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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Press Review

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Noviye Izvestia
Komsomolskaya Pravda
Moskovsky Komsomolets


On Monday the new version of the criminal procedure code and the administrative violations code came into effect. Izvestia researched how new provisions are being observed in practice. Examples are how an arrest warrant should be issued by a judge and not a prosecutor, and that the traffic police can no longer accept fines on the spot. (1, Kommersant 4)

Previously Izvestia wrote about corruption in the Stavropol region. Local businessmen were forced to pay for a new brick cottage for the prosecutor of the Ipatovsky district. Now it has come to light that the practice has been common in many other districts of the same region. (1)

A government commission failed to inform the public the reasons for the Kursk submarine disaster. On Monday news agencies quoted a member of the commission, State Duma deputy vice-admiral Valery Dorogin, who spoke about the commission's findings. He said the investigation attributed the catastrophe to a torpedo blast -- but this is not the whole truth according to the story. (1,2)

The conflict in the leadership of the Slavneft oil company continued on Monday when Mikhail Gutseriyev and Yury Sukhanov both attempted to take the office of the company's president using police and security guards. The later sought support from the highest government officials, but nevertheless could not get into the premises so far. (2, Kommersant 1,11, Gazeta 9, Nezavisimaya Gazeta 3)

The Bolshoi Theater will host two recitals of the Paris Opera orchestra early in the fall. Izvestia interviewed the Paris Opera chief conductor James Conlon, who said that Russian operas should always be performed in Russian. (2)

All signs in downtown Moscow, at tourist attractions and in the metro will soon have equivalents in the Latin alphabet. This will be done to support Moscow's bid to host the 2010 World Expo. (2, Gazeta 2, Noviye Izvetia 1,4)

Days after the State Duma approved amendments to the 2002 budget it seems that the state does not have the funds to cope with the consequences of the flood in Russia's south. The Finance Ministry has already allocated 1.1 billion rubles as subsidies and loans to the regions that suffered the greatest harm. Thus, the deputies will have to amend the budget again in the fall session. (2)

On Monday a new state prosecutor was appointed at the trial on Colonel Budanov who is charged with capital murder in Chechnya. Vladimir Miloshnikov -- the new prosecution lawyer -- said that the position of the prosecution on Budanov has changed. The judge's ruling is to be passed on Tuesday. (3, Kommersant 4, Gazeta 3)

On Monday Russia's first President Boris Yeltsin met with the fellow graduates of the Urals Polytechnical University. Yeltsin's family arranged a reunion for the alumni of 1955 in Bor rest house in the Moscow region. They will spend five to six days together. (3)

On Monday the head of the Defense Ministry's financial department confirmed that payments of increased salaries to military officers -- which was to start on July 1 -- would be delayed. She explained that the total number of posts in the Army is some 50 thousand, and calculations of new salaries for each of them will take time. (3, Gazeta 2,3)

On Tuesday Nenetsk autonomous district Governor Vladimir Butov is flying to the capital Naryan-mar. A federal search was launched against him on June 25, after several criminal lawsuits failed to locate him. (3, Kommersant 3)

On Monday night in Tver a well-known singer Mikhail Vorobyev was shot dead in his own house. (3, Kommersant 3, Gazeta 5, Nezavisimaya Gazeta 10)

The main outcome of the State Duma's spring session is that the United Russia faction has learnt to control the parliament and got most of the key posts, thus securing itself good positions for the 2003 parliamentary election. (4, Kommersant 1,2, Gazeta 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta 2)

In Moscow on Monday the leadership of the United Russia party met with their Japanese colleagues -- members of the ruling liberal democratic party of Japan. (4)

At present there are two parties who have proclaimed the Eurasian geo-political and cultural position of Russia as their main ideology. One is called Euroasia and is led by Alexander Dugin, and the other -- the Eurasian Party of Russia -- is led by State Duma deputy Abdul-Vakhid Niyazov, who is also known as Vadim Medvedev. The two leaders are competing for supremacy. (4)

Organizations from several countries including Russia, the CIS, the U.S. and Canada that unite Russian-speaking Jews opened their statutory congress in Moscow on Monday. Today they are to announce the establishment of the World congress of Russian-speaking Jews. (4, Kommersant 3)

Izvestia interviewed the chief judge of the Supreme Court of Chechnya Ziyavdi Zaurbekov. He was asked how the courts are prepared to work under the new Criminal Procedure Code -- effective from July 1. He said that a provision still applies according to which "searches without warrants are allowed while conducting counter terrorist operations." The Chief Justice also said that there are 26 judges in Chechnya, while the number of vacant offices is 35. (4)

Last week a scandal broke when President Putin made accusations against the energy monopoly UES, after it allegedly proposed raising energy tariffs to compensate for the restoration work that is to be done in the flooded areas of Russia. The President said that UES top-managers get huge salaries and buy big packages of new energy enterprises' stock. Izvestia wrote that this information is inaccurate and provided explanations. (5)

