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Press Review

IZVESTIA (10/3/2004)

President Putin on Tuesday presented a new Cabinet of Ministers, explaining a major purpose of its radical reorganization. The story comments on the measure, giving a list of the new ministers and their posts. All central papers devote their front-page stories to the new Cabinet. (1, 3, Kommersant, 1-3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1-3, 5 and the texts of the presidential corresponding decrees, 9, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1-3, Gazeta, 1, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, Trud, 1, 2, Moskovskaya Pravda, 1, Zhizn, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, 3, MK, 1, 2)

The story describes what will happen to the ministers, who have lost their former posts in the Cabinet of Ministers as a result of its radical reorganization. (3)

In an interview Lithuania' s President Rolandas Paksas talks about how he has changed in his first term of presidency, focusing on the current impeachment proceedings and intrigues behind his back. (1, 4, Trud, 1)

Thirty -five- year-old Magomed Khambiyev, former Chechen rebel Defense Minister, on Monday voluntarily handed in his weapons and surrendered to a local security service led by President Akhmat Kadyrov' s son Ramzan. The story comments on his decision, saying what he could count on. (2, Kommersant, 6, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 7, Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 6, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3, Trud, 2, Zhizn, 2, MK, 2)

Experts from the Moscow State Construction University today are expected to submit to a special city commission results of their check-up of cement that was used in the construction of the Water Park in Yasenevo. Experts have doubts about its quality. The story gives new facts of the investigation of the Water Park tragedy. (2, Trud, 1)

The American Embassy in Moscow over the weekend warned Americans living in the city about possible terrorist acts this week. It recommended to Americans that they stay away from several concrete places (they are named) . The story comments on the warning. (2, Vremya Novostei, 1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 10)

Sixteen kilograms of highly-enriched uranium has been brought to Russia from Libya. Along with this, Libyan equipment linked to the programs of creating mass destruction weapons has been sent to the USA. The story comments on Libya' s behaviour, saying that it tries to show that it' s willing to unconditionally submit to the international community and completely decline all dangerous components. (2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 10)

According to the UN High Commissioner Board on Refugees Affairs, Russia last year was the world leader by the number (over 33, 000) of its citizens wanting to get shelter abroad. In 2002 the leader in this respect was Iraq. At the same time, the immigration of people to Russia from former Soviet republics has practically stopped. In an interview Yevgeny Gontmakher, Vice-President of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, shares his view on state policy toward immigrants. Does Russia need them in general? (4)

Georgian thieves in a Tbilisi suburb on March 9 stole $150, 000 and valuables from American military instructors. The story gives details. (5, Gazeta, 5)

In an interview Vladimir Koshelev, chief of the Polar Station SP-32, tells in detail about how his drift-ice research unit SP-32 in the Arctic Ocean was successfully rescued recently. (6, Gazeta, 4, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, Trud, 1, 2)

The story looks at first results of the investigation of reasons behind the recent powerful fire in the building of the Moscow Arbitration Court. (7, Kommersdant, 7)

The looting of 80 fire-arms from a warehouse of the Interior Ministry' s special - purpose troops stationed in the Far East has caused a big scandal. The story gives details, saying that the military counterintelligence is seeking the stolen arms. (7, Kommersant, 6, Gazeta, 6, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 10)

Mikhail Shtorm, Director-General of the Soyuz Geocom company has been arrested in charges of extorting $ 2 million, swindling and laundering illegal money. The story details his case. (7)

Many villages in Kuban have been flooded as a result of melting snow. The story describes urgent measures taken by local authorities to help people. (7)

In a far-ranging interview Chief Moscow Architect Alexander Kuzmin talks about concrete city districts, in which authorities plan to pull down dilapidated apartment blocks or to overhaul them. A map showing city apartment houses planned for major renovation. (11 )

The Audit Chamber has checked up several tobacco companies and found out that many of them fail to pay taxes in full. The story looks at s several such companies, saying that the gvt and tax agencies soon will take measures to change the situation. (12, Kommersant, 17)

