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Press Review

IZVESTIA (29/3/2004)

In a far-ranging interview Dalai Lama XIV Tentszin Gjatso (Sp. ?) shares his view on the general situation in the world and on the position of various religions in it. (1, 8)

A plastic package with 4 kilograms of explosives was found in the Moscow metro on Saturday. The story gives details, saying that law-enforcers are investigating the origin of the package. (1, Kommersant, 5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 8, Gazeta, 5, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Vremya Novostei, 3, MK, 1)

The story examines preliminary results of the parliamentary elections in Georgia on Sunday. And on Saturday Georgian special services detained Adzharian saboteurs. (1, 2, Kommersant, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Gazeta, 4, Noviye Izvestia, 4, Vremya Novostei, 1, MK, 3)

Yukos on Sunday failed to gain control over Sibneft. The Sibneft shareholders' extraordinary meeting, at which Yukos as the owner of 92 percent of Sibneft' s shares could fully replace the Board of Directors, did not take place. The story describes the conflicting situation, focusing on Yukos' foiled plans for the meeting. (1, 2, Kommersant, 1, Gazeta, 9, Vremya Novostei, 1, 7, Zhizn, 2)

The story gives details about the assets of Yukos and its managers that have been blocked in Switzerland. (2)

The Defense Ministry on March 28 marked 3 years since the first civilian Minister Sergei Ivanov took office. The story examines what he has managed to accomplish over the 3 years. (2)

The story concentrates on discussions and decisions of the plenary session that the KPRF held on Saturday. (2, Kommersant, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 2, MK, 2)

Agrarian Party leader Mikhail Lapshin at the party conference on Saturday was accused of serious financial violations with party money, as a result of which he can lose his post. The story gives details. (2, Kommersant, 3, Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 4, MK, 3)

President Putin at his meeting with journalists in Sochi on Saturday explained to them how he made acquaintance with Mikhail Fradkov and why he has replaced the gvt. (3, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 2, MK, 1, 3)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov has appointed Denis Molchanov head of the Government Information Department. The story comments on the appointment. focusing on his one plus and one minus. (3)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov at a gvt session on March 25 said that the present 14 ministers can have only 2 deputies, though the number of the former deputy ministers was 221. It means that many of them today can be left without jobs. The story comments on the issue. (3)

Doctor of Law Mikhail Borshchevsky reflects on how to make courts bring less indictments, how to cut the number of convicts and expenditure on them and how to make the punishment system more focused on crime prevention. (3)

The Prosecutor General' s Office (PGO) has decided the fate of Rubens' masterpiece " Tarkviniy and Lukrecia" (Sp. ?) that is being claimed by the German fund (its name is given) . The story reveals the essence of PGO' s decision. (5)

Thieves on Saturday stole 450, 000 rubles from the Moscow office of the Publishing House " Zdorovye" . The brief gives some details. (5)

Nineteen-year-old armed deserter Alexander Maksimov, first-year student of the Ryazan Paratrooper Institute, on Sunday killed his commander Mikhail Isaichev, disarmed two colleagues and fled Later he was detained. The story describes how it happened. (5, Kommersant, 5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 8, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Gazeta, 5, Vremya Novostei, 3)

Samara businessman Mikhail Afinogentov, who is accused of ordering the killing of Yevgeny Yankelevich, head of the Samara Taxofon company, is wanted by federal police. The story details the case. (5)

The story describes taxi business and the situation on the taxi market in Moscow, focusing on its serious problems. (11)

In an interview Vladimir Resin, head of the Moscow Construction Department talks about the construction of planned high-rise buildings in the city. (11, 16)

The Unified Energy Systems (UES) Board of Directors on March 26 endorsed a new structure of the holding' s management. The present management apparat will be divided into 3 parts, each of which will be responsible for its own trend of reform. The story examines the new structure of the holding' s management. (12, Kommersant, 14, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Gazeta, 9, Vremya Novostei, 7)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov on Friday appointed General Gennady Batanov, an audit in the Audit Chamber, head of the Pension Fund. The story comments on the appointment. (12, Kommersant, 14)

