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Press Review

IZVESTIA (27/1/2005)

he Federation Council on Wednesday endorsed the candidature of 39-year-old St. Petersburg lawyer Anton Ivanov to the post of Chairman of the Supreme Arbitration Court. In an interview he talks about his new job. (1, 3, Kommersant, 4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 9, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 4, Zhizn, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

The Executive Committee of the Russian Football Union (RFS) today may decide the fate of RFS President Vyacheslav Koloskov, who has decided to quit his post. What has prompted his decision? (1, 8, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 11, Noviye Izvestia, 8, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 23, Zhizn, 24)

Karachayevo-Cherkessian police and security agents in Nalchik are continuing the operation to catch a group of suspected Islamic extremists, who are staying in an apartment building. The story describes the operation. saying that the extremists are not going to surrender. (1, 5, Kommersant, 1, 5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, Gazeta, 1, 3, Novaya Gazeta, No. 6, p. 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6, Trud, 5, Russky Kuryer, 1, 3, Zhizn, 6, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, MK, 2)

The intrigue around the construction of a new hotel in place of the pulled down Hotel Moskva has ended with a victory of investors-- in two years Hotel Moskva will be built anew. This was stated on Wednesday by Deputy Mayor in the Moscow gvt Iosif Ordzhonikidze. The story describes a new project. (1, 3, Kommersant, 13, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Gazeta, 1, 4, Vremya Novostei, 7, Tverskaya, 13, p. 1, Moskovskaya Pravda, 1, MK, 1, 3)

Mass protests against the monetarization of social benefits are continuing in several cities. Thus, pensioners in the city of Kholmsk (Sakhalin) on Wednesday seized a building of the local administration. The story gives details. (1, 2, Kommersant, 8, Gazeta, 2, Russky Kuryer, 3, Nezavisismaya Gazeta, 2, Trud, 3)

A scandal erupted among left organizations on Wednesday when the Executive Committee of the People' s Patriotic Union of Russia (or NPSR) accused NPSR former leaders from among supporters of KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov of " squandering money and misappropriating the property of NPSR. The story gives details. (2)

During his conversations via computer with regional governors on Wednesday Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told them what concrete measures the gvt has taken to settle down the benefit crisis. The story examines the measures. (2, Kommersant, 2, Vremya Novostei, 2, Gazeta, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 5, MK, 2)

Lyubov Kudelina, chief of the Defense Ministry' s Economic and Financial Service, stated on Wednesday what has been done not to allow the monetarization of social benefits to worsen the servicemen' s material position. (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 9, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, Russky Kuryer, 2, MK, 2)

The Federation Council on Wednesday recommended to the gvt to postpone a transfer to a 100 percent housing and utilities payment by the tenants. The story comments on Senators' this and other recommendations. (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 3, Vremya Novostei, 2)

Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov in the Federation Council on Wednesday delivered a 2-hour report about concrete violations in regions and in siloviki departments. Ustinov stressed the need to work jointly with Senators to draft a new bill concerning the Prosecutor General' s Office The story examines several provisions from the report. focusing on Ustinov' s statement on Ukrainian Acting Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko. (3, Kommersant, 1, 2, 10, Gazeta, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Russky Kuryer, 4 Vremya Novostei, 1, 3)

Survivors and leaders from over 40 countries will attend the ceremony devoted to the 60th anniversary of the liberation by the Soviet troops of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. The story describes the event. (3, Vremya Novostei, 1, 3, 5, MK, 3)

Alexander Gusev, Director-General of the Judicial Department attached to the Supreme Court, on Wednesday stated the need to create a security service for the courts. The story comments on his statement. (3, Gazeta, 6)

Georgia' s President Mikheil Saakashvili at the PACE session on Wednesday made public his new proposal in settling down the crisis in South Ossetia. The story reveals the essence of his proposals, focusing on South Ossetia' s President Eduard Kokoity' s reply from Moscow. (4, Kommersant, 10)

