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Press Review

IZVESTIA (26/11/2003)

NTV Tuesday announced that it' s breaking the agreement with the LDPR on the party' s participation in teledebates within the framework of the program " Svoboda Slova" (Freedom of Speech) The decision has been caused by LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky aggressive behaviour during the recent teledebates. The story comments on the decision, saying how Zhirinovsky regards it. (1, Kommersant, 4, Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 3)

The story gives new sensational details about the recent attempt on the life of Moscow gvt Vice-Premier Iosif Ordzhonikidze. (1, 2)

The early presidential elections in Georgia will take place on Jan. 4-- such is the decision that was made on Tuesday by the republic' s parliament that was elected in 1999. The Georgian Supreme Court has annulled the results of the Nov. 2 parliamentary elections declaring them illegal. The story comments on the court' s verdict. (2, Kommersant, 10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 4, Gazeta, 4, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 5, Trud, 1, 3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, MK, 3)

Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze' s resignation has raised questions about the fate of the grandiose transport project: the TRACEKA international corridor connecting Asia with Europe bypassing Russia. The story examines the project. (2)

Rosagropromstroi President Viktor Vidmanov on Tuesday filed a suit in a court against State Duma deputies Nikolai Kovalyov and Gennady Gudkov, who have appealed to the prosecutor general concerning the company' s use of budget money for non-budget purposes. The story gives details. (2, Kommersant, 4, Gazeta, 3)

The story reflects on factors and forces that have contributed to the foil of Russia' s plan for a peaceful settlement of the Trans-Dniestrian conflict. The reason why President Putin on Tuesday canceled his visit to Kishinev is also considered. (3, Kommersant, 1, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 4, Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 5, Trud, 2)

The Judges' Council on Tuesday held a session to discuss an issue concerning the creation of its own security service and a specialized judicial television channel. The story describes the session' s discussions, proposals and decisions. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 2, MK, 2)

The gvt has applied to the Constitutional Court with a request to deprive the plaintiffs of the right to contest gvt decisions in general courts. In the gvt' s opinion, such issues should be resolved only in the Constitutional Court. The story comments on the gvt' s request. (3, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskatya Gazeta, 6)

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has devoted his article to the 70th anniversary of the restoration of American-Russian diplomatic relation that is being marked this month. The focus is on bilateral strategic partnership today. (4)

US President George W. Bush has endorsed the country' s military budget- 2004 of $401 billion. Brief. (4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6)

The National Association of Participants in the Stock Market (NAUFOR) has presented the first rating of companies that are managing pension money. The story comments on the rating. (5)

The Transport Ministry has determined demands for the charter carriers for the period of New Year tours. Aviation authorities on Tuesday stated that the avia companies will be allowed to make charter flights only after signing all agreements with the tourist firms. The story reveals the essence of the ministry' s demands. (5)

Two American Senators (their names are given) have come up with the initiative to exclude Russia from the Big-Group-8. The corresponding draft resolution has already been submitted to the US Senate. Brief. (4, Kommersant, 10, Gazeta, 1, 3, Vremya Novostei, 1, Nezaviasimaya Gazeta, 1, 6, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4, MK, 2)

Spain' s impressive economic achievements have allowed it to claim Russia' s place in the Big Group-8. The story examines its considerable economic successes (facts and figures) . (5)

According to The Financial Times, 28 telephone lines connecting Moscow big businessmen with the Kremlin will be turned off in the next several days. The story describes the measure, its aim and Kremlin officials responsible for these lines. (5, Gazeta, 1, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 5, MK, 2)

Two international payment systems--Visa and MasterCard -- have joined those forces in Russia lobbying the creation of the credit history bureaus that are not controlled by any legislation today. In view of this, two draft bills (their names are given) are awaiting their turn for the State Duma' s consideration. (6, )

The Venezuelan gvt on Nov. 29 is expected to determine who will develop the Deltana gas deposits. LUKoil can find itself among the winners. The story examines the company' s stand on its participation in the development of this deposit. (6)

