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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Press Review

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


Izvestia
www.izvestia.ru

Election officials have said that voter turnout for Chechnya's constitutional referendum was high. The head of the Moscow-back Chechen administration Akhmad Kadyrov even went so far as to say that turn out exceeded even their most optimistic forecasts. All major newspapers devote front-page stories to the historic event. (1,2, Kommersant, 3,4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1,2, Gazeta, 1, 3, Vremya Novostei, 1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3, MK, 1,2)

The ongoing U.S.-led military operation against Iraq resulted in new casualties on both the allied and Iraqi sides. A story describes the weekend's developments. (1,4, Kommersant, 1,9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1,3, Gazeta, 1,4, Vremya Novostei, 1-3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1,7, Komsomolskaya Pravda,2, MK, 1,2)

In an interview, Viktor Fyodorov, general director of the Russian State Library, elaborates on the ancient and rare books in the library's collection. Fyodorov also speaks about the need for new, modern information technologies and the financial problems the library is currently facing. (1,12)

Izvestia's lead story looks at the distribution of U.S. propaganda about the alleged successes of the US-led military actions in Iraq. The main focus of the story is Donald Rumsfeld's absurd statement that the United States has managed to build a more powerful anti-Iraqi coalition than in 1991. (2)

The number of Russian travelers to Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have drastically decreased lately due to the war in Iraq. Several tourism agency officials speak out. (2, Kommersant, 16)

The Council on Foreign and Defense Policies late last week devoted a two-day session to "Russia's Strategy in 2004.Challenges of the Global World and the Modernization of the State." A story examines the major points of Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov's speech. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1,7)

The last American military program of "Cold War" with its name -- Strategic Defense Initiative (SOI) -- celebrated its 20th anniversary on Sunday. In an interview, Major-General Vladimir Belous, author of the monograph "The USA: Dreams and Reality," and a research associate at the Institute of World Economics and International Relations, reveals the essence of those American "star wars." (3)

Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov on Saturday received political mandate No.7777 of the Party of Life, after which he stated his willingness to head this organization that, in his opinion, will be able to occupy a worthy place in the next State Duma. (3, Kommersant, 5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Gazeta, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 4)

Domestic grain export in the near future may drastically decrease. Analysts forecast that if the military operation in Iraq drags on, Russia could lose its major markets in the Middle East and in North Africa. Officials say that the problems with deliveries have already started: transport after the beginning of the war dramatically increased in price. Analysts comment on the issue. (5)

The government has resumed work to reform the Unified Energy Systems power grid. Before the president signed the package of bills concerning electrical energy, the Economic Development Ministry began to draft a government decree to creating wholesale generating companies. The government is expected to endorse this decree late in April or in early May. The package of bills concerning electrical energy will take effect in April, and the Federation Council on March 26 will consider the 6th bill on energy economy. A story examines the documents. (5)

Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin stated Friday that Russia does not have any ground to suspect Saddam Hussein of laundering illegal incomes or involvement in terrorist acts, therefore Russia would not freeze Iraqi bank accounts. Brief. (6)

According to forecasts by the Economic Development Ministry, the standard of living in the Evenk, Komi-Permyatsky, Aginsk-Buryatsky and Ust-Ordynsky-Buryatsky autonomous areas in 2003 will decrease. Brief. (6)

Konversbank has bought the Incorion Investment Holding Company that owns 49.9 percent of stock of the Lithuanian Snoras bank. A brief looks at the deal. (6, Kommersant, 13)

Insurance tariffs rates on ships calling at the Iraqi ports increased by 10 times over the past two weeks and reached 1 percent of the cost of the insurance treaty. Brief. (6)

The Finance Ministry will provide financial aid to the Nizhny Novgorod region to help the region clear off euroloan debts. Brief. (6)

Garegin Tosunyan, president of the Association of Russian Banks, has written a letter to Central Bank First Deputy Chief Oleg Vyugin, in which he has accused the Central Bank of pursuing discrimination policy in relation to the regional banks. A story examines what Tosunyan views as discrimination. (6)

The domestic stock market continues to do well despite the war in Iraq. A story looks at the renewed optimism on the Russian markets. (6)