Moscow police and FSB officers on Wednesday night detained a student, who is suspected of organizing explosions near the office building of the Bank of Moscow on Jan. 25 and on Dec. 25. The story gives details. (5, Gazeta, 6, Zhizn, 7)

Academic Yury Ryzhov Wednesday stated that, in his opinion, he had been summoned to the FSB to discuss his civil stand during the court trial on the case of physicist Danilov, who was convicted for espionage. Brief. (5, Novaya Gazeta, No. 6, pp. 1, 2)

The Supplement is devoted to Azerbaijan. (6, 7)

In a far-ranging interview Azeri Transport Minister Ziya Mamedov talks about his ministry' s significant efforts to connect the West with the East in different aspects. (6)

The scandal connected with the hearing of the Yukos case in PACE is snowballing. Thus, British parliamentarian Bruce Malcolm (Sp. ?) in Strasbourg on Wednesday stated that the Yukos Board of Directors, avoiding persecution by Russian authorities, has asked for political asylum in Britain. Yukos has flatly rejected this information. (9, Kommersant, 1, 7, Noviye Izvestia, 3, Gazeta, 9, Vremya Novostei, 3, Russky Kuryer, 9)

The World Economic Forum opened in Davos on Wednesday. The story examines its agenda, saying that Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov and UES CEO Anatoly Chubais have been delegated to the forum. (10, Kommersant, 14)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov has signed a decree, according to which the tax on the privatized apartments in the city this year will be increased. The story examines the document. (13)

KOMMERSANT (27/1/2005)

The Defense Ministry in a couple of days intends to have its own federal television channel. With this aim in view, Minister Sergei Ivanov has sent a letter to Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov with a request to help. The story comments on the minister' s decision. A draft of the gvt directive concerning the creation of the national television channel " Zvezda" . (1, 3)

The Independent Press-Center on Wednesday sponsored a round table timed to coincide with the presentation of a comprehensive report on the monitoring of abuse by the administrative resource during the 2003 elections to the State Duma. The discussion showed that the presidential administration was a main source of abuse. The story comments on this conclusion. (3)

Germany' s representative in PACE Sabina Loithoizer-Schnappenberger (Sp. ?) , a main reporter on the Yukos case, stated at a news conference on Wednesday that Russia after PACE' s resolution on this issue will have to change its attitude to Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Platon Lebedev and to Yukos as a whole. The story comments on her statement, saying that neither the Russian delegation, nor Yukos lawyers believe that the PACE resolution will affect in any way the court trials. (7)

About a thousand pensioners in St. Petersburg on Wednesday staged a protest near the building of the City Legislative Assembly that instead of its regular work had to receive envoys from the protesters. As a result, the St. Petersburg parliament has become the first one in the country to contest the scandalous monetarization law in the Constitutional Court. (8)

The Levada Analytical Center on Wednesday made public results of its January opinion poll to see how Russians regard the monetarization of social benefits. The story examines results, noting the fall of the president' s approval rating. (8)

The Central Bank has allowed another 49 credit organizations to join the system of insuring deposits. The overall number of such banks has reached 547. The brief offers a list of banks that on Wednesday received a positive verdict from the Central Bank. (13)

Andrei Klepach, Director of the Economic Development Ministry' s Department on Macroeconomic Forecast, stated on Wednesday that according to preliminary data, Russia' s economic growth last year amounted to 6. 9 percent. Brief. (13)

BNP Paribas on Wednesday officially announced a rupture of the deal to buy the Russky Standart bank. The story examines the reason, saying that one of last year' s most high-profile banking deals in Russia has failed. (14)

Canadian Kinross Gold Corp. extracting gold in the Magadan region, officially confirmed on Wednesday that it is curtailing its business in the region. The story says why. (14)

State-run Pulkovo on Wednesday signed an agreement with American International Lease Finance Corp. on leasing two Boeing 737-500 passenger planes. The story comments on the document. (16)

