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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Press Review

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Novaya Gazeta


Directors of shops belonging to a trading complex in the Moscow Sviblovo District were bewildered last week when they received directives demanding that at least two shop assistants join the United Russia party. A story describes the reaction of some shops, focusing on the opinion of party Press Secretary Alexei Zhukov. (1, 16)

Georgia's State Property Ministry has compiled a list of real estate in Abkhazia that has been bought by Russia and should be returned to the state, because the Georgian government considers such deals illegal. A story comments on this serious problem. (1,2)

The presidential administration commission headed by deputy administration head Dmitry Kozak is launching the second stage of the federal reform -- to distribute property at different power levels. A draft bill outlining the scheme has been submitted to the government. A story reveals its major essence. (1,3)

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the legendary designer of automatic weapons, has founded his own trademark, "Kalashnikov." In an interview he talks in detail about an agreement that his firm signed with the German company MMI last week. (1,2)

The Bush administration hopes that it will be able to persuade Russia and China to vote for a new resolution on Iraq in the UN Security Council. A story comments on the issue, saying the administration became more optimistic after President George W. Bush's telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. (2, Kommersant, 11, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1,3

Turkey's parliament has rejected the government's proposal to provide Turkish territory to 62,000 U.S. servicemen who were to opened a second front against Iraq. A story comments on the parliament's decision. (2, Gazeta, 4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6)

A story examines trends in Russian-Bulgarian cooperation that the two presidents discussed in Sofia on Sunday. The focus is a joint declaration called "Concerning the Further Deepening of Friendly Relations and Partnership Between Russia and Bulgaria." (3, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1,2, Gazeta, 5, Vremya Novostei, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1,6, 2, MK, 2)

The Russia 2003: Elections and Religious Confessions conference took place on Saturday. A story looks at several interesting speeches. (3, Kommersant, 4)

Muscovites will soon begin preparing blini or Russian pancakes on the occasion of Shrove-tide at Vasilyevsky Spusk on Thursday. A brief mentions several other festive events scheduled for the day. (3, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1,2)

On Friday the Unified Energy Systems board of directors decided to sell 70 percent of stock of Ren-TV. The UES Management Board said that in the next 3 years it will be unable to invest $70 million to $100 million into the business, which has proven unprofitable for the energy holding. A story comments on the decision. (5, Kommersant, 15, Vremya Novostei, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1,4)

The Federation Council held parliamentary hearings Friday devoted to a draft called "Social Consequences of Reforming the Housing-Utility Sector." Economic Development Minister German Gref, who attended the session, said this reform will determine the pace of reforms in the electrical energy and gas industries. Gref also outlined the key tasks facing the government in the housing-utility sphere. Brief. (5, Kommersant, 14, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4)

Viktor Zubkov, chairman of the Financial Monitoring Committee, announced that inspectors from the Financial Action Task Force are due to arrive in Moscow on April 22 to see whether Russia is ready to become a full-fledged member of FATF. Brief. (5)

Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin does not deny that several benefits on property taxes could be kept intact during the initial transition period. Brief. (5)

On Monday the Economic Development and Trade Ministry is expected to submit to the government new provisions intended to boost the banking sector. A story looks at the ministry's proposals concerning the document. (6, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2)

The Central Bank has decided to cancel the MFK bank's license as of Feb. 28 in view of a decision made by MFK shareholders concerning voluntary liquidation. It's the first time when such a large financial structure is being liquidated of its own will. (6)

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has submitted to the State Duma a draft federal bill concerning deposit insurance for individuals. Brief. (6, Kommersant, 14)

Sberbank, starting March 1, has lowered interest rates on several credits and revised rates on several types of deposits. This was reported by Interfax-AFI. Brief. (6, Kommersant, 13, Gazeta, 13)

The ruble is known to be a convertible currency. Feb. 25 marked 5 years since the ruble emerged on the Chicago Trading Exchange in the form of urgent contract. The trade since then has changed several times. The first change happened in August 1998; the second on Jan. 21, 2003 and a new one is expected in March, when masses of Russian traders will shape the foreign rate of the ruble. Trade will take place under the supervision of Deutsche Bank. (6)

According to Russian cellular operators, the share of illegal cellular telephones on the market almost halved in 2002 and currently amounts to only 25 percent. A story examines how experts explain such a sharp decrease. (7)

Severstal's press secretary stated that this year the steel giant plans to decrease deliveries of rolled metal to the Minsk Auto Plant demands by 50 percent. Brief. (7)

Obyedinyonniye Mashinostroitelniye Zavody (OMZ) has completed a deal to buy 32.7 percent of ordinary shares from the American Biolink Technologies International company. The deal is estimated at approximately $3.5 million. Brief. (7)