Only 2 airports -- Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo-- out of the 423 airports are fully protected from terrorists, and what about the rest? The story raises this acute issue. (12)

Oil prices up to the spring of 2005 will be maintained at the level close to $30 per barrel -- such is an average index of the opinion poll conducted by the Bloomberg agency among 19 leading investment banks. Some of them say that OPEC' s pricing policy negatively affects the emergent growth of the world economy and with time will have a negative imprint on demand. Besides that, it will allow non-cartel countries, such as Russia, to extract more oil from expensive deposits and increase their share on the world market. (13)

Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov in his article reflects on how to make the new Forestry Code work for the benefit of Russia. (13)

KOMMERSANT (29/3/2004)

Two stories comment on the results of the second rounds of gubernatorial elections in the Arkhangelsk and Ryazan regions. (4, Vremya Novostei, 2)

Witnesses in the Moscow City Court on Saturday continued to testify on the criminal case of Chechen suicide-bomber Zarema Muzhikhoyeva. They said that the young girl did not try to explode a bomb, but in all possible ways tried to draw attention to herself in order to get arrested. The story comments on new facts in the case. (5)

First Deputy Economic Development Minister Mikhail Dmitriyev on March 26 told about his ministry' s new initiative that says that the bureaucrat should prove that all the money and property that he (she) has acquired during the state service have been earned legally. The story reveals the essence of the initiative. (6)

According to the decision of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) , its Strasbourg parish has been fully re-subordinated to Patriarch Alexy II, and the parish itself now has a permanent mission of ROC that has to present the stand of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Council of Europe. The story comments on ROC' s diplomatic initiative. (7)

The British boutique " Burberry" opened in Moscow over the weekend. The story describers the shop, its first visitors and their impressions. (8)

The story examines the role of Moscow in the Batumi-Tbilisi standoff, in which Moscow sides with Batumi. What business does Moscow have in Adzharia ? (10)

Oleg Vyugin, head of the Federal Financial Markets Service, on Friday discussed with Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov its functions as a mega-regulator of financial markets. After the meeting Vyugin announced that his new service is a ministry. The story comments on his statement. (13 )

The Federal Securities Commission' s decree concerning the stock market will take effect today. The story reveals its essence. (13, 15)

Vneshtorgbank' s deal with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the sale of its shares is likely to fail. The two sides are unable to come to agreement on the cost of the bank. (13, 14)

The securities of the RITEK oil company last week went up in price by 14 percent and became one of the most liquidity securities on the RTS Exchange. (13, 20)

First Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Ulyukayev can become First Deputy Head of the Central Bank. This was stated by a gvt source. Brief. (13)

The volume of the monetary base as of March 22 this year amounted to 1, 471. 2 billion rubles as against 1, 466. 2 billion rubles on March 15, 2004. This is stated in the Central Bank' s press release. Brief. (13)

The Central Bank late last week endorsed a new directive concerning the obligatory reserves of the credit organizations. The story examines how it has affected the banks' functions. (14)

Economic Development Minister German Gref on Friday held negotiations in Brussels with EU Commissar on trade and trade policy Pascal Lami (Sp. ?) . After the meeting Lami stated that the sides had resolved 90 percent of the problem. The story comments on results of the talks. (15)

The leading domestic silver producer " Polimetall" on Friday made public a sensational press release: it has received export licenses on precious metals and already in May will export 200 tons of silver. (15)

Bankrupt Parmalat will continue its business in 10 countries, including Russia, instead of the former 30. The story comments on the company' s present position. (16)

VEDOMOSTI (29/3/2004)

State Duma deputies have presented a rare possibility to gambling business -- to legally decrease taxes by approximately 10 times. Law-makers assure that they have made a mistake, and the gvt is urgently trying to re-write the draft. Bureaucrats have calculated that the budget will lose no less than 1. 5 billion a year. (A1)

The story describers the judicial attack on Vympelcom, the second large domestic cellular operator (trade mark BeeLine) that has resumed lately. (A1)

Yukos on Sunday failed to replace the Board of Directors and the leadership of Sibneft belonging to it, because it was not registered at the meeting of the Sibneft shareholders. (A1)

