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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Press Review

Izvestia
Kommersant
Vedomosti
Vedomosti. Companies and Markets
Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Komsomolskaya Pravda


Izvestia
www.izvestia.ru

The presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan Sunday signed a Joint Statement on the creation of a single economic trade one. Thus, a new abbreviation, ORI or Organization of Regional Integration has appeared in the political lexicon. A story comments on the statement, focusing on the economic interests of each state. (1,2, Kommersant, 1,2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1,2, Gazeta, 9, Vremya Novostei, 2, Vremya MN, 1, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 3)

Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov turned 50 on Tuesday. In an interview, he gives a preliminary assessment of the actions of Russian Special Forces during the Dubrovka Theater siege on Oct. 26. Ustinov also makes mention of several other criminal cases. (1,2, Rossiisskaya Gazeta, 1,2, Gazeta, 1,3)

A story describes what Chechnya is doing to prepare for its upcoming constitutional referendum, scheduled for March 23. (1,3)

A mental hospital in Samara is demanding money from five government agencies for the medical examinations of army conscripts. A story describes the conflict, which has made its way into the courts. (2)

On March 29 the United Russia party is expected to decide whether Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov or Senator Alexander Bespalov will lead the party in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Both are vying for the post of party leader. A story examines the platforms of both candidates. (3)

President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov visited the Burdenko Military Clinical Hospital on Feb. 23. Dozens of servicemen and civilians are currently undergoing treatment at the hospital due to injuries sustained during the bombing of Grozny's Government House last December. A story describes the visit. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1,2,)

A story examines the re-alignment of political forces in the United Nations Security Council. Washington is expected to submit a new resolution on Iraq within the next several days. (4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3,Gazeta, 5, Vremya Novostei, 5, Vremya MN, 1,)

Politika Fund President Vyacheslav Nikonov reflects on how the upcoming war in Iraq will affect Russian interests in the region. (4)

The State Duma on Friday passed in the third reading a package of draft bills legislating the reform of Unified Energy Systems (UES). A story asserts that the government's reform plan has become obsolete and offers the opinions of two experts. (5)

Ukrainian parliamentary deputies last week instructed communications authorities to make all incoming telephone calls free-of-charge. Russian Duma deputies have proposed the same scheme for Russia. A story comments on the issue. (5)

While participants in Russia's import meat market have harshly criticized last month's government decree instituting import quotas, the government maintains that the quota system is not only profitable, but should be expanded into other spheres of the economy. The Agriculture Ministry, for example, has proposed the imposition of such quotas in the alcohol sector. In an interview. Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Gordeyev explains how the government intends to implement different quota systems. (5)

In January 2003 the industrial and service output of five domestic economic sectors increased by 5.8 percent, in comparison with the figure for the same period last year. Brief. (5)

After the recent British Petroleum-TNK megadeal, Renault and TotalFinaElf may follow suit. Analyst Niclas Sundstrom of the Salomon Smith Barney investment branch of the Citigroup conglomerate, uses the BP-TNK deal as an example to comment on the investment situation in Russia. (5)

The State Customs Committee in 2002 overfulfilled its quota for duties collected and, as a result, its target for a new year has been increased by 14.4 percent. A story examines the results for 2002 and invites several experts to share their views. (6)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has appointed Spain's Victor Pastor as director of its Russian mission. Brief. (6)

Vneshtorgbank Vice President Vladimir Dmitriyev announced his organization's intention to attract additional foreign investors after having completed a deal with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and IFC. Brief. (6)

Yuniastrum Bank spokesman Oleg Skvortsov announced that his bank intends to open 17 regional affiliates before the end of 2003. Brief. (6)

A story offers an in-depth analysis of the situation in the London Oil Exchange. A diagram of the dynamics of prices of Brent oil. (7)

The world IT-community is trying to accuse Symantec of concealing information about the emergence of the new Slammer virus. Symantec was allegedly the first company to learn about the virus but failed to warn the general public about it. A story examines the situation. (7)

A new holding to make and sell porcelain will be created soon by the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory and two French factories. The basic element of the holding will be the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory and the main shareholder will be a domestic financial corporation. Brief. (7)