The government has decided to open the domestic insurance market to European Union insurance companies. Deputy Finance Minister Mikhail Motorin stated that a draft bill lifting limits to foreign companies will be submitted to the government shortly. A story comments on the issue, focusing on three experts' views. (6)

Grigory Marchenko, chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, has proposed to impose the single currency on the territory of the Euro-Asian Economic Community. In an interview, he talks about the expediency of his proposal, saying what the countries in the community will gain from it. (6)

According to the KPMG company's latest studies, the volume of the world shadow IT-market amounts to $40 billion a year, and costs producers' an estimated $5 billion. Despite efforts by the IT industry to combat this tendency, but the so-called "gray" market is seemingly invincible. (7)

Rostselmash this year intends to deliver 644 combine harvesters to Ukraine. The delivery represents a 32-percent increase over last year's figures. Brief. (7)

Planet Management has purchased an 80-percent stake in the Moscow region's Klinsky meat processing combine. A story comments on the deal, focusing on analysts' views. (7)

United Burlington Investment Ltd. has acquired almost 7 percent of Russia's Wimm-Bill-Dann company. A story examines the deal, referring to analysts' assessments. (7)

The British Binatone company believes that the sales of DECT-telephones (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) will considerably increase in Russia. A story examines the company's plans, noting that not all experts share Binatone's optimism. (7)

President Putin on Saturday signed a decree to appoint Ziyavdi Zaurbekov as chairman of the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic. A story comments on the appointment. (10)

Kommersant
www.kommersant.ru



The Central Bank of Cyprus over the weekend demanded an explanation from the Russian Federal Securities Commission (FSC). FSC head Igor Kostikov spoke about reports that Russian authorities have acquired information regarding the Russian ownership of Cypriot offshore companies. A story describes a conflicting situation, saying that Russian businessmen are hurriedly leaving Cyprus. (1,14)

Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin over the weekend held a session of the Inter-Departmental Commission on Cutting Budget Spendings. A story examines the commission's decisions that concerned the departmental facilities in the sphere of education, culture, the health care service and mass media. (2)

President Putin has awarded Dzhabrail Yamadayev, the late commander of the Chechen special task officer, the title of Hero of Russia. A story describes his heroic deeds. (4)

On Saturday the Congress of Russian Communes (CRC) held an extraordinary congress to elect State Duma Deputy Sergei Glazyev as the movement's chairman. Saturday stated that CRC would not take part in the next parliamentary elections. A story comments on Glazyev's new post and his statement. (5)

Colonel Yury Budanov's lawyer, Anatoly Mukhin, stated Sunday that the health of his client has worsened, and psychiatrists believe that he may try to commit suicide A story gives details. (6)

High-ranking Russian and Ukrainian officials on Saturday announced the beginning of long-term project in the sphere of sports cooperation between the two countries. A story examines a special program and its $1 million budget. (7)

A story looks at first victims of the war in Iraq among journalists from Russia, Britain, France, the United States and Australia. (10)

Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers warned their foreign and non-resident clients that they couldn't legally take out money out of Russia. The warning was issued in accordance with recent amendments to the Russian law concerning currency regulation. A story reveals the essence of the problem. (13)

The management of several Russian companies are quite certain that they will be left out of efforts to rebuild a post-war Iraq. (13)

In an interview, Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky assesses Russian oil companies' losses after the beginning of the war in Iraq. (13, 20)

In an interview, Olga Vdovichenko, chairman of Mashinoimport, speaks about her company's losses due to the war in Iraq. (20)

In an interview Yury Shafranik, chairman of the Council of the Oil and Gas Industrialists Union, assesses losses that Russia will sustain due to the change of the ruling regime in Iraq. (20)

The Prosecutor General's Office has launched a criminal case against the State Investment Corporation (Gosinkor) that is being liquidated now on charges of large embezzlements. A story details the case. (14)

A story explains why the Supreme Court has annulled Tatarstan's law concerning the Alabuga free economic zone. (14)

Bashkiria's Property Ministry has signed an agreement with Gazprom to transfer the controlling stake of Salavatnefteorgsintez to the gas giant. A story comments on the agreement. (16)

