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Press Review

IZVESTIA (21/11/2005)

President Putin on Sunday arrived in Japan, where today the official Russian- Japanese negotiations will begin, and the business elites of both countries will meet. The story describes Putin' s first action in Tokyo, focusing on his statement concerning the Kuril Islands. Results of the APEC forum in South Korean Busan are also examined. (1, 3, Kommersant, 1, 2, 10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Novaya Gazeta, No. 87, p. 10, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Gazeta, 7, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, MK, 3)

Sociologists from the Public Opinion Fund have conducted an opinion poll to see how Russians regard the Kuril Islands issue. The story examines results, saying that almost 67 percent of them believe that the " disputable islands should belong to Russia and that Japan should refused from them " .(3)

The ruble rate can be soon liberalized and then it may considerably consolidate in relation to the dollar and the euro. In an interview Alexei Ulyukayev forecasts the ruble rate in the next several years, focusing on how authorities will fight inflation. (1, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 3)

The salary of budget workers (doctors, teachers, librarians) next year will be increased by 27. 6 percent -- this figure was approved by the State Duma on Saturday when it passed the draft budget-2006 in the third reading. The story examines how it will happen, focusing on whom this initiative belongs to. (1, 2, 6, Vremya Novostei, 2, Gazeta, 17, 19)

A group of Senators has submitted to the State Duma a draft bill concerning a collegium of authorized prosecutors m and will make the S. D. consider it. This was stated on Sunday by Senator Anatoly Lyskov. The story reveals the essence of the bill. (1, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 2)

First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday in the seat of prime minister held a session of the Presidium of the Council on implementing the priority national projects, a body that experts have already called the " parallel gvt" . The story describes the session, saying that in Medvedev' s confession, the implementation of the projects was already a month behind the schedule. (2, Vremya Novostei, 1, Gazeta, 17, 19)

US President George W. Bush from Busan on Saturday went to China, where he met its leader Hu Jintao, with whom he talked about the economy, trade, human rights, bird flu and about piratical copying of American films and computer software. The story describes Bush' s visit. (3, Kommersant, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3)

Patriarch of the modern school of newspaper journalism Semyon Gurevich, Professor of the MGU Journalism Department, has turned 85 today. The story highlights this remarkable person. (3)

President Putin on the occasion of prima ballerina Maya Plisetskaya' s 80th birthday awarded her with the Order for " High Contribution to the Fatherland" First Rank. Brief. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 6, Vremya Novostei, 1)

UN Russian employee Vladimir Kuznetsov arrested by American authorities on suspicion of laundering money, was released on Friday on a $500, 000 bail. The money was paid by the gvt. The story examines the incident, saying that it is already the second case when Russia pays in a bail for its citizen--the first one was Pavel Borodin, State Secretary of the Russia-Belarus union state. (4, Vremya Novostei, 2)

The story examines a new system of voting in the Television Academy that selected worthy winners of the TEFI Prize. The focus is on academics, who disliked the system. (4, Kommersant, 6)

Mikhail Men, another deputy of Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, will be presented tomorrow to the Legislative Assembly of the Ivanovo region as a candidate to the post of the region' s head. The story notes that he is the third person from the Luzhkov team, who becomes governor. The story says what the loss of Men means for the Luzhkov team. (4, Vremya Novostei, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

Unidentified assailants in Dnepropetrovsk (Ukraine) in the small hours of the morning on Sunday attempted to assassinate famous Russian tennis player Andrei Chesnokov The story gives details. (4, Kommersant, 1, 5, )

Ukraine on Nov. 22 will for the first time celebrate the national holiday --the Freedom Day. The story examines several special events prepared for that jubilee day. (5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 5)

The US Senate has unanimously endorsed a draft bill that has cancelled for Ukraine the Jackson-Vanik amendment. This amendment was introduced against the USSR and has been in existence since 1974. Brief. (5, Kommersant, 10)

According to the Federal State Statistics Service, the volume of foreign investments in Russia in January-September decreased by 7. 9 percent as compared with the figure for the nine months last year. The story comments on this figure, giving a list of countries that are making investments in Russia. (9)

