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Press Review

IZVESTIA (25/1/2005)

ommentary is made regarding results of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko' s negotiations with President Putin in the Kremlin on Monday. Both presidents discussed the appointment of Julia Timoshenko to the post of Acting Prime Minister. All central papers comment on the visit. (1, 2, Kommersant, 1, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 4, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Gazeta, 1, 3, Russky Kuryer, 1, 2, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, Trud, 1, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Zhizn, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 6, MK, 1, 2, Sovetskaya Rossiya, 3)

In an interview Ukraine' s Acting Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko talks about her first moves at this post. (1, 2, Kommersant, 1, 10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 2)

The Russian court' s resolution concerning Julia Timoshenko' s arrest remains valid. A short commentary. (1, Gazeta, 3)

Not long before President Putin' s trip to attend the festivities devoted to the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Auschwitz concentration camp, 20 State Duma deputies from the Rodina and KPRF factions signed public representatives' Appeal to the prosecutor general. They ask him to institute proceedings aimed at outlawing all Jewish organizations in Russia. The story examines the content of the appeal. (1, 3, Vremya Novostei, 3)

The story examines results of the gubernatorial elections in the Nenets Autonomous Area on Sunday, focusing on the defeat of United Russia' s protege Alexander Shmakov, Director-General of the Polyarnoye Siyaniye company. (2, Kommersant, 3, Gazeta, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Vremya Novostei, 4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4)

The story comments on the speech by Kyrgyzstan' s President Askar Akayev at the International Conference in Moscow on Monday devoted to the 250th anniversary of State University. (2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 5, Krasnaya Zvezda, 3, )

The story examines issues that Syria' s President Bashar Assad, who arrived in Moscow on Monday, will discuss with President Putin. (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 8, Vremya Novostei, 5, Krasnaya Zvezda, 3, MK, 2)

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin and Health Minister Mikhail Zurabov at a traditional Monday gvt session presided over by President Putin reported what they have done to improve the critical situation with the monetarization of social benefits. The story examines their reports. (1, 3, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, MK, 2)

A new wave of public protests has emerged now --people are making new demands. The story examines them in detail. (3)

The St. Petersburg City Court on Monday opened the first trial of Vladimir Soloveichik, and activist of the city Civil Initiatives Movement, who is accused of organizing unsanctioned rallies that blocked highways. The story details the case. (4)

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin stated on Monday that the number of protesters against the monetarization of social benefits amounts to 1 percent, which, in his opinion, is a mere minority. But sociologists disagrees, saying that the acts of protest have massive support. The story comments on sociologists' assessments. (4)

Timur Aliyev, Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper " Chechenskoye Obshchestvo" criticizes the draft bill concerning the procedure of entry to and exit from the Russian Federation that the State Duma on Jan. 12 passed in the first reading. The story reveals the essence of his criticisms. (4)

The story examines several issues that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) plans to discuss at its session that opened on Monday. (5, Kommersant, 11, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 6)

The book titled " The Reader of Al-Qaida" (?) by Osama bin Laden and his companion-in-arms will appear in American book- shops next year. The story reviews the book. (5)

The book titled " Russian Customs for Finns" published in Finland examines the specific features of doing business in Russia. It teaches Finnish entrepreneurs how to give bribes in this country. The story reviews the book. (6, Gazeta, 3)

Dagestani prosecutors late last week instituted criminal proceedings against Ramzan Kadyrov' s siloviki, who beat local police on Jan. 10 when they detained Kadyrov' s sister Zulai Kadyrova. The story details the case. (1, 6, Kommersant, 5, Vremya Novostei, 1)

Moscow police Monday detained two teenagers (their names are given) who on Sunday defiled 10 grave- stones in a Muslim cemetery. The story details their case. (6)

The story looks at new members in the LUKoil Board of Directors, who were elected on Monday. Thus, Mierse Omar (Sp. ?) in the company will represent its new shareholder --Conoco Phillips that has bought 10 percent of shares of LUKoil, and Alexander Shokhin, head of the Higher School of Economics, will be an independent member of the company' s Board of Directors. (9)

Tomskneft VNK, a leading subsidiary of Yukos, has fully cleared off its 2. 3 billion ruble debt for 2002. This was stated by the company' s press service head, Leonid Vleskov. Brief. (9, Kommersant, 13, Gazeta, 9, Vremya Novostei, 8)