Israel' s State Prosecutor, Edna Arbel, has recommended to bring indictment of corruption against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. This was stated by Second Channel of Israeli television. Brief. (A1)

Qatari authorities have extended the Russians' custody for another month. The court made such a decision at a closed-door session on Thursday. Brief. (A1)

British " Janes Defence Weekly" for the first time has published secret information about Russia' s military deliveries to China. The story reveals several super secrets. (A2)

The story examines preliminary results of the Sunday gubernatorial elections in the Arkhangelsk and Ryazan regions. Facts and figures(A2 )

The Kremlin administration' s Economic Board that has been abolished through the presidential decree will emerge under the title of Expert Board. It will deal with the expertise of legislation drafted by the gvt and with monitoring of economic policy. (A2)

Moscow and Brussels have resolved practically all their differences concerning the expansion of the European Union. . What has been left unsolved is the problem of the Kaliningrad exclave. (A3)

Influential economist Yevgeny Yasin comments on President Putin' s program of economic reform for the second term. (A4)

Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, now being kept in prison as a convict, in his substantial article cites facts illustrating the crisis of liberalism in Russia. (A5)


Gazprom that over the recent 2 years has been rapidly increasing gas extraction has found itself a hostage of warm winter. This has caused its superfluous 6-8 billion cubic meters of gas. If the concern fails to sell it, it will have to correct its ambitious gas extraction plans. (B1)

Due to extended production of cheap Zhigulyovskoye, the Baltika brewery worsened its financial performance last year. Its net profit last year decreased by over10 percent. This year the company will improve its results. (B1)

Businessman Oleg Boiko, the founder of the OLBI concern, has quitted the Board of Directors of Yevrazholding. Entrepreneurs, who know Boiko, say that he has sold his share in the company in order to concentrate on another business -- a network of the Vulkan gambling clubs. (B1)

The UES Board of Directors on Friday endorsed a new structure of the company' s central administration. According to the new structure, UES CEO Anatoly Chubais will have only 2 deputies. Brief. (B1)

The National Assembly of the Nenets Autonomous Area decided to file a $25 million suit in the Arbitration Court against Severnaya Neft. The brief reveals the essence of the suit. (B1)

Erun van der Vir (Sp. ?) , a newly-appointed Chairman of the Committee of Managing Directors of British-Dutch Royal Dutch/Shell, stated the concern' s willingness to increase its investments in Russia. Brief. (B1)

German Heidelberg Cement Group can invest $100 million in the construction of the second stage of the cement plant " Tsesla" in the Leningrad Region. It was stated by the enterprise' s Director-General Vladimir Dzhabirov. Brief. (B1)

Russian Railways (RZh) and Yukos have agreed to increase oil export to China by 4 times by 2006 -- up to 15 million tons from the present 3. 5 million. To put this project into effect RZh will invest 40 billion rubles in the development of the infrastructure in the Chinese direction. (B2)

State Duma deputy Valery Yazev got interested in oil and gas extraction. His friendly firm " Yava-Stroi" has signed an agreement with American Mexco Energy on geological surveying of oil and gas deposits on Yamal. (B3)


Moscow State University (MGU) Rector Viktor Sadovnichy has revealed the secret of new rules of enrolment to the main university of the country. Priority this time is given to young people from provinces. (1, 4)

The official opening ceremony of the theatrical Festival " Golden Mask" took place in the Circus on Ulitsa Tsvetnoi Bulvar on March 27 -- the International Day of the Theater. The story describes the ceremony, the festival program and its participants. (1, 6, Noviye Izvestia, 5, )

The story describes how the Moscow city gvt program " Affordable Housing for Young Families" is being put into effect with its special utility services. (2)

The heavy nuclear cruiser " Poytr Veliky" is not so bad as it seemed to Navy Chief Commander Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov -- such a conclusion has been made by a gvt commission that by order from the General Staff chief has inspected this flagship. The story examines the commission' s conclusions. (2)

The Forestry Industrial Company in Perm has returned to Russia 40 percent of voting shares of the Perm Plywood Combine. The story describes how it has done it. (2)