Alexander Medvedev, deputy head of Gazprom, late last week made a statement saying that he did not exclude a purchase from TNK-BP 50 percent of shares of Slavneft. Experts estimate this asset at $7 billion-$8 billion and say that TNK-BP will hardly reject this deal. The story reveals the essence of Medvedev' s statement. (9, Vremya Novostei, 7)

The Yury Levada sociological Center has conducted an opinion poll to see how Russians regard rich people. The brief examines results. (10)

Subsidized medicines often do not reach their recipients, and therefore, the gvt this year decided to change the system of their distribution. Thus, results of the tender held among wholesale suppliers of medicines will be announced in a couple of days. The story describes the tender and its participants, among whom are not only Moscow companies but scores of regional suppliers as well. (10)

KOMMERSANT (21/11/2005)

The State Duma on Friday unanimously passed (in the third, crucial reading) the federal budget-2006. The story focuses on those supplements to the budget that the gvt has failed to submit and, therefore, several significant issues were left unsolved. (2, Gazeta, 17, 19)

Chechnya' s State Council head Taus Dzhabrailov intends to withdraw his candidacy from the parliamentary elections in the republic scheduled for Nov. 27. The story comments on his decision. (3 )

The State Duma on Friday passed (in the first reading) a draft bill on improving the system of dividing powers among different power levels. Several S. D. committees expressed their claims to the gvt draft bill. The story examines them in detail. (3)

Saratov public organizations leaders intend to contest in court the results of the Nizhny Novgorod conference on Nov. 3 that nominated candidates to the Public Chamber. Camara public figures believe that the conference was held with numerous violations. The story looks at them. (3)

Presidential new envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Kamil Iskhakov, who arrived in Khabarovsk on Sunday, will be introduced to his regional executive staff. The story describes his arrival, his plans and his first probable economic problems. (4)

Residents in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on Saturday staged a rally in defense of the territorial integrity of Kuril Islands that was to coincide with the beginning of President Putin' s official visit to Japan. The story describes the rally, its participants and their demands. (4)

Finance Minister of the Kaliningrad region Yelena Matveyeva on Friday confirmed that the regional gvt intends to spend over $1 million on buying apartments for officials coming to work here from Russian cities. The story comments on her statement, saying for whom these apartment are designated. (4)

A small private passenger plane Cessna 208 Caravan 1 suffered an accident in the Moscow region on Saturday evening. All its eight people were killed. The story gives details. (5)

In an interview French Ambassador to Russia Jeanne Coude (Sp. ?) analyzes reasons behind young migrants' riots that had been raging for three weeks on French streets, focusing on serious possible consequences. He also examines lessons his country has drawn from them. (11)

Diamond-extracting AKALROSA before the end of this year will develop a concept of diversifying the company' s business in the sphere of oil, gas and coal. This was stated by a source in the company. He stated in part that the company can buy new assets in this sphere. (Brief. (13)

The Federal Tax Service Board for the Samara region on Saturday sanctioned the arrest of Volgotanker' s property, due to its tax claims to the company for 2001. The brief examines the conflicting situation. (13)

RusAL and the gvt of Montenegro have signed an agreement on a 20-year exploitation of bauxite deposit outside the Nikshic (Sp. ?) city. The Russian side will pay 6 million euros for concession to use the deposit. Brief. (13)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov in a couple of days is expected to sign a decree on endorsing the provision concerning the Investment Fund of the Russian Federation. It was drafted by Economic Development Minister German Gref. The story examines the document, saying how experts regard it. (15)

The international avia show opened in Airport Dubai on Sunday. The story describes this show, focusing on Russia' s participation in it. (16)

VEDOMOSTI (21/11//2005)

Slavneft that Sibneft and TNK-BP for 3 years had been unable to divide may obtain a single owner. Gazprom that bought Sibneft recently announced that it would like to buy out a share in Slavneft and in a Russian- British company. (A1)

" The former chief of the import department" has sparked a stock-jobbing on the copper market, having opened the future positions on the sale of 200, 000 tons and disappeared. If China decides to implement his contracts copper prices may go down by 40 percent. (A1)