Italian Fiat Monday demanded from American General Motors (GM) to meet its long-standing promise and buy 90 percent of shares of Fiat Auto. Feb. 2 is the deadline when GM should give its reply. The story describes the conflicting situation. (10, Vremya Novostei, 8)

Audit Chamber deputy head Alexander Semikolennykh believes that state-run Rosneft is ineffective in its expenses. What he meant is the company' s distribution of its earned profits rather than its purchase of Yuganskneftegaz. The story comments on the auditor' s statement. (10, Gazeta, 9)

Mechel at an open auction on Monday bought a blocking package of the Yakutugol holding company that was put up on sale by the Property Relations Ministry of the Republic of Sakha. Brief. (10, Kommersant, 16)

Russia intends to receive $6 billion for 15 percent of shares of Yuganskneftegaz that was bought by the state-run Rosneft company. Thus, the sum of $2 billion offered by Indian ONGC-Videsh for the package of shares of Yuganskneftegaz has turned out to be much lower than that expected by the Russian gvt. Brief. (10)

In an interview Vneshtorgbank President Andrei Kostin talks about his plan to reorganizer his bank and to buy foreign banks. (11)

The dollar after the previous three days of rise lost 14 kopecks on Monday. The story examines what caused its fall. (11, Kommersant, 15 )

Mayor Yury Luzhkov has endorsed a 3 -day program of celebrating the 250th anniversary of Moscow State University. The brief mentions several basic events. (13, Kommersant, 21, Vremya Novostei, 10, Gazeta, 4, 5, MK, 6)

KOMMERSANT (25/1/2005)

Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev has sent a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov with a proposal to impose state monopoly on the turnover of ethyl alcohol. The story reveals its essence. (1, 13)

Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov' s supporters on Monday filed a suit in a court against the Justice Ministry contesting the latter' s ruling of July 2004 on declaring legal the dismissal of Zyuganov from the post of leader of the People' s-Patriotic Union of Russia (or NPSR) . But in reality the plaintiffs are opposing the " privatization " of NPSR by its present leader Gennady Semigin. (4)

The Interpol has put Andrei Khovanov, Citi-Energo Director-General, on the wanted list. Moscow police have accused him of bribing witnesses. The story details his case. (5)

The Kazan Moskovsky District Court on Monday opened a trial of former State Duma deputy and notorious entrepreneur Sergei Shashurin, who is accused of slandering Tatarstan' s Interior Minister Asgat Safarov and his aides. The story describes the case. (5)

A powerful fire in a dormitory of the Interior Ministry troops in Moscow on Monday killed two servicemen and injured another seven people, who were hospitalized. The story details the incident. (6)

The Moscow region Prosecutor' s Office has instituted criminal proceedings against Mikhail Konyukhov, Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper " Lyuberetskaya Pravda" , who is accused of extorting over $10, 000 from Lytkarino city head Nikolai Deryabin. The story describes the case. (6)

The Moscow Duma Security Commission on Monday was submitted a draft bill concerning administrative responsibility for violating the public order in Moscow. The story examines its main provisions, focusing on its expediency. (8)

The Russian " Industrial Investors" company is named one of the most probable winner of the auction to sell the Georgian Sea Steamship-Line for $8- million-$90 million. The brief looks at the auction and its participants. (13)

AFK Sistema has announced personnel reshuffles in the corporation' s top leadership. The brief looks at new names. (13 )

British Amarin Corp. on Monday announced the appointment of former Yukos head Semyon Kukes non-executive director. The story comments on this appointment, saying that Kukes is a co-owner of Amarin. (13)

KamAZ intends to invest $40 million in the production of tractors KamAZ KT-240K by the Semipalatinsk MashZavod company in Kazakhstan. (13, 20)

VEDOMOSTI (25/1/2005)

Vladimir Yevtushenkov, the main owner of AFK Sistema, is willing to answer in person before investors for managing his holding. Not long before a public placement of shares, the AFK magnate took over the commanding post in the company that he quit way back 10 years ago. (A1 )

Taimuraz Bolloyev, who late last year quit the post of president of Baltika, has bought the controlling stake of the clothes factory in St. Petersburg. The factory director is a good friend of Bolloyev and a long time ago to draw him into his business. (A1)