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) on Wednesday published a statement concerning issues of placing ads of strong alcohol in the mass media. In an interview FAS deputy head Andrei Kashevarov comments on the issue. (17)

VEDOMOSTI (27/1/2005)

The gvt is willing to strongly limit the tax agencies' duties in conducting check-ups. President Putin has backed the revolutionary proposals of his ministers. (A1)

The Russky Standart bank has its chance to become half-French :bank owner Rustam Tariko and BNP Paribas have ruptured the deal, one of the biggest on the domestic financial market. (A1)

The focus of the current Davos World Economic Forum, with its more than 2, 200 participants from 96 countries is on China, India and Japan. Its six separate session will be devoted to China alone. (A1)

Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev reported to the president on Friday that last year' s results in his sector were positive and promised not to allow soaring prices of meat, particularly of pork. Brief. (A1)

The brief names the draft of the federal bill concerning fixed-route taxis that envisages one and the same rules for all regions. (A1)

The results of January opinion polls taken by the Levada Center and VTSIOM show that Russians for the failed monetarization of social benefits accuse mainly the federal gvt and the president rather than the governors. The story offers several results. (A2)

The year 2004 was not very favourable for investments. The growth of investments in almost all economic sectors slowed down, and it even decreased in several industries. Due to the worsened investment climate, enterprises are willing to invest a considerably lower share of their profits than two years ago. (A3)

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko intends to work hard for Ukraine' s accession to the World Trade Organization and the European Union. What consequences for Russia and for other countries will his attempts lead to? Four experts share their viewpoints. (A4)

In an interview Yury Roslyak, Deputy Moscow Mayor and head of the Moscow Economic Policy and Development Department, talks about different sources of revenues to the city budget, focusing on Moscow privatization programs. (A5)

If you are looking for a new job-- how to conceal it from the leadership and your colleagues? The story gives several good recommendations. (A7)

VEDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENT

The placing of shares of AFK Sistema on the London Exchange can bring its founder Vladimir Yevtushenkov and other shareholders up to $270 million. Sistema has received permission to sell outside Russia not only shares specially issued for IPO, but also about 2. 5 percent from among those shares belonging to its present shareholders. (B1)

Sibneft has re-registered its trading subsidiary Sibneft Oil Trade from British Virginia Islands to Austria. Such a choice has surprised investors: they believe that Austrian residence registration could be chosen by the image. (B1)

Investors have believed again that French Danone can increase its package of shares of Wimm-Bill-Dann (WBD) . Since the start of this year alone, the capitalization of WBD has increased by 15 percent, and WBD Development Vice-President Yakov Ioffe stated on Wednesday that the share of Danone in the company' s capital will soon change. (B1)

The shareholders of the Yaroslavl tire works on Wednesday elected a new Overseeing Council, all seats in which went to SIBUR representatives. Brief. (B1)

The Lithuanian Economics Ministry has sent a proposal to the Dutch Yukos Finance (subsidiary of Yukos) to purchase (9. 72 percent) by the republic the additional issuance of shares of the oil extracting concern Mazeikiu Nafta. Yukos today owns 53. 7 percent of shares of the Mazeikiu Nafta concern Brief. (B1)

MTS by Feb. 14 will extend a program of American depositary receipts (ADRs) on MTS shares up to 39 percent from 23 percent, said the company' s press release. This increase will allow the company' s GDR owners to convert them into ADRs. Brief. (B1)

Schlumberger has resumed its services to Yuganskneftegaz that recently became the state-controlled property. Now Rosneft can become a leading client of Schlumberger and count on a resumption of its new subsidiary' s extraction growth. (B2)

The St. Petersburg gvt has announced its plans to put up for trade 61 land plots, mainly in big lots, for the construction of gas filling stations. (B2)

The Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs investment banks will pay $40 million each to settle accusations of soaring prices of shares during the IPO period of technical boom in 1999-2000. (B3)

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (27/1/2005)

