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Press Review

IZVESTIA (27/5/2004)

In his annual state of the nation address delivered to the Federal Assembly and the nation on Wednesday President Putin set forth comprehensive tasks. The story focuses on its major provisions. (1, 4, Kommersant, 1, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3 (the full text of the address) , Gazeta, 1, 4, 5, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Noviye Izvestia, , Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Zhizn, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, 3, MK, 3

In an interview Egypt' s President Hosni Mubarak (Sp. ?) , who is arriving in Moscow today, talks about the aim of his visit, focusing on major issues he will discuss with the Russian leadership. (1, 3, Kommersant, 12 (photo caption) , Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 7, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 5)

Two Russian workers-- Vyacheslav Ovsyannikov and Viktor Dynkin -- from the notorious Interenergoservis company were killed in Iraq on Wednesday morning and at least other six workers (their names are given) were injured. The story describes how it happened. (1, 2, Kommersant, 1, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Gazeta, 1, 3, Vremya Novostei, 1, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 7, Zhizn, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4, MK, 1, 2 )

The Moscow Bureau of the World Labour Organization on Wednesday made public its report that forecasts Russia' s huge human losses by 2050 due to AIDS. The story examines it in detail (facts, figures and conclusions) . (2)

Ivanovo region Vice-Governor Olga Khasbulatova and head of the project " Healthy Russia" Hail McKee (Sp. ?) , Director of the Russian Mission at John Hopkins University, on Wednesday signed an agreement on implementing an anti-AIDS program in the Ivanovo region. The story examines the program. (2)

Famed Spanish tenor Jose Karreras (Sp. ?) is arriving in Moscow on June 3 to give a solo concert at the Moscow International Music House. In an interview he talks about the program of his concert in Moscow. (1, 2)

The gvt at a session today is expected to discuss the Economic Development Ministry' s proposals on the prices and tariffs of natural monopolies in 2005-2006. The story examines the proposals that will negatively affect consumers' interests. (3, Kommersant, 13, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Gazeta, 10, Vremya Novostei, 5)

Amnesty International on Wednesday published its annual report devoted to the human rights. Experts see a new threat -- armed groups have declared war on the general human values, and the governments' response, in experts' opinion, also threatens the traditional Western values. The story examines the report' s main provisions and conclusions. (3, Kommersant, 8)

President Mikheil Saakashvili on May 26, Georgia' s Independence Day, proposed to South Ossetia and Abkhazia to launch negotiations aimed at restoring the single state. Both rejected Saakashvili' s initiative. The story comments on the Georgian president' s proposals. (3, Kommersant, 10, Vremya Novostei, 6, Gazeta, 6, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 5)

American Congressman Douglas Beroiter (Sp. ?) , President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, has visited Ukraine. In his opinion, the doors to the West for Ukraine are open. Brief. (5)

PACE representative Sabine Leutheusser Schnarrenberger is leaving Moscow today. Has she managed to collect materials for her report to be presented at a PACE session this fall? The story describes her meetings with Khodorkovsky' s and Lebedev' s lawyers. (6, Kommersant, 8, Novaya Gazeta, No. 37, p. 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 7, Vremya Novostei, 3)

The story describes the continuing conflict between the Central Bank and Sodbiznesbank, saying that CB is trying to find Sodbiznesbank' s owners. (6, Kommersant, 14, Gazeta, 9, Vremya Novostei, 7)

The Rostov Regional Prosecutor' s Office will consider a criminal case on looting about 100 million rubles that belonged to the Rosenergoatom concern. The story examines the case. (6)

A group of depositors from bankrupt Pervy Gorodskoi Bank (PGB) that owes them over $40 million filed a suit in the Moscow Zamoskvoretsky Court demanding a confiscation of the Faberge collection belonging to oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Documents show that PGB assets were withdrawn through the Alba Alyans bank owned by SUAL Holding head Viktor Vekselberg. The story details the case. (6, Kommersant, 13, 14, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 7)