The leadership of the Austrian OMV company, the former partner of Yukos, stated on Tuesday that it intends to invest 400 million euros in the Russian economy and in the next 2 years will launch a project to produce oil in Russia. The story examines the company' s plans. (7)

In an interview Hewlett-Packard Vice-President Owen Kemp (Sp. ?) , who today will be officially introduced as the company' s new Director-General in Russia, says what Russia' s market means for his company, focusing on its close contacts with several Russian companies. (7)

The Baltika brewery, the leader on the domestic beer market, is shrinking its presence on it. Its market share this year has decreased down to 20 percent. The story looks at the reason, citing analysts' views. (7)

The volume of deals connected with the purchase of industrial equipment in the portfolios of leasing companies for 2004 has doubled. Professionals say that companies are modernizing their industrial equipment to produce things that are being imported now from abroad. The story describes this new tendency. (8)

Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Yakovlev on Tuesday harshly criticized Moscow authorities' inaction during the recent snow-fall in Monday when it practically paralyzed the city -- as many as 760 road accidents took place in one day. (9)

According to information from the IRN Analytical Center, the average cost of one square meter of housing in Moscow this week has amounted to $1, 411, which is by 0. 9 percent higher than last week' s level. Brief. (9)

The Emergency Situations Ministry on Tuesday created a commission that will study all circumstances of the recent powerful fire in the dormitory at the Friendship University in Moscow. The story examines several possible reasons behind it. (10, Kommersant, 6, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 13, Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 10)

The Prosecutor Generals Office on Tuesday completed the investigation of the criminal case of former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who has been accused of violating 7 articles of the Criminal Code. His case contains 200 volumes that have been passed over to Khodorkovsky and his lawyer for study. The story comments on the case, focusing on two major questions -- Will Khodorkovsky be jailed and in case of Yes will his property be confiscated? (10, Kommersant, 1, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 10, MK, 1 )

KOMMERSANT (26/11/2003)

A serious conflict has erupted between participants in the Olympic Committee' s customs business. The story reveals the essence of the conflict and its participants. (1, 13)

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov Tuesday presided over the first session of the State Border Commission, the aim of which is to draft a federal program of resolving several urgent border problems. . The story examines some of them. (2)

The Kamchatka Regional Prosecutor' s Office today is expected to indict Petropavlovsk- Kamchatsky Mayor Yury Golenishchev of carelessness. He has been accused of using budget money for non-budget aims. The story examines his case. (2)

Thick fog in the morning today has delayed 12 flights in Airport Vnukovo. The story describes the situation. (8)

Citibank on Tuesday announced its participation in the domestic credit cards market. The story examines the bank' s project. (13, 14)

The Gazprom Board of Directors has made a decision of principle on the company' s participation in auctions and tenders to develop hydrocarbons in Eastern Siberia and the Far East. The story comments on the decision, saying what company will be Gazprom' s main competitor. (13, 16)

AvtoVAZ' press service Tuesday reported that the Oferol enterprise in Uruguay in December will begin to assemble Niva autos. And 6 months ago AvtoVAZ declared Latin America one of the priority foreign market--it amounts to over 15 percent of export of AvtoVAZ The Interior Ministry, however, reported last week that not all export Lada autos reach buyers in Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. The story describes how they disappear and where. (13)

Uralsvyazinform on Monday made public the plans to consolidate its cellular assets. The story examines them in detail. (13, 20)

The Strategy Analytics company has made public its study of the expanding world cellular telephone market, focusing on Russia' s positive role in the process. The story gives figures to illustrate the point. (17)

VEDOMOSTI (26/11/2003)

The State Duma last week passed an amendment to the draft of the Tax Code that was submitted by deputy Mikhail Zadornov. He has added two phrases to Article 174 of the Tax Code. The story examines them in detail. (A1)

The Agrarian Party decided to gladden villagers and show them films (at no cost) with the party' s advertising clips before them. The story describes this way of the party' s campaigning. ((A1)