Gazprom has drafted technical and economic documents regarding the construction of a North-European gas pipeline, which is slated to get underway in 2005. A brief looks at some of the financial institutions that may take part in the project. (7)

LUKoil President Vagit Alekperov announced that the oil major has invested 3.5 billion rubles into the construction of an oil terminal in the Vysotsk port. Brief. (7)

Itera Holding has transferred to $500,000 Georgia in accordance with a draft agreement regarding the purchase of a 90 percent stake in Azot, the country's leading mineral fertilizer enterprise. Brief. (7)

Tatneft's revenue in 2002 exceeded 10 billion rubles. The company employs 21,000 people. Brief. (7)

Moscow City Duma Deputy Speaker Mikhail Vyshegorodtsev stated that the 2003 budget's revenue will be increased by 4 billion rubles. (9)

In an interview, Mikhail Zadornov, the deputy head of the State Duma Budget Committee, looks at the Moscow city budget in relation to the federal financial market. Zadornov speculates on what the Muscovites can expect this year. (9)

On Monday Moscow police made public the number of individuals charged with disturbing the peace on the Feb. 23 holiday, Day of the Defender of the Fatherland. A brief offers figures. (9)

On Monday Pavel Borodin denied information concerning his plans to take part in the 2003 gubernatorial elections in the Moscow region. Brief. (9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3)

On Feb. 27 Russian artist Alexander Kosolapov, who now resides in New York, will unveil a 154-cm statue of Vladimir Lenin with a head of cartoon character Mickey Mouse. A brief reveals the artist' creative idea. (9)

Another scandal connected with Catholic clergymen erupted in Russia on Monday when authorities in Pushkin refused to issue a residence permit to Father Bronislav Chaplitsky. A story describes the conflict. A list of Catholic priests banned from staying in or visiting Russia in 2002 is also included. (10, Gazeta, 4)

A story looks at the emergence of a middle class in Russia. (12)

Kommersant
www.kommersant.ru

Late Monday night the United States and Britain submitted the draft of a new resolution on Iraq to the UN Security Council. A story comments on the draft and concludes that UN Security Council approval will essentially mean a declaration of war on Iraq. (1, 9)

Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin attended a meeting of finance ministers and central bank heads of industrialized countries in Paris on Saturday. During the meeting, he stated that Russia intends to join the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OESR). A story comments on Kudrin's statement. (2, Vremya Novostei, 4)

Pavel Borodin has announced the creation of a new union of left-centrist parties dubbed Patriots of Russia. A story describes the new association, its tasks, aims and its members. (3)

Almost 200 million rubles have been embezzled from the housing and utility sector of Vladivostok. This is stated in a document drafted by the Finance Ministry Board for the Primorye region that inspected the financial activities of the local administration. Local Duma spokesman German Zverev shares his view on the situation. (4)

Two crews in the Cosmonauts Training Center today have begun their training sessions for a new space venture. One of them will set off to the International Space Station in early May. A story describes the crews, their training program and plans. (4)

Moscow police that have been unable to find Vladislav Stepanov, who on Friday killed two police escorts and then escaped from the moving train. Authorities have announced a reward for help leading to the capture of Stepanov. A story describes some new developments in the case. (6, Gazeta, 6)

A road accident on Kutuzovsky Prospekt Monday left two people dead and another seriously injured. Brief. (6)

Two small children Friday fell from the 7th floor window of their Moscow apartment on Ulitsa Bagritskogo. Thankfully the children survived the fall. Brief. (6)

About 500 businessmen and traders in Voronezh on Friday staged an act of protest against a decision made by local authorities to remove all trading kiosks. A story describes the act. (7)

The Russian Tour Industry Union has sent a letter to French General Consul in St. Petersburg Stefan Visconti with a request to do something about a dismal visa situation. The Consulate has reduced the amount of visas issued by four times, and the St. Petersburg tourist firms are in panic. A story comments on the situation. (7)

Yevgeny Primakov, special presidential envoy and president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, visited Baghdad this weekend to meet with President Saddam Hussein. A story asserts that the fact that Primakov was sent to Baghdad evidences a very tense situation. (9)