The Eldorado network and the Paterson network of department stores in Moscow on signed an strategic partnership agreement on Friday. A story describes what both sides stand to gain from the deal. (16)

Vedomosti
www.vedomosti.ru

Gazprom plans to develop gas resources in Eastern Siberia and the Far East. The company is willing to coordinate the program through 2020 if it obtains the status of the exclusive gas exporter to China, Korea and Japan. (A1)

Amendments to the law on currency regulation have unexpectedly hindered domestic affiliates and foreign missions from transferring currency abroad. (A1)

Gosinkor, which last week was liquidated by presidential decree, has caught the interested of the Prosecutor General's Office's. Criminal investigators intend to question Gosinkor founder Yury Petrov, his son Alexander and former Central Bank head Sergei Dubinin. State officials and independent lawyers, however, see nothing illegal in Gosinkor's sale of 300 tons of silver. (A1)

The State Duma last week passed a bill concerning housing policy. The bill allows housing authorities to evict families from their apartments if they fail to pay their utility bills for 6 months. Brief. (A1)

Regional geographic characteristics could make the war in Iraq more difficult than previously expected. This was announced by President George W. Bush, who also said that delivering aid to the Iraqi people and creating free and stable country would also demand long-term efforts. Brief. (A1)

The State Duma Friday passed a presidential package of amendments regarding new election legislation. According to the law, two warnings from the election commission will suffice to close any mass media outlet by court order before the completion of the elections. (A2)

An article describes Sunday's constitutional referendum in Chechnya. It notes that administration head Akhmad Kadyrov will become acting president of the republic, and in 6 months he may be elected president of Chechnya. (A2)

The Russian economy continued to flourish in February due to rapidly growing exports. Investment also increased considerably. An article offers relevant statistics. (A3)

In an interview, Deputy Finance Minister Mikhail Motorin, who 10 days ago was harshly reprimanded by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov for inadequate preparation of tax reform proposals, talks about the existing tax system. (A5)

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

Unified Energy Systems (UES), Alfa-Bank and Merrill Lynch are completing a new draft of the UES strategy. In contrast to the previous "3+3" plan, the new draft allots five years to complete the reform. (B1)

United Burlington Investment Limited has bought 7 percent of Wimm-Bill-Dann for $60 million. Burlington hopes that the stock will grow as by at least 20 percent per year. (B1)

Thanks to the war in Iraq, U.S. and European stock indices have grown considerably over the past 10 days. (B1)

Transneft has lifted all limits on the amount of oil pumped daily through its pipelines. In early March, the company limited the amount 100,000 tons per day due to technical difficulties. Brief. (B1)

According to company head Alexei Fyodorov, Irkut intends to begin producing parts for Airbus planes. Fyodorov said that his company is in talks with the European Aeronautic Defense & Space Company. (B1)

The United States, which a year ago imposed duties on steel imports from 8 percent to 30 percent, has lowered the duties by one-fifth on average. Brief. (B1)

According to preliminary results, Aeroflot will increase its net profit to $70 million in 2002 from $20.1 million in 2001. This was stated by a source in the company's leadership. Brief. (B1)

Norilsk Nickel has made another step toward buying American Stillwater, persuading Stillwater's crediting banks not to demand an clearing of $250 million credits previously given to the company. (B2)

The Austrian company Neusiedler has created a subsidiary in Moscow to market products from the pulp and paper combine Neusiedler Syktyvkar. Brief. (B2)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta
www.ng.ru

The date of the president's state of the nation address to the Federal Assembly, which has been put off several times because of the war in Iraq, may be announced in a couple of days. An article discusses several significant points in the speech. (1, 2)

March 26 will mark three years since Vladimir Putin was elected president. Four leading political experts, including Gleb Pavlovsky, head of the Effective Politics Fund, discuss the Putin presidency. They all believe that three years ago the president was more optimistic than he is today. (1, 2)

Though the war in Iraq is already in full swing, Americans continue to think how to justify the military operation. This is how Russians perceive them. In an interview, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov explains Russia's position on the Iraq situation. (1, 7)

