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Press Review

IZVESTIA (22/5/2004)

The Protocol on completing the negotiations with the European Union (EU) on Russia' s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Russian side' s assurances about moving forward to the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol are the major results of the 13th Russia-EU summit in Moscow on May 21. The story comments on the document, focusing on its historic significance. (1, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Kommersant, 1, 2, Krasnaya Zvezda, 4, Trud, 1, 2, MN, No. 18, p. 13, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, 3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, MK, 3 )

The US Congress on Friday completed hearings on democracy, human rights and respect of the law in Putin' s Russia. The official document says that the hearings were timed for Putin' s forthcoming visit to the USA, where on June 8-10 he will attend a G-8 meeting. Former world chess champion Garri Kasparov, head of the Committee-2008, and Eduard Lozansky, President of " Russian House" and of the American University in Moscow, who spoke at the hearings, presented two opposing views on Putin' s democracy. (1, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 5)

The 57th Cannes Film Festival closed on Saturday. The story features its successes and failures. (1, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Kommersant, 10, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 12, MK, 1, 3)

The Ayatskov case that has been dropped is acquiring a political ground. The case will be investigated by the Prosecutor General' s Office Board for the Privolzhsky Federal District and personally by its head Sergei Gerasimov. The latest event in this criminal case is governor Ayatskov' s personal tragedy -- his mother died on Friday due to her son' s criminal prosecution. The story examines new facts in the case. (2, Kommersant, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4, MN, No. 18, p. 3, Zhizn, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4, MK, 2 )

The CIS Defense Ministers Council in Yerevan on Friday held a session, at which ministers agreed to coordinate their efforts in the sphere of non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons. They also agreed to boost the safety of flights and to create a unified communications system. The story examines the major results of the session, saying that it showed a widening split between the pro-Russian and pro-American sentiments among CIS states. (2, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 5, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

The public reception room of the gvt once a month is open for ordinary people to apply to highly-placed state officials with their complaints, demands and wishes. Thus, on Friday Economic Development Minister German Gref received 11 persons, who had to wait for this lucky day for six months or even for a year. The story describes Gref' s encounters with people. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3)

The Audit Chamber at a session on Friday discussed results of its check-up of Chukotka' s fulfillment of the budget in 2003 and this year. The long-awaited results were made public at a news conference by auditor Sergei Ryabukhin, who said that the region was a bankrupt. The story examines the major results of the Chamber' s check-up. (3, Kommersant, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Kommersant, 1, 5, Trud, 1, Zhizn, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 3, MK, 1, 2)

In an interview Chukotka Vice-Governor Andrei Gorodilov shares his view on the results of the Audit Chamber' s check-up of the region' s financial performance. (3)

The early presidential elections in Chechnya are officially scheduled for Aug. 29. The elections campaign there will begin on May 24. Brief. (3, Kommersant, 1, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, Trud, 1)

State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov stated that the United Russia faction is drafting proposals on limiting deputies' benefits that will be presented at the S. D. spring session and will be submitted as amendments to the Law concerning the deputy' s status. . Brief. (3, Kommersant, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3, MK, 2)

Georgia on its Independence Day -- May 26 -- will receive a new state anthem, flag and motto. Brief. (4)

Specialist in planning defense policy Harry Lakhtein (Sp. ?) has become the first Estonian adviser to be sent to Georgia to help Tbilisi prepare for accession to NATO. Brief. (4)

Ukraine' s Prosecutor General' s Office has accused opposition leader Julia Timoshenko of an attempt to obtain a kompromat on President Leonid Kuchma and on Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich for $500, 000. Brief. (4)

Latvia' s parliament has passed a bill that additionally limits the rights of Russian-speaking people in the republic. Brief. (4)

The story offers results of sociological opinion polls showing a drastically increased number of divorces lately. (5)

Image ideologue Viktor Shepel has conducted an opinion poll to see whether people like the image of their families. In an interview Shepel talks about interesting results. (5)