On Monday the government commission on the protection of foreign trade decided to raise customs duties on the export of oil products, while the duties on goods of processed lumber will be abolished. (5, Kommersant 10)

Primorhlebproduct -- the largest grain-rpocessing enterprise in the Russian Far East -- is blocking the efforts of its foreign investors to bring order to the ailing company. They have huge assets but finished 2001 with losses of 2 million rubles. The situation may impede participation of U.S. companies in the investment forum in Asia-Pacific economic cooperation that will take place in Vladivostok in the fall. (6)


On Monday the State Duma passed several tax bills in the third reading. They relate to small business taxation and the abolishment of a 1- percent road tax. The new simplified tax order may be applied to businesses that have the yearly turnover of less than 15 million rubles, fixed assets up to 15 million rubles and up to 100 personnel. (2)

President Putin met with the head of Severstal Alexei Mordashov as part of the framework of his program contact with medium-sized businesses. They discussed the situation regarding the export of metallurgic goods. Mr. Mordashev also complained to the President about the actions of some minority shareholders that make the company less attractive to foreign investors. He was referring to Severstal's ongoing conflict with its shareholder VFP. (2)

The former director of the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum plant Anatoly Bykov who was recently released from custody appeared before journalists in Krasnoyarsk. He said that he is not going to run for the governor's office, but will support a local candidate. Bykov refused to identify his name but said that his support may provide 17 percent votes. (3)

On Monday President Putin dismissed the Deputy Interior Minister -- head of the criminal police Nikolai Bobrikov. He was replaced with Rashid Nurgaliyev. Both he and his predecessor are former FSB officers, so the reasons for the reshuffle remain unclear. (4).

On Monday in the Hague the International Criminal Court started accepting cases on crimes against the humanity. The author questions the potential influence of the court, because its activities could easily be blocked by the United States, that refused to recognize its jurisdiction over American citizens. (5)

On Saturday night the first secretary of the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) was shot dead. According to one version the contract killing was arranged by activists of the Chinese Moslem Uigur extremist organization "Free Turkestan," who fight for separation from China. (5)

Last week Kyrgyzstan Defense Minister Esen Topoyev stated that the military aerodrome Kant near Bishkek will be used by collective CIS forces. Today there is only one military aerodrome in the country which is used by the U.S.-led anti-terrorist coalition. The mandate of NATO forces in Kyrgyzstan expires early next year and is unlikely to be extended. (6)

At Monday's shareholders meeting of Sibur it was decided to apply to the court with a request to impose external management on the company for one year. Sibur Board chair Alexander Ryazanov said that they could not reach an agreement with the company's creditors. Sibur owes 29 million rubles to Gazprom and Gazprombank, as well as 2.9 billion rubles to Vnesheconombank, Vneshtorgbank, Sberbank, MDM-bank, Alpha Bank and other banks. (9, Gazeta 2)

On Monday the TVS channel starting broadcasting advertising. The prices are close to those of other federal channels ORT and RTR. (9)

On July 1 the Customs and Tax Ministry began the process of registration of corporate taxpayers. Organizations that fail to register by January 2003 are subject to liquidation. It is expected that some 1.5 million corporate bodies will eventually be liquidated. (10)


Andrey Nikitin, a former owner of Ingosstrakh and NOSTA, has suffered a serious defeat in his struggle to get his businesses back. The Interior Ministry's investigation committee has taken a freeze off the controlling packages of the allegedly stolen companies. New owners hurried to close the deal on selling the Rossia insurance company to Aton. (A1)

The Duma was dismissed for its summer vacation on July 1. President Vladimir Putin praised the deputies for their hard work. Vedomosti has published a list of the most important economic bills that the State Duma passed during its spring session.

A large deal between Sibneft and LUKoil shows that accounting standards have yet to be uniformly applied in Russia. The two companies have shown quite different figures for LUKoil's sale of 36 percent of a Moscow oil processing plant to Sibneft. The money in question amounts to 200 million US dollars. (A1)

Labor Minister Alexander Pochinok announced Monday that on October 1, the Single Tariff table, to which budget workers' salaries are now calculated, will be abolished. (A3)

Today President Putin will meet with top managers of large Russian agricultural concerns. Alexey Gordeyev, deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister, who is seeking state support for the country's grain export, will arrange the meeting. (A3)

In an interview, Dmitry Pumpyansky, the owner and board chair of the Sinarsky pipe plant, speaks about his recent decision to merge with the Pipe Metallurgic Company (TMK). TMK is owned by the MDM group, of which Pumpyansky subsequently became a general director. (A2)

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

Gazprom is likely to sell its package of Sibur stock after its creditors approved the imposition external management in the company on Monday. Meanwhile, some Sibur creditors, particularly large banks, are not happy about the prospect, because it does not give them the chance to have their money returned. Sibur owns stock in some 40 oil chemical plants, and many office buildings. (B1)