The Karat processed cheese factory said that it is willing give up the rights to make Yantar and Druzhba cheese to any interested parties. Brief. (7)

Tatneft has applied to the Leningrad regional government with a request to allot a piece of land, on which to build an oil refinery near the Primorsk port. In the summer of 2002 Surgutneftegaz and Rosneft signed a 3-party agreement with the regional government to build an oil refinery with a 10 million-ton capacity. A story describes the situation, focusing on the views of several experts. (7)

A story analyzes the situation on the world gold market, saying gold is continuing to retain its solid position. Several figures are cited to illustrate the point. (7)

A story reports on how German car companies are successfully winning Asian auto markets. (7)

An experimental reform of obligatory medical insurance will be launched on April 1 in 15 regions. First Deputy Economic Development Minister Mikhail Dmitriyev said Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has signed the appropriate decree. A story comments on the document. (12)


Over the weekend Pakistani special services and the CIA detained Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The American administration says he planned the Sept. 11 terrorist acts as well as several other criminal acts. President George W. Bush believes that this arrest will consolidate his political position. A story gives details. (1, 10, Gazeta, 1,4)

The Federal Securities Commission has come up with a sensational initiative to create on all exchanges a First Department. The FSC Expert Council opposed this initiative late last week. A story comments on this absurd proposal, concluding that the FSC leadership may in the end, take it into consideration. (1,14)

Central Election Commission head Alexander Veshnyakov and representatives from the Council of Europe and OSCE in Chechnya were in the breakaway republic to assess its readiness for the March 23 constitutional referendum. A story describes the visit, saying that Veshnyakov's assessment differs from those of presidential adviser Sergei Yastrzhembsky. (3, Gazeta, 1,2 Vrenya Novostei, 4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1,2)

Work to dismantle federal checkpoints began in Grozny on Sunday when one of the 8 such checkpoints was shut down. A story describes the project and its aims. (3

Andrei Maiboroda, deputy director of the cosmonauts training center, said two Kazakhs will begin training with Russian cosmonauts and in the future will fly into space. In this way Russia will partially cover rent payments for Baikonur. A story comments on the project. (4)

Colonel Yury Budanov's new trial for the murder of Elza Kungayeva may last a long time if new psychiatric exams are to be conducted. A story reflects on further possible developments. (5, Gazeta, 3)

A communist meeting on Saturday was devoted to the 50th anniversary of the death of Josef Stalin. Those present, the story notes, were unanimous in the opinion that Russia is currently in desperate need of another Stalin figure. A story describes the gathering, focusing on KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov's "patriotic" pronouncements. (6, Izvestia, 13)

An unsanctioned meeting of members of the Inter-Regional Labor Union of Long Distance Drivers took place in Moscow on Saturday. They protested against new regulations concerning driving in the center of the city, which were made without their recommendations. A story describes the protest. (6)

Nuclear Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev and U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow on Saturday visited Snezhinsk. A story describes the aim of the visit, focusing on the ambassador's positive impressions. (7)

The Vatican's Ambassador to Russia, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, visited Tula at the invitation of the local Catholic parish Sunday. He for the first time in his life read the sermon in an unheated shed. A story gives details. (7)

Two non-state pension funds, Rostelecom-Garantia and Telecom-Soyuz, will soon merge. Their management boards are preparing the paperwork for the Labor Ministry. A story examines the project and its aim. (13)


Surgutneftegaz is currently conducting talks with the Tyumen Oil Company (TNK) and Sibneft regarding the purchase of Slavneft's Yaroslavnefteorgsintez (YANOS) refinery. (A1)

The Economic Development Ministry will help domestic banks lower the norms of obligatory reserving. If this idea is approved then banks will be able to achieve increased profit growth of 10 percent. (A1)

The Finance Ministry's policy guidelines for 2003 to 2005 recommend that the government implement a restrained policy towards its foreign borrowings. A story examines the government's policy in detail. (A1)

President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would increase natural gas deliveries through Bulgaria to southern European to 18 billion cubic meters. Brief. (A1)

A story explains why a St. Petersburg court on Friday stripped BaltOneximbank's board chairman Yury Rydnik of his deputy position in the city parliament. (A2)

TVS shareholders have finally endorsed the television station's budget for 2003. The $90 million budget is $20 million shy of the figure initially proposed by the station's management board. A story examines the document and its major parameters. (A2)

Several economic analysts reflect on the slight growth of the domestic economy in February. The experts comment on several possibly negative consequences. (A3)

Oil companies intend to lobby for a draft bill allowing them to create private oil pipelines. Five experts share their opinions regarding the draft. (A 4)