The Mortgage Housing Crediting Agency in a couple of days will place its new bonds on the Moscow Inter-Bank Currency Exchange. The story comments on the Agency' s decision. (6)

Three unidentified assailants on Kutuzovsky Prospekt on Thursday evening tried to kill Goznak Director General Arkady Trachuk, who with serious injuries was hospitalized. The story gives details. (7, Kommersant, 4, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 7, MK, 2)

Participants in the 10, 000-strong mourning rally in Simferopol on May 18 to honour the 60th anniversary of deportation of Crimean Tatars demanded a release of people, who was guilty of beatings 10 persons in the Kotton-Club and autonomy for Crimea. The story describers the rally and its participants' demands. (5)

The story describes new developments around scandalous Sodbiznesbank, focusing on the Central Bank' s actions. (7)

Two criminal cases on the facts of bankruptcy of Pervy City Bank have been submitted to the Federal Security Service. The story examines the cases, saying why the FSB got interested in them. (7)

Moscow authorities have made public an ambitious plan to prepare the city for holding the Olympic Games-2012. The story examines the plan in detail. (8, MK, 1, 7, )

There will be no ban on the sale of newspapers and magazines in the metro and near it. That was stated on Friday by Vladimir Malyshkov, head of the Moscow City Consumer Market and Services Department, The story comments on his statement. (11, MK, 2)

Young Moscow artists, designers and actors--members of the Game-3000 Partnership -- have decided to place new beautiful benches in Moscow parks and alleys. The first such ones will appear soon on Chistoprudny Bulvar. The story describes the project. (11)

A 20-ton truck with the first batch of street urns arrived in Moscow from Nizny Novgorod late in the evening on Friday. The urns were designed by Nizhny Novgorod Mayor Vadim Bulavinov. The story describes his present to Moscow. (11)

April 28, 2001 has launched a new era in cosmonautics -- the era of cosmic tourism. In April this year the third tourist -- American Gregory Olsen, 59, began his training sessions for a space venture scheduled for April 2005. In an interview he says how his flight will differ from the two previous ones. (13)

KOMMERSANT (22/5/2004)

The shareholders of the Sayano-Shushenskaya Electric Power Station at the annual meeting in Sayanogorsk on Friday voted for a re-registering the station in the Sizai village (Krasnoyarsk region) , which means an open confrontation between UES and Khakassian authorities, backed by Bazovy Element holding head Oleg Deripaska. The story looks at the conflicting situation. (1, 5)

The right and left platforms will emerge in the United Russia party. This was stated by its General Council member Andrei Isayev, head of the State Duma Labour and Social Policy Committee. Brief. (3)

The Moscow Basmanny Court on Friday cut the deadline to Yukos security office head Alexei Pichugin for reading his criminal case down to June 4. The story comments on the court' s decision. (4)

The Moscow Meshchansky Court has scheduled the preliminary hearings on Mikhail Khodorkovsky' s criminal case for May 28. This was stated by his lawyer Anton Drel. Brief. (4)

Georgian Conflicts Regulation Minister Georgy Khaindrava, who on Friday came back to Tbilisi from Abkhazia, made a sensational television statement. He demanded from law-enforcers that they thoroughly investigate an incident connected with a transfer of a Chechen armed group with Ruslan Gelayev as its head from the Pankisi Gorge in Georgia to the Kondori Gorge in Abkhazia. The story comments on the minister' s statement. (4)

US former President George Bush at the invitation of parliamentary deputy, Interpipe corporation head and President Kuchma' s son-in-law Viktor Pinchuk arrived in Kiev on Thursday. The story describes the American guest' s visit. (4)

The State Duma Tax Subcommittee on Friday decided to change the gvt-proposed scale of the single social tax. The gvt agreed. The story examines several of the proposed changes. (5)

Severstal President Alexei Mordashov this week has arrived in Detroit to have a look at the property of the Rouge Industries firm that his company Severstal North America bought several months ago. After observing the production, Mordashov organized a reception for local officials and entrepreneurs. The story describes the event and its participants. (5)