The credit committee of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved a $10 million credit and an option to buy a 10.44 stake in the Russky Standard Bank. The EBRD estimated the value of the bank at $191 million, which is twice as much as all its assets. (B1)

A new railroad and ferry line will be created in the Caspian Sea to connect Russian Makhachkala with ports in the Central Asia. The Makhachkala seaport and the Anship shipping company have together invested some $15 million into the project. The line aims at transporting Caspian oil to Russia by bypassing the Black Sea ports of Poti in Georgia and Baku in Azerbaijan. (B2)

In two weeks the Russian government will discuss its final position regarding telecommunications during talks with the World Trade Organization. The Russian side hopes to preserve two important provisions: Firstly, that the monopoly of Rostelecom is here to stay and secondly, that the rights of foreign investors in the Russian communications market should be limited. (B5)

TsUM is not likely to extend its lease agreement with Prekrestok chain with respect to the Teply Stan and Krylatskoye supermarkets. The management of TsUM is now deciding whether the company will use the space itself or sell it to other retailers. (B6)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Leader of Yabloko party Grigory Yavlinsky rejected of SPS leader Boris Nemtsov's proposal to front a single candidate during the 2004 presidential election. However, Nemtsov said that the two parties should conduct sociological polls to determine their comparative rating after the 2003 Duma elections, which will serve as the basis for primaries. (1)

Last week, Colonel General Vitaly Azarov, head of the Defense Ministry's educational department was dismissed. Apparently, Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov has tried lying the blame on Azarov for low morale in the Russian army. Rumors are quite active in the army that Sergey Ivanov may soon be appointed the head of the presidential administration and that Anatoly Kvashnin will become his successor at the post of defense minister. (1,2)

An exhibition taking place at the Tretyakov gallery has put on display 60 paintings from the Grozny museum that were badly destroyed in a 1995 attack on the Chechen capital. Some famous paintings on exhibit, including Roubeaux's "Taking of aul Gunib and Capturing Shamil in 1859, " were stolen at the time, but were later recovered in an anti-smuggling operation. (8)

On his 82nd birthday, cartoonist Leonid Shvartsman, creator of the famous Cheburashka cartoon character, was awarded the title of People's Artist of the Russian Federation. (8)

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

Document. A government resolution to determine salaries for the military. The document lists basic military positions and concrete figures for corresponding wages. The highest monthly wage listed, for first deputy defense ministers, is 4410 rubles. (10,11)

Document. Federal law on monthly salaries of workers of some federal bodies and other payments to them in the changing conditions of service in some federal tax police bodies and customs bodies. (11)

Noviye Izvestia

Military courts often seem to pass very mild verdicts or acquit military officers who have who committed serious crimes. The case of Major Vladimirov, who had severely beaten five privates, breaking a jaw to one of them, seems to demonstrate this tendency. The Moscow garrison court sentenced Vladimirov to two years probation. (1)

Starting January 1, 2003 fares for using Moscow public transportation will be raised by 2 rubles. In effect it will cost 7 rubles to ride the metro and 6 rubles to use buses and trams. Interfax has reported that the city also plans to pay for the construction of a new metro line to Butovo as well as a monorail road 5.2 kilometers in length. (1, brief)

A love parade took place on Sunday night in Yekaterinburg. Gays and transvestites saluted Governor Rossel with a fountain of condoms. Previously Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov said that he would never allow such parade to take place in the Russian capital. (1)

Komsomolskaya Pravda

A report from flooded villages in the Stavropol region claims that residents have complained bitterly that the local militiamen were primarily concerned about avoiding any kind of danger during the natural disaster. (2)

Moskovsky Komsomolets

New sanitary regulations on foodstuffs will take force on September 1. The new rules are based on European standards and will oblige producers to inform customers about any genetically modified ingredients in the food products. (1)

The Interior Ministry's electronic crimes department has uncovered the operations of a criminal group involved in selling virtual brides to foreigners. The foreigners would send funds for transportation costs for their selected girlfriends but would in the end never meet them. A Moscow student Anna Malkova, who earned to date $52 thousand, allegedly managed the Internet site. (3)

The State Duma's budget for 2003 is 2.600 million rubles, 48% more than its 2000 budget. Every law passed by the Duma costs the treasury 10 million rubles this year, compared to 4 million rubles last year. Meanwhile, some factions and groups, such as LDPR, Unity and People's Deputy were far behind other factions in their lawmaking activities. (6)

An article reports on the young Chechen boys aged 13 and 18, who were small children at the time of the first Chechen war but are now ready to wage war, commit acts of terrorism and even become shakhids (suicide bombers). Several cases are examined in the story. (7)

Moskovskie Novosti interviewed the head of the presidential department for foreign politics Sergey Prihodko, who was Vladimir Putin's advisor at the recent G-8 summit in Kananaskis. Prihodko answered the questions regarding the training of Russian diplomats, rapprochement with G-8 and its effects on Russia's relations with China and finally about Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization. (12)