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has kept his promised and paid his first foreign visit to Russia. He told President Putin that Russia and Ukraine are permanent partners and promised to observe the agreements that were signed by his predecessor. (A1)

The Federal Tax Service in 2004 collected 1973. 9 billion rubles in revenues to the federal budget, which is by 17. 3 percent more than the figure for 2003. Brief. (A1)

The story examines how Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has distributed posts in the gvt. The post of Acting Prime Minister went to Julia Timoshenko, called " gas princess" . (A2)

The International Group dealing with Climate Change Problems has presented its report asserting that if no urgent measures are taken then global warming will acquire an inevitable character in the next 10 days. (A3)

Ukraine' s accession to NATO may adversely affect the fate of the Russian military-industrial complex. It will curtail the military productions in Ukrainian plants, and Russian exporters without their deliveries will lose their profits. (A3)

State Duma deputy Dmitry Rogozin has proposed to provide electors with the right to revoke deputies who have been elected by the proportionate system. Will it be possible to make deputies not shirk their duties? Five experts share their viewpoints. (A4)

In an far-ranging interview Bernd Bishoff, the President and Director-General of the Fujitsu Siemens Computers German-Japanese joint venture, talks about his profit-making company, focusing on the key regions in its business. (A5)


Deutsche Bank decided to become the only owner of one of the leading Russian investment banks -- United Financial Group (or OFG) . Deutsche bank owning 40 percent of OFG shares has used its right to buy out the remaining 60 percent from the managers and founders of the investment bank. (B1)

Steel Group Mechel has won the auction to sell the blocking package of shares of Yakutugol. In order to do it, the company had to treble the starting price and offer $411 million for the package. Experts are sure that Mechel has overpaid by 1. 5-2 times. (B1)

" Volgotanker is Not an Oil Company" -- such is an advertisement that can be seen on many Moscow streets. Incidentally, the word " oil" is painted in Yukos colours. In this way Volgotanker is repulsing from $25 million tax claims that have been made to it. (B1)

Dmitry Kamenshchik, Chairman of the EastLine Board of Directors, has joined the Board of Directors of ACI Europe (regional branch of the ACI international association of airports) . Brief. (B1)

Sibneft and Shell Global Solutions have signed an agreement on putting into effect a program of exploitation and technical servicing of the Omsk oil refinery. The brief looks at the aim of the program. (B1)

Norilsk Nickel has announced results of considering shareholders' applications submitted within the framework of the tender announced in December to buy out their own shares. Brief. (B1)

Harmony Gold Mining has announced a prolongation of the deadline of the validity of the proposal on buying shares of competing Gold Fields until March 18. This is reported by Bloomberg Brief. (B1)

After the sale of Yuganskneftegaz, authorities have begun to attack another subsidiary of Yukos -- Samaraneftegaz. They have instituted criminal proceedings against this company' s leadership, accusing it of tax evading. The story reveals the essence of the accusations. (B2)

British Sibir Energy can win back control over the assets of the Sibneft-Yugra joint venture that has been lost as a result of the additional issuance of shares in favour of Sibneft. (B2)

Bert Vos (Sp. ?) , who previously was seen as an independent director, now has become Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mezhprombank. The story comments on his appointment. (B3)


The upcoming signing of the Treaty on dividing powers between Chechnya and the federal authorities, according to which Grozny would receive unthinkable unilateral advantages and would put the Kremlin into the position of a political and economic defeatist, has caused a big scandal. The story examines the Kremlin' s reply to the document, saying how several Chechen political analysts regard it. (1, 4)

The process of preparations for a referendum on the resignation of North Ossetia' s President Alexander Dzasokhov may begin in a couple of days A group of supporters, who are relatives of children killed in the September Beslan school hostage-taking crisis, intends to collect signatures in support of the referendum. The story describes the preparations, saying that Dzasokhov hopes that the Kremlin will help him. (1, 4)

Lilia Shevtsova, an expert on the Russian presidency at the Carnegie Moscow Center, offers an in-depth analysis of the main tendencies of the development of political power, economy and social and foreign polities in Russia in 2005. (1, 10, 11)

The Union of Right Forces (or SPS) has perceived the victory of Viktor Yushchenko in the presidential elections as its own triumph. The story describes SPS top officials, who attended the inauguration ceremony of Yushchenko on Sunday. (2)