Oleg Mikheyev, President of the Volgograd companies group " Diamant" on Friday officially announced its purchase the controlling stake of Volgoprombank from MENATEP SP(b) . Its Director General Natalya Litvinenko explained the reason behind the sale. (5)

The State Duma on Friday passed (in the second reading) amendments to the federal law concerning the organization of the insurance matter in Russia. Brief. (6)

The Sverdlovsk Territorial Board of the Anti-Monopoly Ministry has declared indecent the advertising striptease-campaign of the " Leader" trading network in Yekaterinburg. Brief. (6)

The Microsoft company on Friday announced the signing of a partnership agreement with a big software producer-- the Oracle company. The brief reveals several term of the agreement. (6)

The Lenenergo administration has made several personnel changes in the course of reforming the company. The brief looks at some of them. (6)

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (21, 22/5/2004)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov as a session of the Cabinet of Ministers on Thursday stated that President had signed a decree on the structure and the personnel of the new gvt. The prime minister also said that a new Ministry of Information Technologies and communications has been created with former Transport and Communications Minister Leonid Reiman as its head. The story comments on the president' s document. (1, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

The Stare Duma is urgently considering the presidential draft bill concerning the referendum that excludes the holding of plebiscite " from below" . State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov stated that the draft will be considered as a priority. The story examines its major provisions, saying that the authors of a new plebiscite procedure have managed to complicate it to such an extent that the holding of a referendum will become practically impossible without the Kremlin' s sanctions. (1, 2)

In an interview presidential envoy in the Ural Federal District Pyotr Latyshev, who recently met with President Putin, talks about their meeting and about significant issues concerning the North and its fate that they discussed. (1, 11)

Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev at a closed-door session of the State Duma on Friday stated that additional troops will be sent to Chechnya, and that President Putin has already signed the corresponding decree. The measure has been caused by a worsened situation in the republic. The story comments on the decision. (1, 4)

Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky on Thursday told journalists that the court has ruled in his party' s favour on several suits. Besides, Yavlinsky said that now Yabloko has its own faction in the Moscow City Parliament. The story looks at his statements. (2)

The consortium of oil and gas companies (Rosneft, Gazprom and Surgutneftegaz) for developing Eastern Siberia is willing to agree if a foreign company goes shares with it. Thus, Rosneft President Sergei Bogdanchikov stated that TNK-BP may join these companies. The story reveals the essence of the issue. (3)

A scenario saying how to extend the president' s rule has been drafted in Minsk. It allows President Alexander Lukashenko to run for the presidency for the third time. The story looks at the draft. (5)

The whole elite of domestic business will go to Tbilisi that on May 27-29 will host the first Georgian-Russian conference on boosting bilateral business. The story examines the agenda of the conference. (5)

The story offers an analysis of the positive situation on the domestic IT market in 2003 and this year, with several foreign companies doing business on it. (9)

ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA (22/5/2004)

The traditional presidential state of the nation address speech will be delivered to the Federal Assembly on Mat 26 at noon. President Putin on Friday signed a corresponding directive. The story says that the president' s speech will be a plan to be strictly observed by the gvt. (1)

The Polish Culture Fund at the International Book Fair in Warsaw on Friday gave the Honorary Prize to Russians for boosting the popularity of Polish books among Russian translators, publishers and workers of book business. The story describes the Book Fair, Russian participants in it and the prize-awarding ceremony. (1, 2)

The situation in the mine " Yeniseiskaya" in the Republic of Khakassia is worsening: as many as 175 miners (one of them has been hospitalized) are taking part in the hunger strike. Information agencies reported on Friday that the mine' s administration intends to fire 269 miners out of the present 389 workers. (2, Trud, 3)

Document. The Presidential Decree concerning the issues on the structure of the federal executive power bodies. Structure of the federal executive power bodies. Full text. (2)

Khabarovsk Airport customs on Friday detained a female passenger from the Far East, who wanted to fly to Japan with a one-kilo fragment of a meteorite in her hand-bag. This was the first attempt to take away from Khabarovsk a thing from another planet. The story describes it in detail, citing an expert' s view. (2)