Expensive oil will not intensify economic growth in Russia in 2006 but only add headache to state officials. In order inflation does not exceed 8. 5 percent, the gvt and deputies will not have to spend even a kopeck from additional revenues of the budget. (A1)

The Constitutional Court will decide soon whether the cancellation of the direct elections of the heads of regions correspond to the Constitution. The new procedure of giving them powers without the national elections was proposed by President Putin in September 2004 immediately after Beslan. In essence it will be a trial over the Yeltsin understanding of the federation, over the principle of " take as much sovereignty as you can swallow" . (A1, A4)

The gvt on Friday paid in a bail for arrested in New York Russian UN employee Vladimir Kuznetsov. Moscow doubts the fairness of accusations brought in against Kuznetsov: his case is connected with an investigation into abuse within the Oil for Food program. , and this investigation often uses unchecked facts. (A2)

The APEC summit in Busan that completed its work over the weekend has endorsed a concluding declaration, in which one line was devoted to Russia: APEC has backed its accession to the WTO. The summit hosts have refused to sign a cooperation agreement with Russia in the gas sphere. Why? (A2)

The Russian branch of Greenpeace has lodged its complaint in the Prosecutor' s Office against Rodina. Environmentalists threatened to make Dmitry Rogozin' s party responsible for an illegal use of the name and trade mark of the international organization that traditionally stands out of politics. (A2)

Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukerdji (Sp. ?) got interested in the design of a fighter of the fifth generation developed by MiG designers and does not want to fund the similar design made by the Sukhoi company. (A3)

In a far-ranging interview Oleg Astafurov, Director-General of the " Center for Imposing Protek" , talks about his attitude to foreign managers, to the Federal Service for Control over the Turnover of Narcotics, to the program of the monetarization of social benefits and to his business rivals. (A5)

VEDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENT

Uralsib has become a leading domestic private bank being controlled by Vagit Alekperov and Nikolai Tsvetkov. The story describes the financial corporation Uralsib and its components. (B1)

The Inter-Regional Tax Inspectorate of the Federal Tax Service in the Samara region on different grounds is trying to recover from AvtoVAZ through court about 740 million rubles. The company' s press releases say that AvtoVAZ now is taking part in 18 court cases suing tax agencies. Brief. (B1)

Italian Eni SpA and Gazprom within the framework of cooperation may jointly obtain packages of shares of several domestic oil and gas companies. This was stated by the newspaper " Il Sole 24 Ore" with reference to an unnamed source. Brief (B1)

The IPO of French Electricite de France will bring to the company about 7 billion euros, which will be a big international transaction of this kind over the past 4 years. The price of a share of the company is set at the level of 33 euros. Brief. (B1)

The territorial generating company No. 1 (TGK-1) may enter international financial markets, including IPO and launching the ADR program, starting the second -third quarters of 2007. This was stated by TGK-1. Brief. (1)

The gvt when considering the investment program and budget of Gazprom for 2006 can demand to include Sibneft in the monopoly' s budget. Brief. (B1)

Gazprom in 2006 plans to pay out from its own means to the syndicate of banks that gave it a $4 billion credit to buy Sibneft. Brief(. B1)

The story examines Rosimushchestvo' s initiative to leave in the hands of the state the controlling stake in the new avia holding being created now on the basis of the KrasAir aviation company. (B2)

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (21/11/2005)

The State Duma next week will consider (in the first reading) amendments to the bills regulating the activities of foreign charity funds in Russia-- next year they will be placed under strict control of the state. The State Duma on Friday heatedly discussed 500 million rubles allocated from the budget on maintaining domestic democracy. As it turned out, the sum will be considerably increased soon. The story examines how this money will be distributed. (1, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 2)

The personnel shake-up in the gvt and the Kremlin administration last week have given birth to many rumours and suppositions, one of which is connected with head of the Tyumen region Sergei Sobyanin, who has moved to Moscow. He has been appointed head of the Kremlin administration. What of personal characteristics have suited the president and what are his political prospects? Five politicians, spin doctors, State Duma deputies and party leaders share their viewpoints. (1, 2)