Oleg Kiselyov, head of the Shestoi Kanal board of directors, stated on Monday that 15-percent stake previously belonging to the entrepreneurs Kakha Bendukidze and Dmitry Zimin, has passed over to the trust management of an American judicial company. Kiselyov himself will control the stake. A story comments on the deal that changes the alignment of forces inside the consortium of entrepreneurs who own the TVS channel. (13, 15)

On Friday Rusia Petroleum (RP) general director Valery Pak announced his intention to put a large stake in Verkhnechonskneftegaz up for sale. 100 percent of Verkhnechonskneftegaz belongs to RP. (13)

Vedomosti
www.vedomosti.ru

LUKoil and Rosneft have reached agreement to resolve all disputes concerning Severnaya Neft, which Rosneft recently acquired. (A1

The Economic Development Ministry has drafted amendments to the law on Banks and Banking Activity, which directly concerns cellular telephone dealers. A story examines the amendments, focusing on how they affect the cellular dealers' business. (A1)

Sberbank clients have unexpectedly suffered from a recent decision to lower the refinancing rate. Interest rates on their deposits have been affected by the 35 percent tax. As a result, Sberbank has begun to lobby for an amendment of deposit interest taxation, and its initiative has been supported by all departments and deputies. (A1)

The volume of syndicated credits drawn by Eastern European borrowers in 2002 almost doubled to $7.5 billion. As a result, Russia has become one of the biggest credit recipients, receiving $6 billion, $5 billion of which went to the energy sector. Brief. (A1)

Iraq is willing to comply with the demands of chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix and will destroy Al-Samoud 2 missiles. On Friday Blix demanded that Baghdad begin to destroy the missiles. Brief. (A1

Moscow municipalities are using the courts to gain the right to collect taxes in their districts and dispose of their municipal property. If the courts rule in their favor, the city budget will lose 28.6 billion rubles. (A2)

The presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan on Feb. 23 signed a joint declaration on the creation of a free economic zone. The point is the creation of an independent regulator of tariffs and customs duties. (A2)

The State Statistics Committee has reported an unexpected rise in real wages and incomes for the month of January. A story offers figures to illustrate the point. (A3)

This week Gazexport and the Poland's state-run PGNiG are expected to sign a contract on gas exports to Poland up to the year 2022. Russia will cut delivery volumes agreed upon in a 1993 agreement by one third. (A3)

Four experts share their viewpoints regarding the need to sell Svyazinvest. (A4)

South Korea's newly elected President Roh Moo-hyen was to begin his duties Tuesday. A story looks at both his domestic and foreign policies. (A5)

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

The former exclusive Heineken beer distributor in Russia, First Federation, file a $60 million suit against Dutch brewer Heineken for concealing its plans to brew beer at its St. Petersburg's Bravo brewery. (B1)

LUKoil's $400 million purchase of a 27-percent stake in LUKoil-Perm is the highest price ever paid to minority shareholders in Russian. Analysts view the price as adequate. (B1)

Renault and the Moscow government are expected to sign an agreement this week, according to which the French car giant will invest $250 million in the Avtoframos joint venture. By 2005 it is hoped that 60,000 automobiles will be produced yearly. (B1)

Dutch Ahold stated Monday that its reported operational profit for 2001 to 2002 was $500 million too high. As a result, the company's leadership resigned and shares fell by 67 percent. Brief. (B1)

In April Alrosa and De Beers will hold a meeting with the European Commission (EC) to discuss whether trade agreements between the two the companies are in line with EC anti-monopoly legislation. (B1)

Merrill Lynch has agreed to pay $80 million to regulate a federal investigation into the company's possible involvement the scandal surrounding energy giant Enron. Brief. (B1)

An article looks at the candidature of Former Central Bank head Viktor Gerashchenko and Transport Minister Sergei Frank have for a place on Aeroflot's board of directors. (B2)

Alrosa have found partners to assist with the extraction of diamonds in foreign deposits. A story gives their names, focusing on the terms of the contracts. (B2)

St. Petersburg's Krasny Vyborzhets plant, which produces non-ferrous rolled metal, has been declared bankrupt. A story looks at what will be done with the company. (B2)

Rossiiskaya Gazeta
www.rg.ru

Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported that late last week several unidentified individuals attempted to take out a $10 million insurance policy on the life. The insurance company rejected the proposal outright when Maskhadov was named the applicant. (1,2)

On Tuesday Barnaul residents were to pay a last tribute to Mayor Vladimir Bavarin, who was killed in a road accident on Feb. 22. A story describes him as one of the best city administrators. (2)

The Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has resumed its operations in Belarus. A story looks at what goals the OSCE hopes to achieve.