Reorganization of the Passport-Visa Board of the Interior Department is continuing in Moscow. On May 20 the functions of all 33 city OVIRs were passed over to district police offices. How are they doing it? The story describes their work, difficulties and problems. (11)

The third exhibition " Eros-Moskva" opened in the National Exhibition Center (former VDNKHa) on Wednesday under the motto " Zone Free from Pornography" . The story describes some of its decent exhibits. (11)

The first open auction for the right to implement the investment construction projects of 3 new high-rises will take place in Moscow on June 10. This was stated by Gennady Dyogtev, head of the Moscow Tender Committee created early this year. Brief. (11)

The domestic restaurant network, the telecommunication company and the Internet -portal together with several computer traders are offering a new service to restaurant clients -- cordless Wi-Fi and free access to the Internet. The story describes the service. (12)

In an interview Managing Director Hainz Zinner (Sp. ?) of Austrian Pulp Mill Holding, a shareholder of the Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Combine, talks about his conflict with British Hover Group over the Russian enterprise. (12)

The Berkeley Capital Partners Fund that is funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has sold its package of stock of the Russian trading network " Pyatyorochka" to the international financial investor. Berkeley Capital Partners invested in Pyatyorochka in 2001, and since then the company has grown by more than 10 times. Brief. (13, Kommersant, 17)

KOMMERSANT (27/5/2004)

Yukos, according to the Moscow Arbitration Court' s ruling, will have to give $3. 4 billion in taxes to the Tax Ministry. The story comments on the court' s decision. (1, 16, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, 3)

The story explains why the text of the annual state of the nation address that President Putin delivered on Wednesday was classified up to that day. (3)

The story focuses on issues that the president did not touch upon in his annual state of the nation address on Wednesday, explaining why he did it. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3)

The first six GAI officers accused of illegal deals with stolen foreign cars were arrested on Wednesday. The story details their case. (5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2)

Emergency Situations Southern Regional Center on Wednesday established the reason behind the perish of a group of Ulyanovsk tourists in the Mount Elbrus early this month. The story reveals the reason behind the tragedy. (6)

Moscow senior school pupils today will take the single state examination. Moscow that did not take part in it first has now joined 64 regions, where the experiment has been going on for several years already. It' s not excluded, however, that the examination can cease to exist soon --the Education Ministry intends to hold a referendum on its further fate. (7)

One hundred Mercedes S-s Class in a column rode to the building of Russian Consulate in London on Wednesday in support of jailed former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The act was initiated and sponsored by Boris Berezovsky. The story focuses on its aim. (8)

Two leading operators on the domestic tobacco market -- Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco International-- have created a new association, the first move of which was drafting a letter to the gvt with a request to return the specific system of excises on tobacco products. The story features the new organization and its interests. (13, 15)

The Financial NIKoil corporation on Wednesday announced the change of its name into the " Financial Corporation UralSib" . The story comments on the decision. (14)

The Finance Ministry (MinFin) on Wednesday announced the appointment of Leonid Shneidman, partner in the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit firm, to the post of head of MinFin' s Financial Control, Audit and Book-Keeping Accountancy Department. The story comments on the appointment. (15)

The European Union' s new rules for export of ammoniac saltpetre to the EU-10 countries took effect on May 20. The story examines some of them, saying that the European Union on Wednesday decided to release from the anti-dumping duties for one year the export of potash fertilizers top the EU-10 zone. (16)

Russian Aluminum (or Rusal) and the Eurasian Financial-Industrial Company (Kazakhstan) have signed a memorandum on launching a joint venture that in the next 6 years should build an aluminum and alumina plants in Kazakhstan. The story comments on the document(16 )

The JamilCo company trading in luxury goods in Russia is launching a large-scale regional project. In the next 2 years it will open over 100 shops under the trade marks Naf-Natf, Levi' s, Swatch and Chevignon. The story examines the project. (17)