British Petroleum Chief Managing Director John Brown is expected to arrive in Moscow early this week to meet with Gazprom head Alexei Miller. The story examines factors that makes John Brown' s visit urgent. (1, 4)

As many as 300 people came to Hotel Metropol in Moscow on Saturday to attend an auction that took place in two of its restaurant halls. The story describes the auction, its artistic lots, participants and their purchases. (1, 2)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Saturday made a two-hour stopover in Tbilisi on his way from Islamabad to New York. The story describes his visit, focusing on his negotiations with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. (3)

The story describes a continuing tense situation in Baku (Azerbaijan) and in several other districts of the republic after the parliamentary elections there, saying that the opposition has no intention to agree with their results. (3)

The Unified Energy Systems (UES) holding has completed its check-ups of all its energy systems' preparedness for winter. The holding executives inspected 992 enterprises of the energy holding and were quite satisfied with the results. The story examines them in detail. (4)

Ukraine next year will buy Turkmenian natural gas at the price of $44 per thousand cubic meters. This was stated by Ukraine' s First Fuel and Energy Deputy Minister Alexei Ivchenko, head of the Managing Board of Neftegaz Ukrainy. The story examines Ukraine' s serious gas problems. (4)

The story describes a tense political situation in Chechnya before upcoming presidential elections scheduled there for Nov. 27. (7, Noviye Izvestia, 2)

ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA (21/11/2005)

The Kaliningrad Regional Duma on Saturday passed (in the first reading) a draft bill concerning cutting its own staff. The story examines what is meant by such a cutting. Who will be sacked? (1)

The story examines a significant document-- a list of 270 children' s pre-school daytime care centers that have been privatized and that the Moscow gvt asks federal authorities to return to those, whom they belonged to before privatization. (1, 4)

The first electronic auto controller (parkomat) appeared in Moscow on Saturday on 15, Tverskaya Ulitsa. The story describes this novelty, saying that such controllers will come to all private parking garages by the beginning of 2006. (1, 4 )

The Patriots of Russia party in Moscow on Saturday held its 5th Congress, at which party leader Gennady Semigin presented the party' s new project. The story reveals its essence. (2)

The leaders of the Narodnaya Volya (People' s Will) party in the State Duma on Friday gave a news conference, which presented journalists with the party' s appeal to Russians. The story examines the appeal. (2)

The story describes how Moscow authorities intend to remove ice in winter from the stairs leading down to the metro. This is a painful problem for metro passengers, many of whom have been left disabled. (4)

Campaign ads for the upcoming elections to the Moscow City Duma will be shown in the Moscow metro. With this aim in view, the Moscow City Elections Commission has signed an agreement with the Moscow metro administration. The story describes this planned act, saying that its will be launched in early December. (4)

NOVIYE IZVESTIA (21/11/2005)

Ukraine tomorrow will mark the first anniversary of its orange revolution --the Freedom Day. The story features special holiday events that have been planned to honour this day. In an interview Ukrainian Ambassador to Russia Nikolai Beloblotsky talks about a new stage in Ukrainian-Russian relationships. (1, 4)

The Moscow City Duma has proposed to prolong the free housing privatization for another three years. The story looks at the reason behind such a proposal. (1, 3)

In an interview Rossport head Vyacheslav Fetisov explains why he will not nominate his candidacy for the post of President of the Olympic Committee of Russia. (1, 8)

The Military -Sovereign Union of Russia and the International Union of Veterans of the Armed Forces and Law- Enforcers have agreed to create a people' s tribunal that will try oligarchs robbing Russia and the Russian people. In an interview Leonid Ivashov, Vice-President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, tells how this tribunal will work and whom it will try. (2)

According to the Federal State Statistics Service, foreigners in the 9 months of this year invested in the Russian economy by 7. 9 percent less money than they did in the same period last year. Independent experts, however, believe that the outgoing year in the sphere of investment was not so bad as it may seem. The story comments on the problem, saying that real problem will appear in the near future when international investors will cut their investments in the oil industry and will begin to invest in high technologies. (3)