Rossiiskaya Gazeta
www.rg.ru

American and British troops Sunday seized large oil wells in southern Iraq for which contracts had been signed between the current Iraqi leadership and Russian oil companies. An article says it is unlikely that Russian oil companies will obtain any new contracts. (2)

An unusual experiment has begun in Rostov-on-Don today, where the city traffic police announced its close cooperation with local taxi drivers to crack down on car thieves. An article describes the project. (2)

In an interview, Moscow Vice Mayor Valery Shantsev explains why everything is expensive in the Russian capital and why prices are constantly rising. (4)

Moscow kindergartens are struggling for survival, as 521 out of 1007 kindergartens sponsored by different departments have been closed recently. An article examines problem. (4)

Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov, inspecting St. Petersburg law-enforcement agencies' readiness for the city 300th jubilee, strictly warned homeless people to either surrender to police or leave the city. An article comments on the minister's warning. (5)

The Doctor Zhivago Culture Society has been founded in St. Petersburg by Yevgeny Pasternak, son of Nobel Prize laureate Boris Pasternak and several actors. An article describes the goals of the society. (5)

Crowds of St. Petersburg residents travel to Finland with huge trunks full of vodka, cigarettes, petrol and diesel fuel, among other things. An article says the difference in cost of the most popular commodities -- vodka and cigarettes-- in St. Petersburg and Finland is approximately 400 percent. (5)

Komsomolskaya Pravda
www.kp.ru

The Moscow Education Department on Saturday opened a hotline for complaints about bribes taken by teachers and school principals. (3)

Weather experts say that March 27 will mark the meteorological beginning of spring, when the temperature will rise above zero, and there will be no more icy roads. Brief. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1)

In an interview, Yevgeny Gavrilenkov, managing director of Troika-Dialog, explains why inflation is skyrocketing. (5, 8)

Moscow amusement parks will open soon. An article describes several amusement park accidents last year in which several people died and were seriously injured. Two experts say that many attractions are very and dangerous. (9)

It was announced that 116 out of 10,000 infants born in Moscow last year died, a rate three times higher than in Europe. Over 80 percent of pregnant Moscow women have health problems, and only 28 percent of births proceed normally. An article offers an analysis of the childbirth situation in the city. A pie-chart is included. (14)

March 24 marks Planetarium Day. A major renovation of the Moscow Planetarium will be completed in 2005. An article examines the project. (28)

The newspaper publishes an extensive spring vacation entertainment program for schoolchildren. (32)

Moskovsky Komsomolets
www.mk.ru

As an experiment, metro authorities have decided to revive the system of radio announcements asking passengers to be polite to one another. The announcements were very popular in Soviet times.(1)

More protests were held over the weekend at the U.S. Embassy against the U.S.-led war in Iraq. An article describes the protests. (1, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

The Justice Ministry over the weekend held two rounds of the national chess tournament for convicts and employees for the World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov Prize. An article talks about the tournament and the winners. Apparently, only employees from labor colonies and pre-trial detention centers will take part in the 3rd and 4th rounds of the championship. Anatoly Karpov will most likely participate. (1)

The19th century icon of the Holy Prophet Ioann Predcheti was stolen Friday from the Church of Saint Fyodor Studit on Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa. An article gives details. Though the icon is not very expensive, the church views it as irreplaceable. (1)

Several film stars refused to attend the Oscar ceremony that took place on Sunday, March 23, in Los Angeles.(2)

A Kurdish-Turkish conflict could erupt in northern Iraq. In an interview, Ishkhan Miroyev, editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Free Kurdistan," comments on the tense situation there. (2)

There are about 500 Iraqi students in Moscow receiving a higher education at local institutes. The largest Iraqi diaspora consists of about 60 young people studying at the Gubkin State Oil and Gas University. When asked why they did not to go home to defend their country, students answered that Saddam wants them to study, and that this is also a way to fight against America. (2)

The Russian Red Cross has announced its willingness to deliver humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people. Professor Leonid Roshal has volunteered to travel to Iraq to help Iraqi children.(2)

Saddam Hussein's days as Iraq's leader are numbered. Who will be the country's new leader? Six opposition emigre political groups enjoying U.S. support are claiming government posts in new Iraq. (3) THE END