For six months now both the Moscow Region and the city have been unable to resolve their ownership struggle over the Mosvodokanal. Deputies from the City and Regional Dumas have formed a special commission to deal with the problem. A story looks at what is at stake. (4)

The First International Conference devoted to social advertising is expected to take place in Moscow on Tuesday. In an interview, Dmitry Korobkov, the president of the Union of Social Advertisement Creators attempts to define the goals of social advertising and explain whom it benefits. (4)

Restorers at St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum have recently completed a major restoration of the Russian Imperial Throne, which was crafted in 1731 for Empress Anna Ioannovna. Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky spoke about the difficult project. (5)

On Feb. 22 the parents of several cadets attending St. Petersburg's Nakhimov Naval Academy applied to city authorities with complaints that their children are regularly being insulted and beaten. A story details the complaints. (5)

NOVAYA GAZETA # 14



A story details President Vladimir Putin's meeting with top Russian businessmen on Wednesday Feb. 19. Those present concerned themselves principally with the wide spread problem of corruption. (1-3)

State Duma Deputy Yury Shchekochikhin expresses his feeling that in Russia, those who accept bribes are promoted, while those who don't are put behind bars. Shchekochikhin offers several examples to illustrate his point. (4)

Military analyst Pavel Felgengauer comments on a statement made by President Putin at his recent meeting with the Defense Ministry's officers corps on Friday Feb. 21. "From all indications," said Putin, "the balance of forces has been violated. The new architecture of security has not yet been created. Along with this, we cannot help but see the mounting aggression of rather influential forces in some countries of the world that... causing our anxiety". (5)

Pavel Voshchanov's story highlights the pseudo-elite that thrusts its absurd ideas and concepts on the public, therefore, we believe hypocrites, defend swindlers and imitate mediocrity. (6,7)

Belgium's head of government Gee Verhofstadt details the different approaches taken by several European states and the United States in regard to the Iraqi problem. Verhofstadt optimistically thinks that it's still possible to avoid war. (8)

A story comments on the government's decision to allow production-sharing agreements to continue but only in extraordinary cases. (10)

The State Duma Environmental Committee's Supreme Ecological Council is trying to preserve Lake Baikal and its unique environment from enterprising energy executives. A story examines the concrete measures taken by the council. (11)

A story looks at how the Soviet regime exploited the name of Russian secret police founder Felix Dzerzhinsky. The piece, which was based on archived materials, also looks at what kind of man Dzerzhinsky was in reality. (12, 13)

A story looks at how a very simple medical instrument called a tongue-holder could have saved the lives of dozens of hostages at the Dubrovka Theater in October. (15)

Komsomolskaya Pravda
www.kp.ru

A story describes the activities that took place during this past weekends Congress of the Komsomol or Young Communist League. (3)

In an interview, former Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Sergei Aleksashenko, now deputy general director of Interros Holding, speaks about January's high inflation rate, while offering his inflation forecast for the rest of the year. Aleksashenko also talks about the unstable position of the dollar and the Central Bank's policy in relation to the U.S. currency. (5,8)

According to Central Bank statistics for December 2002, approximately one trillion rubles were held in private Russian bank accounts. This figure includes foreign currency in its ruble equivalent. A story reports at the advantages of having a bank account. (6)

A feature story describes the problems currently being experienced by those with the family name Mavrodi. Though many of these people have nothing to do with Sergei Mavrodi nor his notorious MMM pyramid scheme, they still experience problems on account of their last names. (9)

Moscow City Duma Deputy and deputy head of the Economic Policy Commission Stepan Orlov looks at how to make housing and utility sector reforms more effective. (31)