The new Customs Code took effect on Jan. 1, 2004. The customs agencies over the first two months transferred to the federal budget 140. 54 billion rubles, which is by 41. 5 billion more than the figure for the same period last year. How did it happen ? In an interview Anatoly Galaktionov, chief of the Customs Control Board of the State Customs Committee, answers this question. (2)

In an interview Albania' s Ambassador to Russia Avni Djelili (Sp. ?) talks about his state, focusing on its role in resolving regional problems, including the Kosovo one. (3)

The Center for Exploitation Services, this federal state unitary enterprise, was formed in the structure of the Property Ministry 4 years ago. The story examines its performance during this time, saying how it can be reformed soon. (4)

Those who help drug dealers can earn now severe punishment according to the new city law passed recently by the Moscow City Duma. The story comments on the document. (4)

The Moscow City specialized Exhibition-Fair " Nedvizhimost-2004 " (Realty-2004) finished its work at the Central Artists Club on Saturday. First Vice-Mayor Vladimir Resin, head of the City Construction Department, comments on its results and conclusions. (4)

Subbotnik (one-month work on the voluntary basis) aimed at cleaning the city has begun in Moscow today. The story describes its program. (4)


The Federation Council (FC) is drafting a bill concerning property confiscation from people who have violated the law. This was stated late last week by Stanislav Vavilov, head of the FC Committee on Legal and Judiciary Issues. The story comments on the draft, saying that Vavilov views as a mistake the removing of the confiscation norms from the Criminal Code last year. (1, 2)

The number of homeless and runaway children in Moscow has more than doubled over the recent two years. One-fourth of them found on city streets are Muscovites, and 85 percent are the so-called social orphans, which means that their parents are alive. The story examines this acute problem, examining reasons behind the increased number of homeless children. (1, 7)

Despite expectations, administrative reform will make it possible to cut the bureaucratic apparat by only 10-15 percent. This was stated on Friday by First Deputy Economic Development Minister Mikhail Dmitriyev. Besides that, he stated that the salaries of key ministry and department employees will radically increase, which will help them overcome corrupt ion. The story comments on Dmitriyev' s statement. (2)

The gvt late lasts week stated that all benefits (worth 40 billion rubles) received by the pensioners today will be abolished soon and instead over 38 million pensioners will receive monetary compensation to pensions -- from 300 up to 900 rubles) But calculations show that in practice there won' t be a real compensation. The story gives figures to illustrate the point. (3)

The Economic Development Ministry was supposed to finish tomorrow a draft bill concerning reform of obligatory medical insurance. But it will not taker place, since the ministry has failed to regulate several controversial issues with the Finance Ministry. The story examines them in detail. (3)

Yukos Management Board head Semyon Kukes on Wednesday met with Gazprom head Alexei Miller to discuss the launching of a joint gas extracting venture. Gazprom' s press service reported about it, but Yukos preferred to keep silence. The story describes the real aim of this venture. (3)

The Interior Ministry' s Investigation Committee for the Central Federal District has completed its investigation and submitted to court the case of an international criminal group that delivered Russian young girls to Asian brothels. The story details the case. (6)

According to UN reports, the volume of the world slave trade market today amounts to 4 million people a year. Over the past 10 years up to 700, 000 women and teenagers from Russia were sold into slavery to Persian Gulf states. The story comments on the issue, saying that Russia is leading the world by slave export. (6)


The feature film " The Evening Ringing Sound" has been made after Mayor Yury Luzhkov' s Book titled " We Are Your Children, Moscow " . Its first showing took place in Riga at the Russian Film Festival last week. The story reviews the film. (1, 2)

The story describes serious collapses in newly-built apartment houses in Moscow, focusing on several building firms that are to be responsible for such accidents. (3)

The Moscow Kiyevsky Railway Terminal is being renovated. The story describes the project, saying that major renovation work will be completed in 3 months. (6)

The feature story highlights a young Muscovite, who has opened a beauty palour in the city. The process was not easy by she has overcome all difficulties. (7, 10)

Two-thirds of all sexual crimes in Moscow are being committed by foreigners, who come to Moscow as workforce. The story gives concrete terrible facts to illustrate the point. (12, 13)

The feature story gives concrete facts showing how the Russian elite carouses at night. (14, 15)