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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Press Review

Izvestia
Kommersant
Vedomosti
Vedomosti. Companies and Markets
Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Argumenty i Fakty
Komsomolskaya Pravda
Moskovsky Komsomolets


Izvestia
www.izvestia.ru

From all indications President George W. Bush has firmly resolved to launch a military operation in Iraq on Thursday March 20 without UN approval. President Putin has called the war an error, saying that it would destabilize the situation in the world. Nothing can persuade Bush to change his dangerous decision, Izvestia's lead story concludes. All central papers devote their stories to a looming war in Iraq. (1,2, 4, Kommersant, 1,9-11, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1,7, Gazeta (Colin Powell's interview), 1,5, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, 7, Vremya Novostei, 1,3, Vremya MN, 1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 5, Argumenty I Fakty, No.12, pp.1, 3,6, Trud, 1,4, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2,3, MK, 1,2)

On Tuesday Health Minister Yury Shevchenko gave a report summarizing the results Russia's healthcare system for 2002. A story examines the achievements, failures and serious problems facing Russia's healthcare system. (1,2, Kommersant, 7, Vremya Novostei, 5, Vremya MN, 8,)

In an interview, State Sports Committee head Vyacheslav Fetisov speaks about funding allocated to Russian sports in the federal budget. Fetisov also lists other sources funding for Russian sport. (1,2, Vremya MN, 2)

Wine consumption in Russia has increased lately. A story examines the situation on the Russian wine market, offering views and assessments by Western analysts. (2)

A story looks at analysts' predictions on the amount of money that the United States needs spend on the establishment of a democratic political system in Iraq after the forthcoming war. The article comments on the possible emergence of a new Marshall Plan for the entire Persian Gulf region. (2)

Security Council secretaries of the Collective Security Treaty (CST), whose member-states include Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia and Tajikistan, will gather in Moscow on Thursday to discuss how to turn CST into a powerful political organization. Secretaries will also consider how to react to the Iraqi crisis. A story reflects on the issues and possible decisions. (3, Vremya Novostei, 6)

United Russia has announced its intention to resolve several problems facing Russia's agricultural sector. (3)

Former Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matviyenko returned to her native city of St. Petersburg Tuesday to take up her new posting as presidential envoy to the Northwestern Federal District. A story describes her first news conference and looks at the first tasks she faces at her new post. (3, Kommersant, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Gazeta, 1,2, Vremya Novostei, 3, Vremya MN, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

Having spent one month in Baghdad, Fulvio Scalone, deputy editor-in-chief of the Italian magazine Familia Cristiana, asserts in an interview that many Iraqis will welcome U.S. soldiers with open arms. (4)

At Tuesday's concluding session of the All-Chinese Assembly of People's Deputies, China's leadership asserted that "socialism alone can save their country." A story comments on their statements. (4, Vremya Novostei, 6)

The government has rejected a draft proposal for Russia's economic development from 2004 to 2006. The draft was submitted by Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref. A story examines the proposal. (5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 4)

Russian furniture companies accused the government of disregarding their interests on Tuesday. The accusation was made after the Commission on Protective Measures in Foreign Trade failed to reconsider its position in regard to increasing customs duties on imported furniture. Furniture producers assert that by delaying the issue, the commission if playing into the hands of Ikea-Russia. A story comments on the problem and offers the views of experts in the industry. (5, Vremya Novostei, 7)

The March 17 opening NIKoil's Electronic Office will help banks resolve many of their marketing problems. A story looks at the Electronic Office concept. (5)

First Deputy Economic Development Minister Ivan Materov stated on Tuesday that inflation on March 1-11 amounted to 0.3 percent. A brief looks at Materov's inflation forecast in March. (5, Vremya MN, 2)

According to the State Statistics Committee, the combined industrial production growth rates for January and February amounted to 5.7 percent as compared to 2.1 percent for the same period in 2002. Brief. (5)

The Finance Ministry will leave intact the existing procedure of managing Russia's financial reserve. Brief. (5, Gazeta, 10)

First Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Ulyukayev has announced that the Government Commission for the Monitoring of State Expenditure has found ways to cut federal expenditures on international activity by 500 million rubles. Brief. (5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1,2, Vremya Novostei, 4, Vremya MN, 4)

Alexei Simanovsky, head of the Central Bank's Surveillance Department, stated Tuesday that his organization could change the principles of banking surveillance without waiting for the adoption of a Law guaranteeing individual bank deposits. A story describes the first steps being taken in this direction. (6)

A story examines the situation on the world stock markets, focusing on a continuing warming tendency. (6)

Merstbank on Tuesday was declared bankrupt by the Moscow Arbitration Court. Brief. (6)

Australian Duncan Hedich has taken up the post of general director of the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant. This marked the first time a foreigner has been chosen to head up a domestic aluminum concern. Brief. (7, Kommersant, 16)

Tolling schemes may cost Russian Aluminum as much as $500 million annually. RusAl General Director Alexander Bulygin made the announcement Tuesday. Brief. (7)

On Tuesday Ernst & Young gave an optimistic report concerning the state of Russia's automobile sector, and concluded that the auto sector if one of the most promising Russian industries. A story comments on the report. (7)

The upcoming war in Iraq has caused a dramatic decrease in the number of travelers flying to the Middle East. A story looks at how airlines in the region are bracing themselves for significant expected losses. (7)

At the end of March the administration of the Moscow Metro is expected to submit a draft program of non-budgetary funding for the construction of new metro stations. A story comments on private investment in the Metro. In an interview, Metro chief Dmitry Gayev shares his positive view on the system. (9)

In the early hours of Monday two unidentified assailants raped Samia Kouzak on Moscow's Arbat, an attache at the Brazilian Embassy in Moscow. A story gives details. (10, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6)

On Tuesday Moscow police decided to intensify security for the diplomatic missions of the anti-Iraqi coalition A story looks at several special measures. (10, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6)

Kommersant
www.kommersant.ru

Moscow police Tuesday detained Tajik smugglers, who tried to sell a unique 16th-century manuscript of the Torah for $1.2 million. A story gives details. (1, Gazeta, 6)

President Putin Tuesday received Economic Development Minister German Gref to discuss the results of the ministry's March 14 collegium, during which Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov harshly criticized Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, who in turn mentioned Gref when defending himself from Kasyanov's attacks. A story describes the meeting showing that the president is well aware of dispute in the government. (2)

A story looks at a continuing dispute between Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin and Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov over tax reform. (2)

President Putin on Tuesday gave his approval to a proposed merge of the Perm region and the Komi-Permyatsky Autonomous Area into one region. A story comments on the local initiative. (3, Izvestia, 3)

Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov Tuesday has appointed St Petersburg Prosecutor Ivan Sydoruk his adviser. A story asserts that, in reality, the appointment signifies the honorable resignation of one of St. Petersburg's most odious prosecutors. (3)

The Interior Ministry has concluded that a videotape showing LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky harshly criticizing the U.S. president's policy on Iraq was fabricated. (3, Gazeta, 1,4)

Via satellite link, Boris Berezovsky on Tuesday held a session of the federal political council of the Liberal Russia party as well as a news conference for Irkutsk journalists. Berezovsky intends to launch his own investigation of the terrorist act at the Dubrovka Theater in October 2002. A story focuses on Berezovsky's vision of the political situation in Russia and on his further plans. (4, Gazeta (his interview), 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

Chechen administration head Akhmat Kadyrov has proposed that federal authorities grant amnesty to all rebels not currently wanted by federal police or convicted to sentences of less than 5 years. Meanwhile, Chechen State Duma Deputy Aslambek Aslakhanov announced Tuesday that he could run for the Chechen presidency if asked. (4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

Major-General Valery Kishkurno, chief of the Main State Fire Service, died on Tuesday at the age of 51. (6, Gazeta, 6)

A letter signed by 60 Russian public figures was presented at the Institute of the Press on Tuesday. The letter outlined its signatories opposition to the ongoing war in Chechnya. (7)