The UES leadership has endorsed a list of candidates to be elected to the company' s Board of Directors. The story looks at several candidates that have been nominated by its major shareholder -- the state--and also at candidates from new minority shareholders. (12)

The story offers an analysis of the negative situation with deposits in all currencies in the domestic banks in February. Experts from the Center for Macroeconomic Studies of the BDO Yunikon company comment on reasons behind such a situation. (13)

LUKoil plans to develop gas deposits in Saudi Arabia. LUKoil President Vagit Alekperov and Saudi Oil and Mineral Resources Minister Ali al- Naimi (Sp. ?) on Sunday signed a contract on surveying and developing gas deposits in the next 40 years. LUKoil will spend $215 million on surveying. The story examines the Saudi plan, focusing on the signed document. (14, Krasnaya Zvezda, 3)

The gvt late last week endorsed a concept of a draft bill concerning introducing amendments to the Law on Advertising. The story looks at several proposed amendments. (14)

KOMMERSANT (10/3/2004)

Presidential candidate Irina Khakamada at a news conference on Tuesday presented her pre-election program that, in her words, will become a platform of the democratic opposition party with the working name " Free Russia" . Khakamada will deal with its creation straight after the March 14 presidential elections. The story examines her program. (4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2 and the full text of the program, p. 7)

The gvt commission with General Staff Deputy Chief Alexander Rukshin as its head has summed up preliminary results of its investigation of reasons behind the unsuccessful launches of sea-based ballistic missiles RSM-52 during the recent military exercises " Security-2004 " . The story examines them in detail. (4)

FSB forces in Chechnya on Tuesday killed two foreign mercenaries-- both were of Algerian origin who lived in Britain. The story describes documents that were found in their pockets. (6)

FSB officials in St. Petersburg on Tuesday detained Sergei Bezrukhikh, former deputy manager of an Alfa-Bank affiliate. He is suspected of VAT swindling. The story gives details. (7)

The Moscow gvt at a session on Tuesday decided to almost double the teachers' salaries. With this aim in view, Mayor Yury Luzhkov signed a special decree. The story comments on the measure. (8, Vremya Novostei, 6)

Lord Judd (Sp?) , former head of the PACE delegation for Chechnya, had to arrive in Moscow today to take part in a ceremony of awarding him the Peace Prize for his peace- mission in the North Caucasus. Lord Judd, however, has failed to get a Russian visa. In an interview he talks about this unpleasant thing, saying what seriously worries him is a horrible continuing situation in Chechnya. (11)

The reorganization of the gvt on Tuesday radically changes the system of regulating the domestic financial markets and their participants. The surveillance over most of them that before belonged to several ministries and departments will now pass over to the Federal Financial Markets Service. The story examines the changed system, saying that it is viewed as the first step to the creation of the single megaregulator of financial markets in Russia. (13, 14)

World oil prices have reached the maximum high level since the war in Iraq -- $34. 8 per barrel, which is in line with the Russian gvt' s optimistic forecasts. This means that the gross domestic product this year has good chances to increase by more than 5. 5 percent. (13, 14 )

LUKoil is considering the possibility of issuing eurobonds worth up to $500 million. This was reported by Reuters with reference to the company' s Vice-President Leonid Fedun. Brief. (13)

South Africa' s business circles are considering the possibility of buying part of shares of the Russian oil sector. With this aim in view, special delegation from this country is s expected to arrive in Moscow this month. Brief. (13)

The standoff between Cristall former Director-General Rosspirtprom Sergei Zivenko and Soyuzplodimport has unexpectedly received a new twist: the Rospatent leadership failed to endorse the decision of the Patent Disputes Chamber' s decision that 3 weeks ago annulled the registration of the trade mark Cristall. The story says what can happen in this s situation. (13)

The story examines how world financial markets reacted to yesterday' s reorganization of the Cabinet of Ministers and to new appointments. (13)

According to reports from the Central Bank, the volume of individuals' bank deposits in 2003 increased up to 1. 539 trillion rubles from 1. 046 trillion. Brief. (14)

First Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Sharonov at a new conference on Tuesday told journalists how his agency is putting into effect the federal program Electronic Russia. The story examines some results. (15)

Yevrazholding has created a subsidiary transportation company Yevraztrans. This was stated by holding President Alexander Abramov. The story describes the new structure and its aim. (16)

VEDOMOSTI (10/3/2004)

President Putin on Tuesday presented a new Cabinet of Ministers, in which the positions of German Gref and Alexei Kudrin have been considerably consolidated. Dmitry Kozak will be in charge of bringing administrative reform to a logical end. (A1)

The Gazprom leadership that did not want to pass over to the gvt the monopoly' s shares owned by its subsidiaries has agreed at last to do it. Gazprom Management Board head Alexei Miller stated that the state' s share in the company can increased soon. (A1)

According to the State Statistics Committee, inflation in February by the consumer prices index amounted to 1 percent as compared to 1. 6 percent a year ago and 1. 8 percent in January. Brief. (A1)

The working group in charge of preparing the results of the national census -2002 for publication has endorsed the first volume that will come out under the title " The Size and Places of Living of the Population" . Brief. (A1)

Presidential candidate Irina Khakamada after the March 14 presidential elections intends to create a new party that will possibly be called " Free Russia" . The story examines her plans. (A2)

Sergei Glazyev knows now how to turn religious organizations into the state' s social partners. And as a prize for additional services in educating society he proposes to return nationalized property to them. The Russian Orthodox Church administration does not hope that such a draft bill could be passed. (A2)

American authorities have separated the Halliburton company from gvt contracts in Iraq. The little-known firm Refinery Associates of Texas with a turnover not exceeding $150 million has become Pentagon' s new supplier. (A2)

Russia for the first time will design a new type of armaments for its army together with a NATO country. The French Dassault company and the Russian design bureaus intend together to create an unpiloted flying probe. (A2)

The Economic Development Ministry has proposed a new way of cracking down on pseudo-export. Starting 2006, reformers intend to impose electronic customs declarations, on the basis of which the tax will be compensated. The story describes this novelty, saying how experts regard it. (A3)

Ten years ago William Roads (Sp?) together with the then Central Bank head Viktor Gerashchenko opened a Russian affiliate of Citigroup, a world leading financial group Roads, Seniour Vice-Chairman of Citigroup came to Moscow for several days to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the bank. He views Russia as a priority trend in boosting Citigroup, and intends to boost business on servicing individual clients. In an interview he talks about his projects and plans. (A5)


The Bank of Moscow in the 4th quarter of 2003, like in 2002, made progress in the retail market. In 3 months the number of its private clients increased by 700, 000 persons. (B1)

UGMK Holding will invest $354 million in the boosting of Bashkiria' s ferrous metals sector. This was stated by Rafael Baidavletov, the republic' s Prime Minister. Brief. (B1)

Rosneft and BP on Friday signed a contract on developing the Sakhalin-5 project. In a couple of days they will register a managing company outside Russia that will become the project' s operator. Brief. B1

ALROSA at the second in the company' s history international auction has sold diamonds with proceeds amounting to $18 million. This was stated by the company' s press service. Brief. (B1)

Five LUKoil representatives have been nominated to the Board of Directors of Nizhnovenergo from the Promregion Holding company that owns over 2 percent of voting shares of the electricity company. Brief. (B1)

The story describes the Italian brand of smart clothes " Sisley" company that in Russia will be advertised according to double standard. (B1)

After failing to sell the controlling stake of Wimm-Bill-Dann (WBD) to French Danone, managers of the domestic food holding began to re-distribute their shares in the company. WBD Management Board head David Yakobashvili increased his share in the holding by o. 79 percent and in a few days he plans to buy another 5 percent of the company. (B1)

Vostok Nafta has filed a suit in the Arbitration Court of Antwerpen against the Slavneft-Belgium company. The story describes the conflicting situation, focusing on Vostok Nafta' s demand. (B2)


