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Press Review

IZVESTIA (17/11/2005)

Swiss authorities in the small hours of the morning on Wednesday detained 54 paintings from the Moscow Pushkin Museum that were exhibited in the Swiss town of Martigny. This was done by a suit filed by the notorious NOGA firm. The incident was resolved at a high level on the same day, when the Swiss gvt allowed the paintings to go home. The story details the conflicting situation, focusing on reasons behind it. All central papers comment on the incident. (1, 3, Kommersant, 1, 4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Gazeta, 1, 8, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 5, Novaya Gazeta, No. 86, p. 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 6, Trud, 4, Moskovskaya Pravda, 1, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 3, MK, 1, 3)

Economic Development Minister German Gref on Wednesday submitted to the gvt his proposals aimed at curbing inflation in 2006. The story reveals their essence, saying that Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has his own stand on the issue that differs from Gref' s one. (1, 2, Kommersant, 1, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 9, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Gazeta, 17, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3)

The story reports on how the newly- appointed deputy prime ministers -- Sergei Ivanov and Dmitry Medvedev -- on Wednesday divided their duties. And gvt head Mikhail Fradkov stated that his fourth deputy may appear soon, and the post will go either to Valentina Matviyenko or Vladimir Yakovlev. (1, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 9, Gazeta, 19, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Novaya Gazeta, No. 86, p. 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, MK, 2)

A Japanese newspaper on the eve of President Putin' s visit to Japan with referrence to a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry (MID) reported that " Putin is willing to make a new proposal on a jointxploitation of the " northern territories" (the Kuril Islands) . This proposal will allegedly be made at Putin' s meeting with Dzyunitiro Koidzumi(Sp. ?) on Nov. 21. The story comments on the proposal, saying how the Kremlin and MID have responded. (2, Kommersant, 9, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 6, Trud, 4)

In an interview Japan' s Ambassador to Russia Issei Nomura (Sp. ?) says what Tokyo is expecting from the upcoming Japanese- Russian summit. (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 8)

The second part of the Public Chamber was elected at last on Wednesday. What will its new members deal with? Three of them talk about their duties in the Chamber. (2, Kommersant, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 9, Vremya Novostei, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 2, Gazeta, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, MK, 1 )

The story describes reasons behind two latest scandals in Russian-Georgian relations. (4, Kommersant, 10, Vremya Novostei, 5, Noviye Izvestia, 4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 5)

The State Duma on Wednesday passed amendments to the Code on Administrative Offences that considerably raises fines for drinking beer in public places. The story examines the amendments focusing on how public opinion and authorities regard them. (1, 4, 6, Vremya Novostei, 3, Moskovskaya Pravda, 1)

The State Duma on Wednesday discussed a painful issue concerning the adoption of Russian children by foreigners. The story focuses on Education Minister Andrei Fursenko' s stand on the issue. (4, Kommersant, 8, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3)

Presidential envoy to the Siberian Federal District Anatoly Kvashnin on Wednesday stated that he was against the re-registering Sibneft in St. Petersburg. The brief looks at his stand on the issue. (4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 4)

The story reports on how the Baltic states plan to make Russia pay a compensation for their occupation in 1940-1991. (5)

The North-Caucasian Regional Military Court today for the third time will begin to consider the so-called Ulman case The story reveals its essence. In an interview juror Vladimir Kolesnik talks about the main intrigues of this case. (8)

The Moscow City Court on Wednesday did not changed the verdict in the criminal case of the leaders of Prima-Bank, one of the top managers of which Ruslan Elmurzayev was among terrorists, who on Oct. 23, 2002 attacked the Dubrovka Theater. The story details the case. (8)

The gvt will submit to the State Duma a draft bill excluding an arrest as a punishment measure

Jailed Mikhail Khodorkovsky' s post of head of the Committee on RSPP' s International Relations has been taken up by oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Khodorkovsky has decided to resign. The story comments on his decision. (9, Kommersant, 15)

The gvt has drafted a document concerning the tax benefits for oil companies that should develop new deposits. The story describes Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov' s visit on Wednesday to Khanty -Mansiisk, where he met with local oilmen and the city administration. (9, Kommersant, 13)