The founding session of a public deputy commission "In Support of Traditional Spiritual-Moral Values" took place in the State Duma on Tuesday. A story describes its aims, tasks and participants. (8)

In an interview one of them Sergei Shumakov, former Deputy NTV Director, explains why he has left NTV for Rossiya. (8)

Vedomosti
www.vedomosti.ru

Unified Energy Systems (UES) and Gazprom are set to launch a joint business in the housing and utility sector. The two monopolies soon plan to create a managing company to operate in this market. An article comments on the project. (A1)

A military operation in Iraq has not yet begun, but the market has already reacted. Oil prices Tuesday fell by almost 10 percent, and shares in Russian oil companies also plummeted in price. (A1)

Analysts say that nervous relations are continuing between high-ranking government officials with expectations of a Cabinet reshuffling. (A1)

Local prosecutors in five regions have filed suits declaring illegal the decisions of local energy commissions to increase tariffs. (A3)

The oil company Surgutneftegaz has failed to buy the land under its plants. Company management believes that bureaucrats have purely economic motives: To rent out the land is more profitable than to sell it. (A3)

Russians with offshore Cypriot accounts can breathe easy, as the Central Bank of Cyprus does not provide any information to Russian authorities about the accounts. (A3)

How long could a war in Iraq realistically last? Five experts give their opinions. (A4)

In an interview, Vladimir Malin, Chairman of the Federal Property Fund, talks about his current conflict with Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref over the recent sale of LUKoil shares. Malin also shares his opinion on the privatization of several other companies. (A5)

Since the beginning of 2003, more than 40 employers in the Pskov region have had to answer to court authorities as to why they have used foreign workers without special permission. (A7)

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov will have to decide the fate of tolling in the aluminum sector. The issue concerns only one company -- Russian Aluminum -- which depends heavily on imported raw materials. (A4)

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets& MARKETS SUPPLEMENT

A team of bankers that joined Rosbank from the liquidated MFK has found themselves unwanted at the bank. An article describes the situation. (B1)

The U.S. company Cargill plans to build a complex in the Voronezh region to produce sunflower oil. The agreement was signed in Voronezh on Tuesday. Brief. (B1)

Gazprom's managing board Tuesday refused to endorse a Sibur development plan. A brief tells why. (B1)

A brief names some of the 11 candidates that Sibneft shareholders have nominated for the company's 9-seat Board of Directors. (B1)

This summer the Ford Motor Company will produce one more model at its Vsevolzhsk (Leningrad region) auto plant. This was announced by president of Ford Motor Co. in Russia and the CIS Henrik Nenzen. Brief. (B1)

British-Petroleum and Rosneft-Sakhalinmorneftegaz, a Rosneft subsidiary, will launch a joint venture this year to do geological and drilling work on Sakhalin-5. Brief. (B1)

Rosneft has acknowledged Severnaya Neft's $20 million debt to the Nenets autonomous district budget. Brief. (B1)

AvtoVAZ board of directors head Vladimir Kadannikov Tuesday presented several plans to boost the production of cars and parts. AvtoVAZ has reached an agreement with General Motors on the assembly of another model, the Opel Astra T-3000. (B2)

The founders of the Sakhalin Energy consortium, operator of the Sakhalin-2 project, intend to invest $8.5 billion in the second stage of the project. (B3)

The Romanian government plans to privatize a the national "Petrom" oil and gas concern, of which LUKoil and Rosneft can claim 51 percent. An article features the Romanian company.(B3)

State Duma Banking Committee deputy head Vladimir Tarachev has asked the State Duma to discuss the Central Bank's right to establish limits on cash withdrawals with plastic cards. (B5)

Rossiiskaya Gazeta
www.rg.ru

The case relating the beating of cadets at St. Petersburg's Nakhimov navy school has unexpectedly taken a new twist. Marina Soboleva, the mother of one of the allegedly abused students who actively defended the cadets' interests, was seriously beaten and hospitalized. A story describes her tragedy. (1,2)

