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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

03/29/2004

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Press Review

A brief look at the stories making headlines in the Russian-language press

Business in Brief

New Pension Chief MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov has named Gennady Batanov the new head of the State Pension Fund, the government's press service said Friday. Prior to his appointment, Batanov was an auditor at the Audit Chamber, parliament's budgetary watchdog. Batanov worked in the Justice Ministry between 1997 and 2000, first as deputy justice minister and later first deputy. He replaces Mikhail Zurabov, who was recently tapped to head the new Health and Social Development Ministry. Shell Woos Putin MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Global energy giant Royal Dutch/Shell will strive to increase investment in Russia, according to a letter from new company chairman Jeroen van de Veer to President Vladimir Putin mentioned on the Kremlin web site. ""Jeroen van der Veer assures [Putin] of his commitment to a policy of mutually beneficial partnership and [commitment to] strive toward increasing investments in the Russian gas and oil sector,"" read a Kremlin summary of last week's letters to Putin.

23% of Irkut Sold for $127M

It has never posted a profit, but that did not stop foreign and domestic investors from buying $127 million worth of shares in fighter jet maker Irkut on Friday in the biggest offering ever on Russian bourses.

Lebedev Probe Ends, April Trial Expected

Prosecutors on Friday officially wrapped up their investigation into Platon Lebedev and forwarded their case to court, paving the way for the Group Menatep billionaire to be tried on charges of fraud and tax evasion.

Russia, EU to Sign Trade Pact by May 1

Russia and the European Union will resolve their trade differences before the bloc adds 10 new members on May 1, both sides said Friday.

Tengiz Spurns U.S.-Backed Pipeline

The head of the company running Kazakhstan's giant Tengiz oil field said Friday he hopes to rely on a pipeline through Russia as output nearly doubles in the next two years -- spurning advances to use a pipeline from the Caucasus to Turkey that has been heavily backed by the United States.

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