsky will play in joining Kiselyov's team. (1,2, Gazeta, 3)

The Kremlin has drafted a document that is intended to promote selected Federation Council members while at the same time to decreasing the political influence of others. A story comments on the document. (1,2)

Despite numerous assurances made by Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze to play down new developments taking place in his republic, the American military presence can be far from ignored. Five political analysts share their viewpoint on the issue. (2)

The government is likely to have found a new way of resolving its foreign debt problem. A story examines it in detail. (3)

The Moscow government is willing to sell plots of land in the city, warning all potential buyers that Red Square is not for sale, because land there has been reserved for federal needs. A story examines the city government's property plans. (3)

On Tuesday the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia is expected to discuss its 2002-draft budget. In an interview, Parliamentary Assembly Deputy Executive Secretary Alexander Voroshchuk looks at the budget proposal and focuses on its major parameters. (4)

American Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow considers several approaches that could be taken by both NATO and Russia to further boost their cooperation. (5)

This past winter turned out to be the warmest winter the Northern Hemisphere experienced during the last 111 years. Weather specialists comment on the record high temperatures. (6, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

The privatization of an ecologically dangerous chemical enterprise and a lack of state control over the company's activities have caused an alarmingly dangerous environmental situation in the Kirov region. A story describes how radioactive and chemical pollution of the region's natural environment threatens to lead to a catastrophe, and focuses on proposals to resolve the situation put forth by State Duma deputy from the Kirov region Vladimir Klimov. (7)

In an interview, Saratov Regional Governor Dmitry Ayatskov explains how the Saratov region has gained from Federation Council reform. Ayatskov also expresses his opinion concerning the State Council and the Chechen problem. Finally, Ayatskov comments on the Vatican's decision to raise Catholic Church's presence in the Saratov region up to the diocese. (11)

Novaya Gazeta
www.novayagazeta.ru

A nearly completed agreement to sell Ingosstrakh, Avtobank and NOSTA to entrepreneurs Roman Abramovich and Alexei Deripaska has been suspended. In what has become an increasingly political case, both sides have accused one another of fraud and murders. (1, 11-13)

In an interview, political analyst Liliya Shevtsova shares her views on the political developments currently taking place in Russia, focusing on President Vladimir Putin's position and potential. (4)

The story examines three major charges that General Staff Chief Anatoly Kvashnin's opponents have brought against him. (7)

Komomolskaya Pravda
www.kp.ru

The story describes how a new chemical currently being used to remove ice and snow from Moscow's streets and sidewalks may have been responsible for leaving pensioner Raisa Ivanovna an invalid. Specialists comment on the case. (3)

The new State Musical Theater of National Art has been opened in Moscow. The theater's chief artistic director is Vladimir Nazarov, well known to the theater-going public. A story describes the theater. (3)

A story recommends several national parks that promise much entertainment on the March 8 holiday, Women's Day. (4)

Several stories describe how to take and give bribes in a correct and decent manner. A story also rates of the most notorious Moscow City and region extortionists. (6,7)

The Moscow Master Plan Research Institute has developed a plan for the capital's 4th Ring Road. A story examines the plan in detail. (13)

A story highlights eight former Communist Party (CPSU) Politburo members, who today live on very limited means. (26, 27)



Moskovsky Komsomolets
www.mk.ru

The story details a major renovation project of the once-famous sculpture "The Worker and Female Peasant," by Soviet artist Vera Mukhina. (1,2)

The government administration has made a decision to provide all ministers' with computers in the government conference hall. (1)

Five Moscow flower-growing farms will welcome Women's Day stocked with more than one million flowers. (1)

The government has submitted the draft of a special bill to the State Duma. The draft bill stipulates that all organizations must train their employees to deal with emergency situations. (1)