The story examines the situation on the world baby food market being shaken by numerous scandals. What is the situation on the domestic baby food market and how to chose the proper food for the baby? The focus is on effective recommendations. (10)

The Moscow City Duma on Wednesday passed amendments to the City Charter, according to which the post of vice-mayor will be abolished. The story comments on the idea proposed by Mayor Yury Luzhkov, reflecting on what it could mean. (12)

VTSIOM has conducted an opinion poll among Muscovites to see whether they intend to vote in the elections to Moscow City Duma. The story offers interesting results. A graph. (12)

The Television Academy on Wednesday determined the first 26 winners of the national television Prize TEFI-2005. The story looks at several laureates. (13, Kommersant, 8, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 6)

The new magazine " Psychologies " will be published in Russia by a license from the French magazine that has been published for 35 years already. Editor-in-Chief of the Russian version Yuna Kozyreva told what it would publish and for whom. (13)

KOMMERSANT (17/11/2005)

Iskander Makhmudov, President and main co-owner of the key domestic copper holding--the Urals Mining-Metals Company (UGMK) -- may lose big assets in Bashkiria: the republic' s Prosecutor' s Office headed by Salavat Karimov announced the launching of a criminal case against UGMK. The story details the case. (1, 16)

The Constitutional Court (CC) on Wednesday completed to consider complaints from several citizens, who contested the constitutionality of the cancellation of the direct elections of the regional governors. The story examines the statement by Mikhail Krotov, presidential representative in CC. (1, 2)

The State Duma on Wednesday endorsed Central Bank head Sergei Ignatyev to his post for the second term. The story says what Ignatyev promised to deputies. (2, Izvestia, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 9)

Former head of the Nizhny Novgorod region Gennady Khodyrev may be appointed aide of Regional Development Minister Vladimir Yakovlev. The story comments on this unofficial information. (3)

The FSB reported on Wednesday that it had detained several persons, who illegally spread electronic data bases " Tax Inspection-2004" with over 9 million entries about tax deductions of residents in the Moscow region. The story examines FSB' s information. (4)

The case on the terrorists' attacks on Nalchik on Wednesday took a new twist-- Deputy Prosecutor General Nikolai Shepel and Kabardino-Balkaria' s Prosecutor Yury Ketov met with relatives of the killed terrorists to listen to their demands. The story describes the meeting and disappointed relatives. (5)

The Military Prosecutor' s Office of the Pacific Fleet on Wednesday launched a criminal case against military commissar of the Primorsky District Major General Igor Sventitsky, who is accused of illegal use of soldiers in remont of his apartment. The story details the case. (6)

The founding congress of the Young Guard of United Russia in Voronezh finished its work on Wednesday, when communists and local Rodina party members protested against its decisions. A concert devoted to the closing of the congress finished with protesters' clashes with police. (8)

Stanislav Dmitriyevsky, Executive Director of the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society and Editor of the newspaper " Pravo-Zashchita" , went on trial in Nizhny Novgorod on Wednesday He is accused of inciting ethnic hatred. The story details his case. (8)

AvtoVAZ' s net profit in the nine months of this year decreased by 1. 5 times, as compared with the figure for the same period last year. Brief. (13)

The State Duma today is expected to discuss a report submitted by the Economic Development Ministry containing new ecological demands for petrol, diesel fuel and lubricants. The story examines the report' s main provisions. (14)

Derzhava Bank on Wednesday officially announced the decision of its shareholders' meeting to reduce the Charter Capital by more than 70 times. The story explains this decision. (14)

VEDOMOSTI (17/11//2005)

The Economic Development Ministry (EDM) has submitted to the gvt its proposals aimed at curbing inflation. The Finance Ministry also has proposals but they strongly differ from EDM' s ones. The story looks at main differences. (A1)

The Board of Directors members of Nortgaz may become the most highly paid directors in domestic history, and their royalties may reach the level of those of BP and Exxon directors. Head of the Nortgaz Board of Directors Alexander Krasnenkov, former Gazprom functionary may receive a $2. 7 million bonus by results of this year. (A1)