The Belarussian leadership has endorsed a project of the construction of a nuclear power plant. This news is being broadly discussed in the country, though state authorities are thoroughly concealing it. Former parliamentary deputy Vladimir Parfyonovich has become a source of this sensational information. The story examines the project, saying that this plant if it is built will allow Belarus to give up its dependence on Russian gas and to resolve many other problems. (1, 4)

The re-division of the television market is continuing. Thus, in the past 10 days mass media presidential adviser Mikhail Lesin stated twice that a Russian analogue of CNN would look really good as Channel 3 (instead of TVTsentr) . The story comments on his statement. (1, 3)

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Tuesday evening passed a tough resolution on the so-called Yukos case. , which doubts the objectivity of Russian authorities. PACE in voting rejected all amendments proposed by the Russian side. In an interview Germany' s representative Sabina Loithoizer Schnappenberger (Sp. ?) , the author of the report on the Yukos case that became the basis for the PACE resolution, talks about its major provisions 1, 5

Kazakhstan' s leadership today is discussing a program of reforming the existing political system The main disputes are taking place in the main working body -- The National Commission on Issues of Democratization under the president. The story examines the discussion, proposals and the essence of the program. (4)

ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA (27/1/2005)

In a far-ranging interview Unified Energy Systems (UES) Management Board Chairman Anatoly Chubais shares his view on the replacement of social benefits with cash payments. He also examines in detail his stand on reforming the electrical energy sector. Chubais explains why he dislikes Dostoyevsky. (1, 10)

NOVIYE IZVESTIA (27/1/2005)

In an interview Russia-Belarus State Secretary Pavel Borodin sums up intermediate results of the process of Russia-Belarus unification, focusing on its specific features and problems. (1, 4)

Rodina leader Dmitry Rogozin and his 4 faction associates have been continuing their hunger strike for the 7th day in protest of the monetarization of social benefits. Their strike is ever more acquiring a humorous tint. The story gives several concrete facts to illustrate the point. (2)

Moscow authorities early this week sponsored a round table to discuss the role of the Chechen diaspora in restoring the republic. The story describes the discussion and its participants, their proposals and conclusions. (2)

In early February the gvt will discuss the Program of Russia' s Social and Economic Development in 2005-2008 that was drafted by the Economic Development Ministry. Businessmen and experts are unanimous in the opinion that this " epoch-making" document will not save Russia from the economic crisis. (3)

The dollar on Wednesday again went up in price. Its consolidation toward the ruble, however, will not last long, since the US Budget Board of US Congress forecasts the fall of the dollar in the next 2 years. The story comments on this prediction. (3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 10)

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin on Wednesday assured that an increase in pensions will not be swallowed up by inflation, since the gvt and the Central Bank intend this year to lower its pace. In the meantime, many experts believe that inflation will inevitably surpass the boundaries set by authorities. What will also play its role in it is the fact that producers' prices last year soared by almost 30 percent. (3)

In an interview Trans-Dniestria' s President Igor Smirnov talks about the current political situation in his republic, in which Russian peacekeepers are stationed. (4)

The First Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art will open in Moscow. The story describes this great event, focusing on its participants and program. (5)

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA (27/1/2005)

The Audit Chamber is marking its 10th anniversary. In a short interview its Chairman Sergei Stepashin says how this anniversary will be celebrated. (3)

The consctruction of an entertainment complex -- an Aqua-Park-- has been launched in Gudermes. It will cost about 5. 6 million euros. The story describes the project, reporting how Chechen gvt head Sergei Abramov regards it. In 2005 24. 8 billion rubles will be allocated from the federal budget on the restoration of Chechnya. Mikhail Delyagin, science leader of the Institute of the Problems of Globalization, comments on the figure. (4)

The Moscow Region Prosecutor' s Office would like to know how Health Minister Mikhail Zurabov has obtained his plot of land that costs $4 million. One highly-placed official from the Nature Ministry in a private talk shed light on that purchase. (6)resident Putin has 4 telephones in his Kremlin office. How does he use them? Who can call Putin? The story offers information from Kremlin sources. (9)