The consolidation of the ruble has impressed the Central Bank leaders to such an extent that they got distressed about the impossibility to keep the gold and currency reserves in the national currency. Experts believe such conclusions to be premature: corporate financiers are continuing to orient themselves toward the dollar. (A1)

Road accident over the 10 months of this year left 29, 016 people dead. This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Yakovlev. Brief. (A1)

The State Duma Union of Right Forces (SPS) faction has proposed a draft bill on interaction between lobbyists and authorities that will be considered by the next State Duma. The story examines the draft' s major provisions. (A2)

The United Russia party knows how to use the name of Vladimir Putin with the aim of boosting its election campaign. Party leader Boris Gryzlov stated that United Russia will nominate Putin to run for a new presidential term. The story comments on the initiative, saying how political scientists regard it. (A2)

The gvt is willing to cancel royalty for the Trans-Siberian flighht-overs of foreign companies. As a result, Aeroflot by 2015 may annually lose almost $300 million in revenues and it will have to share part of this sum with other domestic companies. (A3)

The state-run pipeline monopoly " Transneft" has postponed its plans to expand to the international financial markets. President Semyon Vainshtok explains it by the fact that the company has enough money for its own investments, if bureaucrats do not take away the whole profit for paying out dividends to the Treasury. (A5)

Ever more companies lately have shown interest in sponsoring social advertising. The story examines what attracts them in this business. (A7)


The UralSib bank has suffered the second serious defeat from Bashkir taxpayers. The court on Tuesday also declared invalid the previous additional issuance of UralSib, as a result of which a year ago it capital grew by 1. 4 billion rubles, and the Bashkir gvt' s share decreased. (B1)

Surgutneftegaz that has received a short-term operator license from the Nature Ministry to develop the Talakan deposit is not in a hurry to use it. The company will work for receiving through the Yakutian Arbitration Court the permanent license rather than the temporary one. (B1)

The Mosenergo Board of Director has approved to borrow by the company a 2. 577 billion ruble credit before the end of 2003. The brief looks at its aim. (B1)

The Federal Securities Commission has issued Severstal a permission to turn 19. 9 percent of its stock into GDRs. The company plans to convert the already existing stakes into depositary receipts, but no more than 15 percent of Severstal stock will be traded on the European exchanges in the form of receipts. (B2)

Severstal has made the first step to purchase the bankrupt American metal company Rouge Industries. Despite US Steel' s objections, the Delaver Bankruptcy Court declared Severstal a strategic investor with the right to be the first to make a proposal on the purchase of the bankrupt company. (B2)

The Austrian OMV company on Tuesday for the first time revealed its plans in Russia. The company intends to launch a joint venture with a Russian company and in 3-4 years to extract in Russia annually 1. 5 million tons of oil as a minimum. (B3)

The privatization of enterprises in the Bashkir fuel and energy complex has worried their minority shareholder Pyotr Komarov. Using the materials of the Audit Chamber' s check-ups, he made the court freeze the shares of these enterprises. (B3)

The oil companies working on the American market are preparing to close part of their oil refineries. Otherwise, due to toughened ecological norms they will have to spend about $20 billion on the modernization of productions. Despite the fact that up to 15 percent of all refineries may close down, the petrol crisis does not threaten to America. (B3)


The domestic BBCdaily agency on Tuesday reported about a " conspiracy" in YukosSibneft. Referring to an unidentified source, the agency published information about a meeting of Tatyana Dyachenko, Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich that allegedly took place in London. They discussed the possible purchase by the Chukotka governor of the controlling stake of YukosSibneft. In an interview Yukos main shareholder Leonid Nevzlin comments on the information. (1, 3)

In an interview UES head Anatoly Chubais, co-Chairman of the Union of Right Forces party, shares his view on the current parliamentary elections campaigning and on possible participants in the March 2004 presidential elections. (1, 8)