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

NetJets, a leading global aviation company, specializing in transportation, will announce the launch of its Russian operations. The company belongs to billionaire Warren Buffet, the second wealthiest person on the plant. (B1)

J.P. Morgan officially notified Gazprom that the gas giant has been included in a list of participants in the tender for the Greece's DEPA gas company. Brief. (B1)

Yukos has upped its stake in the Angarsk Petrochemical Company from 72.91 percent to 100 percent. Brief. (B1)

Surgutneftegaz is considering the possibility of holding a second tender for the right to deliver deep oil refining equipment to the Kirishsky Oil Refinery. Brief. (B1

The threat of war in Iraq has kept the world economy in a destabilized situation. A story looks at the tense situation, explaining how businesses are preparing for war. (B1)

The AvtoVAZ board of directors has decided to create a new company called Automobile Industrial Park, which will make auto parts in Tolyatti and reduce the automobile manufacturer's dependence on its suppliers. (B2)

Italy's Eni rounded out 2002 with a lower-than-expected profits. A story gives figures to illustrate the point. (B3)

Germany's second large bank HVB Group plans to seek out several billion euros to increase its capital and remove fears about its financial position. The bank completed 2002 with record high losses. (B5)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Chechen administration head Akhmad Kadyrov's presence has been strangely absent from recent preparations for the republic's constitutional referendum on March 23. A story speculates on his absence and suggests that the Kremlin has begun to question Kadyrov's suitability as the leader of Chechnya's administration. (1,2)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta offers a list of the 100 most authoritative policy-makers in Russia for the month of February. Maxim Glikin, and expert with the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center, comments on the ratings and explains the small drop in President Vladimir Putin's popularity. (1, 3)

Viktor Sheinis, a leading research associate at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, looks at Russia's interests regarding the impending U.S.-led war against Iraq. (2

Novgorod governor Mikhail Prusak has been relieved from his post as leader of the Democratic Party of Russia. The decision was made at the 16th DPR Congress held in the Moscow region on Feb. 28. A story comments on the decision. (2)

The Union of Right Forces (SPS) is the only political party to deal consistently and effectively with the problem of military reform. Four political analysts explain why this policy has not has a better effect on the party's popularity rating. (2)

Neither the government nor patients like Russia's existing health care system. A story examines its major disadvantages. (5)

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

The government has finally had success in submitting to the State Duma a key draft bill concerning deposit insurance for individuals. A story looks at how the bill was reworked over the past 3 months. (1,2)

In an interview Irina Muravyova, chairwoman of the city government's Committee on Family and Youth Affairs, the major provisions of a new draft bill on youth. (1,4)

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev turned 72 on Sunday. On the eve of his birthday he received an invitation from former U.S. President George Bush Sr. to be his guest and to discuss the Iraq situation. A story describes the invitation and looks at several of Gorbachev's successful artistic projects. (2)

Rossiiskaya Gazeta has published a list of all the officials working on Moscow City Hall's housing and utility hotline during the month of March. (4)

Out of the roughly 13,000 automobiles stolen in Moscow last year, 12,233 were retrieved by local authorities. A story gives effective recommendations about to defend oneself against auto theft. (4)

In an interview, Ivan Uralov, chief St. Petersburg artist and deputy head of the City Building and Architecture Committee, speculates on what gifts the northern capital will receive on the occasion of its 300th anniversary. (5)

Novaya Gazeta

Yury Shchekochikhin, deputy head of the State Duma Security Committee, received a letter from Special Forces officers who took part in Oct. 26 storm of the Dubrovka Theater. Commanders who participated in the operation will be decorated for their valor and for the success of the mission. A story describes what was written in the letter detailed, and mentions three high-ranking officials -- FSB Director Nikolai Patrushev, Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov and State Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo -- who are also to be decorated. The article begs the question however; what is it that these three did during the hostage crisis? (2)

Journalist Yevgenia Albats examines several factors that have forced President Vladimir Putin to change his position vis-a-vis several foreign and domestic policy issues. (4)

Last week indignant Russian pensioners refused to accept a 30-ruble addition to their pensions, and out of protest sent the funds to President Vladimir Putin personally, calling the paltry sum a disgrace. The funds however, were inexplicably sent instead to Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov. Novaya Gazeta economic observer Julia Latynina explains why pensioners' money was sent to Kasyanov and not to Putin. (5)

In an interview, self-exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky speaks about the negative aspects of President Putin's policy. Berezovsky specifically cites a general absence of strategy that has resulted in several contradictory decisions. (7)

A story asserts that Russia has no need for piloted orbital space flights or, for that matter, the International Space Station. Several facts are cited to prove the point. (18)