Domestic law-enforcers have reacted at last to regular leaks of secret information and trade in it. Thus, FSB officers and Moscow police have detained makers and traders of information about citizens' revenues and Muscovites' paid taxes. (A1)

The World Bank has made public its latest report about Russia in November, focusing on direct dependence of the state of the economic on the decreasing numbers of the population. (A1, A4)

The story reports on how Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov on Wednesday commented on key personnel reshuffles in his gvt announced by the president on Monday. (A2)

New presidential representative in the Constitutional Court (CC) Mikhail Krotov on Wednesday made a speech on the case of governors. Krotov believes that CC' s conclusions may destabilize the complicated political and social-economic situation in regions. The story examines how experts regard his speech. (A2)

The new draft bill concerning mineral resources that has been worked out the Economic Development Ministry has strongly disappointed the oil lobby. Thus, domestic oil companies have come out against the cancellation of competition in distributing deposits. Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov supported them and postponed the approval of the draft bill to an indefinite time. (A3)

In an interview Alexander Semenyaka, Director-General of the Agency for Mortgage Housing crediting has managed to turn a useless and ineffective state structure into a powerful instrument of boosting the mortgage system in Russia. He promises to release mortgage bonds in the first half of 2006. (A5)


The Unified Energy Systems (UES) company does not want to get control over Siloviye Mashiny. The UES Management Board proposes to the Board of Directors to reduce its appetites to the company' s blocking package, and to sell another 30. 41 percent of shares to a strategic investor, preferably to Siemens. And as far as it has not taken place yet, ex-managers of UES could manage this package. (B1)

Sberbank' s net profit by the results of this year will amount to no less than 60 billion rubles as against 43. 7 billion rubles last year. This was stated by Alla Alyoshkina, First Deputy Head of the Bank' s Management Board. Brief. (B1)

The owner of 8 percent of shares of Megafon, Bermuda offshore IPOC has managed to prolong the deadline of the arrest imposed on the Megafon blocking package belonging to the structures of Russian Alfa-Group. Brief. (B1)

Rosneft in October transferred Yuganskneftegaz from the national Trast Bank to be serviced in the All-Russian Bank for the Developments of the Region under its control. (B1)

Yukos crediting debt as of Sept. 30, 2005 amounts to 594. 8 billion rubles, almost 50 percent of which is the company' s tax debt. This is stated in the company' s accounting report. Brief. (B1)

The gvt should take measures and ensure to put the Eastern Pipeline into exploitation by 2008 when it plans to begin to exploit the Vankorsky deposit with a capacity of 15 million-20 million tons of oil. This was stated by Rosneft head Sergei Bogdanchikov. (B1)

Filaret Galchev, a key owner of Evrotsement Group, will have soon to sue quite a number of entrepreneurs and their companies. The story examines them in detail. (B1)

KrasAir private shareholders have not given up hope to persuade the gvt to refuse from the controlling stake in the aviation holding that has been created on the basis of their company. According to estimates of the auditing company Pacholi hired by KrasAir, the gvt in the new structure will receive only 42 percent of shares. Rosimushchestvo dislikes such a variant. (B2)

Nafta Moskva has brought in 4 of its representatives to the Board of Directors of Polimetall. This is stated in the company' s press release. Brief. (B2)


Tatyana Mironova, head of the election campaign headquarters of jailed Vladimir Kvachkov, a candidate claiming a seat in the State Duma, has unexpectedly taken up politics. It' s not so surprising after all. Her husband, Boris Mironov, former Press Minister in the Chernormyrdin gvt, is wanted by police, and her son Ivan, who has been accused of an alleged participation in an assassination attempt on UES CEO Anatoly Chubais is also on the wanted list. The story highlights Tatyana Mironova as a mother and wife, focusing on her job as head of the election campaign of the colonel, an alleged comrade-in - arms of her son Ivan hiding from police. (1, 2)

Left-wing and right-wing United Russia members almost simultaneously today are expected to present their ideological platforms. In this way the party intends to mount the interest in its congress scheduled for Nov. 26 in Krasnoyarsk. The party' s treasury is willing to spend approximately $1 million on this congress that will present a speech by the party leader and discuss amendments to its Charter and program of development of Siberia and the Far East. The story reports on how the party is preparing for its congress. (1, 2)