The annual conference " The Russian Business. The Agenda-2004" will complete its work today. Economists and businessmen spoke about their convicted colleagues and stated to authorities that their actions do not contribute to the economic growth. Yevgeny Yasin, Science Director of the Higher School of Economics, stated in part that the supertasks set by the president, including the doubling of the gross domestic product, are unattainable. The story examines the most interesting pronouncements and discussions. (3)

The story examines preliminary results of the all-Russian census in the North Caucasus that have been strongly affected by national aspects. (4)


The Culture and Arts Council under the president in the Kremlin on Tuesday held a session that discussed vital issues of cultural cooperation within the UNESCO and UN programs. The story examines the discussion, its participants and decisions. (1, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

Document. The Presidential Decree concerning the creation of the Anti-Corruption Council under the president. Full text. Audit Chamber head Sergei Stepashin, and Indem Fund President Georgy Satarov comment on the document. (1, 2)

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has signed a gvt decree concerning the program of housing certificates in 2004-2010. The story examines the program' s main provisions. (1, 9)

The All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM) has conducted a poll to see how wage increases for the budget workers one month ago affected their material well-being. The story looks at results. (1, 2)

The photo display " Proba No. 50" with 100 photos by presidential adviser Sergei Yastrzhembsky opened in Moscow on Tuesday. Photo caption. (2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 1, 26)

In an interview Yury Volkov, head of the United Russia Central Election Headquarters, explains why his party has refused to take part in teledebates. (3 )

In an interview Adzharia' s head of state Aslan Abashidze shares his view on the latest developments in Georgia, explaining why they cannot be considered the " velvet revolution" . (4)

Nadezhda Nazina heads the Trade Department in the Economic Development and Trade Ministry. In an interview she talks about how her agency is cracking down on counterfeit goods the number of which has surpassed all possible expectations. (5)

The story examines factors that have caused a troubling situation in and around the " Moskva" Department Store" on Leninsky Prospekt. (7)

In an interview National Reserve Bank head Alexander Lebedev, who is claiming the Moscow mayoral seat, says why he would like to be Moscow mayor. He guarantees that Moscow with its residents will be a prosperous city in a year. (7)

TRUD (26/11/2003)

The Audit Chamber late last week inspected how the Chechen gvt spends budget money that is allocated on the rehabilitation of the republic. It has turned out that only 10 out of the 44 planned facilities were restored over the 9 months of this year, whereas last year 16 facilities out of the 23 on the plan were completed. . Chamber auditor Sergei Ryabukhin has made public these figures, focusing on a poor quality of work. In a short interview former Chechen Finance Minister Sergei Abramov comments on the situation. (1)

The story gives concrete facts (and figures) showing how the Irkutsk law-enforcers and the city administration are cracking down on looting on the local " shade" timber market. (2)

The Supreme Court has declared legal the Central Election Commission' s resolution on the registration of Sergei Veremeyenko as a candidate to the post of President of Bashkortostan. It means that his rival Andrei Pykhachev' s complaint has been rejected. The story comments on the court' s verdict. (3, Argumenty i Fakty, No. 48, p, 8)

The story describes how pronunciation is changing among Muscovites with years. Several pronunciation tendencies are being compared. (5)

The story examines the situation on the Moscow employment market, saying that 50 percent of all jobless are claiming jobs with wages from 6, 000 up to 9, 000 rubles. (5)

KRASNAYA ZVEZDA (26/11/2003)

The Federation Council has invited Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov to come to Senators to tell them how the Russian army will be manned in the not so distant future. The story examines what they would like to hear from the minister and what he will tell them. (1, 2)

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov in his agency on Tuesday received his Norwegian counterpart Christine Kron Devold (Sp. ?) . The story examines significant military issues they discussed. (1)

The story is an analysis of last week' s s developments in Chechnya, where the financial and economic situation, referring to results of the Audit Chamber' s recent check-ups, has remained very tense. (1, 2)

" Putin--Russian Roosevelt" -- such was the title of an article by John Roberts that was published in The Washington Times on Nov. 11. It analyses Russian authorities' recent steps in relation to the Yukos oil company and its President Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The story compares both presidents' policies toward oligarchs. (3)