Igor Ivanov before being appointed to the post of Security Council Secretary had been Foreign Minister for 5. 5 years. To what extent will he be able to use his diplomatic experience ? (1)

Moscow regional governor Boris Gromov plans to found a capital city of his region. The story reflects where it will be. (1, 6)

President Putin during his visit to Vladivostok late last month ordered the local gvt to resolve the water crisis in the city. The story describes the critical water situation there. (4)


The Ukrainian opposition and journalists in Kiev on Tuesday staged an act of protest against authorities' pressure on mass media. It was caused by recent policy being pursued by authorities who have suspended the broadcasting of the Voice of America, Deutsche Welle and the Radio Liberty on the territory of the republic. The story describes this protest and its numerous participants. (1, 4 )

Dmitry Oreshkin, head of the Merkator analytical group, shares his view on the ministerial appointments that were announced on Tuesday. The focus is on their major essence. (1)

The story looks at 4 predictable, 2 contentious and 2 unexpected figures in the new gvt. Do you like the new gvt? Five State Duma deputies and political scientists share their views. (2)

President Putin on Tuesday signed a decree that is called upon to defend the rights of the investors in the securities market. The story comments on the document, citing experts' views. (3)


In a far-ranging interview presidential economic adviser Andrei Illarionov talks about several acute economic problems today, saying how they could be solved. (3)

TRUD (10/3/2004)

According to reports from the Defense Ministry, the cost of the defense procurement program (oboronny zakaz) this year will increase by 1. 5 times and will reach 148 billion rubles. Due to a poor state of the majority of defense enterprises, this procurement program will not be fulfilled. The story examines the critical state concrete defense plants. (3)

The story describes a new business -- the sale of telephone numbers of show business stars -- that is flourishing in Moscow. Anyone in the underground pass near the metro " Pushkinskaya" can buy a telephone number of Alla Pugacheva or Alsu. How much is such a telephone number ? (5)

Huge amounts of harmful chemical substances were buried on the bed of the Baltic Sea after World War II, which have made millions of people its victims. The story examines this acute problem (6)


Twelve politicians, economists, State Duma deputies and public figures say what they expect from the new gvt. (3)

The American Opportunity probe walking on Mars transmitted to Earth a new portion of pictures. One picture shows a strange yellow object that NASA specialists have called a Martian rabbit. The story describes this and several other pictures. (4)

Oligarch Boris Berezovsky, in the opinion of many domestic mass media, has selected Sergei Glazyev as a major person of his interests. It' s quite natural that there are many links in the Berezovsky-Glazyev chain that help the oligarch pursue his policy. One of such links is businessman Vitaly Yuzhilin. The story describes their long-standing friendship. (9)

President Putin in Krasnoyarsk on Feb. 27 made a sensational statement, saying that " there will not be a fully professional army in Russia. .. For such continental countries like Russia there cannot be a completely professional army funded from the budget. Otherwise it will be a very expensive army" . The story reveals the essence of Putin' s statement. (12)


The feature story describes an extraordinary case that happened in the Circus on Prospekt Vernadskogo a week ago when Tiger named Caesar injured a woman who cleans his lodging. (1, 2)

Moscow regional authorities decided to pay more attention to the rights and freedoms of foreigners and persons without citizenship. With this aim in view the whole network of deportation centers will be open for them in the region in the next 6 months. And the Moscow Regional Duma will pass a corresponding draft bill concerning their status. (2, 3)

Moscow police have detained two Muscovites (their names are given) , who caught pigeons and sold them to Vietnamese. The story describes their " profit-making business" . (3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 6)

The story describes how Boris Berezovsky from London with the help of Russian citizen and his loyal associate named Yakov Ruvimovich London living in Novosibirsk is doing everything in his power to pursue his own policy in Russia. (4)

In his story political observer Alexander Minkin reflects with sarcasm what the March 14 presidential elections mean for the people and for Vladimir Putin himself. He puts and answers his own question -- And what will happen after the elections ? (5)