The State Duma tomorrow is expected to pass (in the third crucial reading) the federal budget-2006 that its authors have already called the " budget of development" . Two highly regarded financial experts prove why it cannot be called such. (2)

The Central Bank on Wednesday raised the euro up to 33. 79 ruble/euro as compared with the previous day (33. 7577 ruble/euro) . Denis Geints, chief specialist in the information analytical department of the Moscow Inter-Bank Currency Exchange, commented on the euro situation in Russia, giving several recommendations. (3)

The net loss of Yukos by the results of the 9 months of 2005 decreased by 62 times and amounted to 2, 927, 395, 000 as against 182, 695, 099, 000 rubles last year. This is stated in the company' s accounting report for the 3rd quarter of this year. Brief. (3)

The report on the Beslan tragedy of the parliamentary commission may be made public only in the third decade of December. This was stated on Wednesday by head of the commission Alexander Torshin, Vice-Speaker of the Federation Council. The story comments on his statement. (4)

The Central Election Commission of Azerbaijan by the opposition' s demands has to annul the results of the parliamentary elections already in four election districts. The story examines the opposition' s demands. (5)

Poland' s Foreign Minister Stefan Meller (Sp. ?) today is completing his 5-day visit to Moscow and his negotiations with the Russian leadership. The story examines their results. (5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 6)

A new national literary prize -- Bolshaya Kniga (Big Book) -- was instituted in Russia on Monday. The story describes it in detail, calling it the Russian Nobel. (Supplement, 2)


Sibneft will be reregistered in St. Petersburg. This was stated by Gazprom head Alexei Miller on Wednesday. The story comments on his statement. (1, 2)

Economic Development Minister German Gref in the South Korean city of Pusan on Wednesday made a sensational statement, saying that Russia would be accepted to the WTO before 2007. Gref and his Peruvian colleague there signed a bilateral protocol on the conditions of Russia' s accession to the World Trade Organization. The story examines the protocol' s main provisions. (1, 4)

Serbia' s President Boris Tadic (Sp. ?) in Moscow has been received by President Putin. In an interview he shares his positive impressions about the negotiations with the Russian president. (1, 8)

In an interview Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev talks about his changed stand on the construction of the East Siberia- Pacific Ocean oil pipeline. (2)

A rare incident happened near the gate of the Matrosskaya Tishina Prison on Wednesday when former governor of the Tver region Vladimir Platov knocked at the door, asking to let him in, since he came to serve his 5-year sentence. The story details his case. (2)

The gvt at a session today will consider the fate of the domestic health care system that President Putin has determined as a priority national project. The story examines issues that the gvt will discuss today. (2)

Vitaly Tretyakov, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine " Political Class " comments on the recent key personnel reshuffling in the gvt and the Kremlin administration, calling it a small pre-election personnel revolution. The author reflects on several potential successors of President Putin. (3)

In an interview Harry Wilson, Director General and Vice-President of the JTI tobacco company, in charge of tobacco production in CIS and the Baltic states, talks about his company' s business in Russia, where it controls the Petro tobacco factory. (4)

NOVIYE IZVESTIA (17/11/2005)

The Moscow City Duma in a couple of days is expected to pass a draft bill on placing gambling business facilities in Moscow that sets rather tough limits for the activity of slot machines halls. The similar draft bill is being prepared in the State Duma. Along with this, regional authorities, without instructions from the federal administration, begin to take tough measures against one-armed bandits. The story examines these measures in detail. (1, 6)

Every nine in 10 potential investors negatively regard the scope of Russian corruption and its impact on the scale of investments in Russia. And every eight in 10 are sure that the Russian administering and licensing procedures are unprecedentedly bureaucraticized. These figures were cited on Wednesday at the annual Regional Investment Congress in Moscow. The story comments on these assessments, with which Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Sharonov had to agree. (1, 3)

Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin on Nov. 16 that marked the International Tolerance Day, proposed to create and implement a national tolerance project. The ombudsman believes that what lacks in Russia is a humane attitude of people to one another. And this lack is felt even in power structures. The story comments on the proposal. (2)