Baltika Wednesday made public its results in the first quarter of this year. Brief. (17)

VEDOMOSTI (27/5/2004)

The Moscow Arbitration Court on Wednesday ruled that Yukos should pay $3. 5 billion in taxes. Yukos said that it can pay this sum, but in the last resort it is even ready to sell Sibneft. Meanwhile, tax agencies are preparing their new claims to Yukos. (A1)

The Moscow MegaFon cellular operator is seeking new clients with the help of web marketing. Web sale organization is the responsibility of the public organization " The Club of the Protection of the Rights of Consumers" . (A1)

The story examines a draft of the gvt document regulating its work, introducing many novelties in it. (A2)

British International Institute for Strategic Studies has arrived at the conclusion that the terrorist network of Al-Qaida if need be can count on support from up to 18, 000 rebels all over the world, and the US-led operation in Iraq has only helped terrorist win new supporters. Along with this, in the opinion of human rights activists, the US anti-terror campaign has turned into the most massive offensive on the human rights. (A2)

Anton Danilov-Danilyan, former head of the Economic Board of the presidential administration, in his concept of industrial policy has proposed to return the investment benefit on the profit tax and to provide businessmen with a deferment in paying VAT for the period of the investment cycle. The story reveals the essence of his proposal. (A3)

The Ministry of Natural Resources is thirsty to earn money for the budget through selling the right to use resources. Minister Yury Trutnev stated that his ministry intents to cut by 4 times the period between the announcement of the terms of the auction for the right to develop a deposit and its holding. (A3)

In order to prevent terrorists from creating a nuclear bomb, the USA and Russia will take away uranium from research reactors that are being closed all over the world. The sides today will sign the corresponding $450 million agreement in Moscow. (A3)

Has OPEC lost control over the world oil market with its skyrocketing prices? Three oil market experts share their view on the issue. (A4)

In an interview Vasily Vasin, President of Group R-Style, says how his company has managed to keep high positions in different ratings of IT companies. (A5)


The Pyatyorochka holding company, owning a big retail network in Russia, has bought out its shares from EBRR. The story says how its former partners and analysts regard this deal. (B1)

Rusal intends to build another plant, and this time in Kazakhstan. Together with the local Eurasian Financial-Industrial Company it will invest $3 billion in the construction of aluminum and alumina plants(B1 )

Westdeutsche Immobilien Bank has sold Berlin House, one of the best Moscow office buildings on Ulitsa Petrovka near the Bolshoi Theater, to the Swiss Group MCTrustco for over $40 million. (B1)

The Economic Development Ministry has recommended Transneft to allocate 2. 335 billion rubles for dividends for 2003 on ordinary shares (state-run package) and 1. 58 billion rubles on the privileged ones. This was stated by Deputy Minister Andrei Sharonov. Brief. (B1)

The gvt has postponed the deadline for considering an issue concerning Gazprom reform from June to November. This was stated by Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Sharonov. Brief. (B1 )

Gazprom is considering the possibility of building a $1. 3 billion plant to make liquefied natural gas outside St. Petersburg. This was by Gazprom Management Board deputy head Alexander Ryazanov. Brief. (B1)

Irkut for 2003 will pay to its shareholders 32 million rubles, which is 50 percent of the sum paid last year. The company' s leadership has promised higher dividends next year. (B2)

The Ministry of Natural Resources Yury Trutnev would like to increase the selling price of gold-bearing deposit Sukhoi Log by 5 times. In his opinion, it should stand at no less than $150 million. The story comments on his view, saying what analysts think of it. (B2)

President Putin demanded from the gvt that it not delay to select new routes for exporting oil from Russia. Oil companies and Transneft were happy with this statement, but experts warn that it will take several years to build new pipelines. (B3)

Ukrainian authorities come to agreement with oil refinery owners on imposing a moratorium on petrol export and on decreasing the margin when selling fuel on the domestic market. (B3)