The United Russia faction is continuing to form the State Duma by its own model that is disliked by many deputies. The story looks at some of them. (3 )

Transport Minister Igor Levitin has visited Tokyo not long before President Putin' s official visit to Japan. The story describes the aims of Livitin' s visit and Japanese officials he spoke to. (3, Trud, 4, Komsomolskaya Praavda, 7. MK, 2)

MOSKOVSKIYE NOVOSTI # 18

The investigation materials that have been read by Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his lawyers have been submitted to the Moscow Meshchansky District Court that will launch preliminary hearings on the case on May 28. It' s in the interests of President Putin to finish the Yukos case as soon as possible, because in early June he will go to the USA, where he may be asked unpleasant questions. The story examines two variants of resolving the problem. (4, 5)

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has appointed a special speaker on the Yukos case, which means that the Council of Europe does not trust in Russian justice. The story says who will be that speaker. Her short interview. (5)

Will world oil prices continue to skyrocket and what consequences will the present growth have for the world and Russian economy ? In an interview Mikhail Delyagin, Director of the Institute of Globalization Problems, answers these and other questions. (6)

Business Russia (Delovaya Rossiya) in a couple of days will convene a congress, at which this organization that suddenly emerged in 2001, will cease to exist in order to reappear with a new image. Two circumstances are significant in this respect. The story examines them in detail. Two experts speak out. (7)

The legislation concerning the referendum is the last thing that has remained from the Yeltsin system, regulating the will of the people. Now the Kremlin is trying to destroy this bastion. Why? The story answers this question, noting that the Kremlin is sick and tired that its opponents from time to time are trying to initiate referendums. (8)

The State Duma intends to impose new taxation rules, the authors of which assure that the life of the average taxpayer will improve. Experts doubt it. Mikhail Zadornov, member of the State Duma Budget Committee, shares his impressions about tax novelties. (10)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov has issued a directive on holding special events devoted to the 355th anniversary of the housing-communal sector of Russia. The city budget allocates 3. 5 million rubles for the occasion. The story describes the date and how Moscow intends to mark it. (13)

The story examines the case of exiled media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky, whose case in the European Court on Human Rights has survived and won. (19)

KRASNAYA ZVEZDA (22/5/2004)

The Russia-USA summit will take place in Washington in early June within the framework of the G-8 summit. Both sides now are preparing for it. Thus, John Bolton, US Senior Undersecretary of State, in charge of disarmament and international security issues, completed his negotiations with Russian diplomats in Moscow. The story comments on concrete issues that were discussed at the negotiations and their results. (1, 4)

The story is devoted to homeless and runaway children, whose numbers (figures are given) has considerably increased lately. The focus is on gvt inadequate measures to help them. (2)

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA (22/5/2004)

St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko early this week visited Stockholm, in which at a meeting with Swedish Industry Minister Leif Pagrotski (Sp. ?) she also discussed the recent marriage of Economic Development Minister German Gref and the wedding present for him. The story descries what she proposed the Swedish Minister to choose for a present. (5)

The feature story describes a new procedure of issuing foreign passports in local police departments. (6)

About new 50 attractions have emerged in the Central Exhibition Center (former VDNKHa) . Prices of their tickets are between 5- and 100 rubles. The brief pays attention to one of them--for adults. (6)

Adnan Muzykayev, a close friend of the late Chechen President Akhmat Kadyrov, reminisces several episodes from their joint work to secure stability in the country. (8)

The Public Verdict is a new human rights organization that has been founded in Moscow. The story describes its founders and aims. (9)

In an interview Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talks about himself, his habits and hobbies and about his job. He focuses on the situation in Iraq and its possible fate and on several others foreign policy issues. (10, 11)

There is a boom of flower thefts in Moscow now. Bomzhi and homeless children at night pick up flowers from street flower- beds and in the morning sell them near metro. The story gives figures saying how many flower-beds have been destroyed in the city. (13)