Georgia' s President Mikheil Saakashvili at a PACE session in Strasbourg today is expected to make public a plan to settle the conflict around South Ossetia. Saakashvili will make new proposals on the political status of South Ossetia as part of the single Georgian state. The story examines some of the proposals. (5)


The notorious law concerning the monetarization of social benefits, besides all its scandalous provisions, has actually allowed the privatization of educational establishments. State Duma Education and Science Committee member Oleg Denisov, head of the Management Board of the Association of Student Trade Union Organizations of the Higher Schools, comments on this provision of the law. (1, 7)

" The Triumph of Metaphysics" is a new book of Eduard Limonov, who has written it after he left the prison late last year. In an interview he talks about his new literary work, focusing on its content. (1, 5)

Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov on Monday summed up results of his contacts with Russians through the Internet. Ivanov highly assessed their contribution to the creation of a new concept of national security of Russia. Ivanov promised that all constructive proposals his team received from the public will be used in the work over the draft of one of the most significant documents. The story examines several proposals. (2)

Former State Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov on Monday became head of the Federation of Equestrian Sports. This post before him was held by Yelena Baturina, wife of the Moscow Mayor. Brief. (2)

The Volgograd branch of the KPRF promised that they will devote all this year to the struggle for renaming Volgograd into Stalingrad. There are many locals, however, who would like to rename their city into Tsarirsyn or even into Tsargrad. The story comments on the Communists' pledge. (2)

Experts from the Standard & Poor' s Agency, after analyzing the financial possibilities of several cities that would like to host the Olympic Games in 2012 say that Moscow and Madrid are not ready for this role, and among the cities that can do it are London, Paris and New York. The story comments on experts' conclusions. (3)

Neither the investment climate, nor the existing economic growth pace in Russia is able to retain inflation in the planned limits. This was stated on Monday by Pavel Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Credit Organizations and Financial Market Committee. Experts say that inflation by the end of 2005 will amount to about 16 percent. The story comments on Medvedev' s statement. (3 )

Russia' s entry to the World Trade Organization may become " pernicious" for its agrarian sector-- such is the opinion of Gennady Gorbunov, head of the Federation Council Committee on Agrarian-Food Policy. The Economic Development Ministry, however, has an opposing view. The story offers these views. (3)

Lufthansa, the world' s leading aviation carrier, late last week announced results of its performance last year. They are really very impressive. The story gives facts and figures to illustrate the point. (3)

Another diplomatic scandal has erupted between Belarus and the Czech Republic when attache of the Czech Embassy Pavel Krzhivoglavy has been declared persona non grata and has been evicted from the republic. The story says why. (4)


In an interview former Labour and Social Development Minister Alexander Pochinok, deputy presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District, shares his view on the monetarization of social benefits. (2)

Will judges stop taking bribes? Eight politicians, State Duma deputies, lawyers and judges share their views. (3)

What are the consequences of the velvet revolution in Georgia a year after it. The story examines them in detail. (4)

In an interview Georgia' s President Mikheil Saakashvili talks about administrative reform in the upper echelons of power, focusing on Georgia' s relations with Russia. (5)

Russian Football Union head Vyacheslav Koloskov in the Kremlin late last week discussed s his future plans. The story sheds light on them. (24)


The feature story highlights Muscovite Tatyana Khabarova, who today on Tatyanin Day has turned 107 years. In order to live up to 107 years, one should not work, she says. (1, 3)

Three Muscovites in the past 3 days died due to hypothermia, and another 22 people were hospitalized being diagnosed with hypothermia. As many as 86 people died from the cold in Moscow since the start of this winter. Brief (2)

Andrei Piontkovsky, Director of the Center for Strategic Studies; political scientist Stanislav Belkovsky and Alexei Makarkin, Deputy Director -General of the Center for Political Studies, answer the following questions : Will United Russia be able to win the next parliamentary elections? Do you see the internal crisis within United Russia? Rumour has it that the Kremlin would like to divide United Russia into two wings -- the right and the left ones. What do you think of it? (4)

The feature story offers concrete facts showing numerous machinations with compensations in Beslan that have made corrupt local authorities fabulously rich. (5)

The human rights Center " Memorial" last week reported that nine relatives (they are all named) of former President of Ichkeria Aslan Maskhadov, now Chechen main warlord, had been abducted. Is the aim of this act to make Maskhadov surrender? MK has conducted its own investigation of this case and offers some details. (7)