President Vladimir Putin will deliver his state of the nation speech in April in parliament. Four political scientists share their views on its likely content. (1,3)

Parliamentarians and government members Tuesday discussed the results of the first year of pension reform. The government views the year as a success, while many deputies assert that "no one, except the government, needs such reform." (2)

The Udugov-Maskhadov Internet site Kavkaz-Tsentr on Tuesday posted a photo of Chechen administration head Akhmat Kadyrov embracing a blond woman. A story describes the photo and its origin and says that the text and a photo caption were fabricated. (2)

In an interview, Novosibirsk regional governor Viktor Tolokonsky speaks about the fate of a draft federal bill on local government that was passed by the State Duma in its first reading. (3)

By 2005, the mortgage housing construction system will be affordable for families with only 5,000 ruble incomes. In an interview, Samara regional governor Konstantin Titov, member of the State Council Presidium, explains the system. (9)

Argumenty i Fakty
www.aif.ru

A story gives an unofficial reason for Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matviyenko's recent resignation. (2)

A story describes the source of financing for the United Russia party, the KPRF, the Union of Right Forces, the Liberal Party and the LDPR. (4)

The People's Party, or Narodnaya, has a reputation as a pro-Kremlin structure. In an interview, its leader and head of the State Duma faction People's Deputy Gennady Raikov, talks about his party's members, the party's election program and his work in the State Duma. (8)

In an interview, Liberal Russia party leader Sergei Yushenkov focuses on his party's proposals to unite all democratic forces in the country. (10)

In an interview, president of the Clonaid company, Brigitte Boisselier, speaks about her company's sensational results with cloning humans, about a major problem in the field of human cloning and about Clonaid's optimistic future plans. (14, 15)

Komsomolskaya Pravda
www.kp.ru

Magnitogorsk police have detained a group of criminals, who extorted money from wealthy locals using hypnosis. A story describes their method. (3, 4)

The People's Party has expressed indignation with the United States' aggressive plans toward Iraq and calls on President Vladimir Putin to reply to U.S. aggression in five ways. (5)

An eight-legged mutant lamb was born in the Troitskoye village in the Altai region. A medical expert explains a possible reason behind such an abnormality. (6)

Moscow Regional Governor Boris Gromov has taken steps to increase the security of all plants and significant facilities in the region in an effort to prevent them from terrorist acts. A story examines the measures. (9)

Aeroflot customs officers Monday detained a transit air passenger, a Greek female national, who from Delhi to Vienna carried 400 grams of hashish in a the frame of a painting. A story gives details. (9)

A story describes the Latvian bank Parex that managed to increase the volume of its assets and deposits by 40.5 percent last year. Bank president and head of its management board Valery Kargin talks about his the bank's capital, its partners in other countries and future plans. (10)

Over the past five years, more than 13,000 icons have "cried" in a convent in Ivanovo. A feature story describers how specialists explain this phenomenon. (12, 13)

Moskovsky Komsomolets
www.mk.ru

The women's prison in the Shakhovo village in the Orel region is famous for its talented inmates. There are singers, actors, a poet and a playwright among its convicts. A story describes their artistic achievements. (1,2)

Show business star Valery Leontyev is celebrating his fifty-fourth birthday. In an interview the singer speaks about his life in show business. (1,2)

Serious structural changes are awaiting state-run trade with Gosstandart and some government bodies facing possible closure. (2)

The number of patients infected with so-called Chinese pneumonia has reached 500, of whom 14 have died. The World Health Organization has identified the disease as new and dangerous. Doctors have no idea how to treat the disease or which factors are linked to its cause. (2)

How will the expected military operation in Iraq affect the Russian economy? Several experts share their views on the issue. (3)

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is most likely to select Belarus as a reliable place for his family's capital. A story describes mutual interest shown lately by the presidents of Iraq and Belarus. (3)

The Moscow regional government has decided to combat alcoholism. It issued a directive on removing all shops and kiosks selling vodka and beer from areas with schools and children's sports and playgrounds. A story examines the document. (8)