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Press Review

IZVESTIA (15/2/2005)

Boris Nemtsov, former First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian gvt and a SPS leader, has become an external adviser to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. In an interview Nemtsov talks about his new job. (1, 2, Kommersant, 1, 11, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 7, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 3, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Gazeta, 4, Russky Kuryer, 1, 8, Trud, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 3, MK, 1, 3)

The Federal Arbitration Court on Monday declared East Line Group' s 75-year lease on Airport Domodedovo illegal. The story comments on the court' s ruling. (1, 10, Kommersant, 1, 13, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 4, Vremya Novostei, 7, Gazeta, 17)

In an interview Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin (he has refused to comment on Boris Nemtsov' s new job in Ukraine) talks about Ukraine' s plans to join the European Union, about his contacts with the new Ukrainian leaders and with former President Leonid Kuchma. The Ambassador also says how he envisions Ukraine' s further relations with Russia. (2)

The Committee-2008: the Freedom of Choice today will hold a session to discuss a key issue -- the creation of a liberal wing inside the United Russia (UR) party and its State Duma (S. D. ) faction. UR faction authoritative spokesman Vladimir Pligin, head of the S. D. State Construction Committee, comments on the isssue. (2, Kommersant, 4, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

Presidential representative in the North-Western Federal District Ilya Klebanov on Monday acknowledged that he did it too early to attach the " foreign territory" status to the Kaliningrad region and that it was only recommendations to be discussed. The story comments on his statement, focusing on the Foreign Ministry' s official stand. (3, Kommersant, 7, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 4, Trud, 2)

The new international satellite channel World-MadeChannel will begin to air its programs on the territory of Russia and Eurasia. Brief. (3)

President Putin at a traditional gvt session on Monday, despite rumours, did not sack ministers, but concentrated on the discussion of acute social problems. The story examines them, focusing on the president' s concrete instructions. (1, 3, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Gazeta, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, Trud, 1, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

The Marriage Registration Palace in the Kirovsky District in Yekaterinburg on Valentine' s Day when all such offices are closed allowed only one couple -- 85-year-old Pyotr Krylov and 78-year-old Nadezhda Babayeva -- to register their marriage. The feature story is devoted to their happy union. (3)

An unidentified assailant in Satki (Chelyabinsk region) on Monday morning shot dead city police chief Alexander Usko in his office. The story gives details. (5, Kommersant, 6)

St. Petersburg skinheads on Saturday attacked two students from North Korea and seriously injured them. Brief. (5, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 9)

Former State Duma deputy entrepreneur Sergei Shashurin went on trial in Kazan on Monday. He is accused of looting 37 million rubles and of property machinations. Brief. (5, Gazeta, 12)

Federal troops during their special operation in the Chechen villages Stariye and Noviye Atagi on Monday killed 6 rebels out of a 15 -strong band controlled by field commander Rezvan Chitigov (better known as Amerikanets. The story describes the operation. (5, Gazeta, 10, 11 )

The state-run patriotic television channel " Zvezda" on Feb. 20 will launch its broadcasts in Moscow city and region. This was stated at a news conference on Monday by Defense Ministry spokesmen Nikolai Reznik and Alexander Lebedev and also by Zvezda Director-General Sergei Savushkin. The channel leadership, however, a week before the start, has no idea what programs will be aired and who will watch them. In an interview Savushkin talks about his Zvezda. (6)

Six hundred directors of defense enterprises, heads and representatives from Rosprom, the Defense Ministry and other departments at the conference in Rostov-on-Don on Feb. 9-10 discussed how to improve the quality of domestic weapons. The story describes the discussion, different opinions and decisions. (7)

LUKoil plans to buy about 300 gas filling stations from the Finnish Teboil and Suomen Petrooli companies. Besides that, LUKoil also plans to organize direct deliveries of Russian petrol to the Finnish market. The story examines the company' s plans, saying the cost of the deal is $150 million -$200 million. (9, Kommersant, 13, Vremya Novostei, 8, Gazeta, 18, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 3)

American billionaire George Soros has proposed to expell Russia from G-8. He made public his proposal in the Austrian press on Monday, saying that there is no place in G-8 for the country without democracy. The story comments on his proposal, saying how the US State Department regards it. (9, Kommersant, 10)

The Federal Property Agency (or Rosimushchestvo) on Monday made public its data, according to which in January this year the agency ensured 26 billion 473 million rubles in revenues to the federal budget. Brief. (9)

The Federal Arbitration Court today will consider Severnaya Neft' s cassation complaint against the court' ruling on recovering from it about $20 million in favour of the administration of the Nenets Autonomous Area. Brief. (9)

Unified Energy Systems (UES) stated on Monday that it is discussing the possibility of buying distributive electrical grids in Armenia. The cost of the possible deal is $80 million. The story comments on the possibility of such a deal. (10, Gazeta, 18)

The International Conference " Oil Exports from Russia and CIS" will open in London today. The story examines this event, its participants and their reports. (10)

The Fiat- General Motors alliance has ended in an effective divorce. The sides on Monday signed a compromise agreement, according to which GM will have to pay 1. 55 billion euros for its refusal to buy 100 percent of shares of Fiat Auto. The story examines their agreement. (11, Kommersant, 13, Vremya Novostei, 7, Gazeta, 20)

British authorities have decided to increase the number of Russian tourists and with this aim in view decided at the end of this year to open a Visit Britain office in the British Embassy in Moscow. The story comments on the decision. (12)

The Federal Tourism Agency (or Rosturizm) decided to classify 4, 000 domestic hotels into special groups with a certain number of star, depending on their quality. The story comments on the decision, focusing on the aim of the project. (12)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Monday signed a directive on auctioning the right to build the central part of the business center Moskva-City. The auction should take place not later than April 15. The story focuses on the piquancy of the situation. (13, Kommersant, 16)

According to the contract, the World Bank for Reconstruction and Development will provide Dubna with a $7 million credit on a major renovation of its city heating system. The story examines the contract. (13)

A powerful snowfall hit Moscow on Monday and paralyzed its major city services. Weather specialists have promised the similar snowfall today. (13, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 6, Gazeta, 7, Vremya Novostei, 1, Trud, 1, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, MK, 1, 2)

KOMMERSANT (15/2/2005)

An unprecedented scandal connected with an illegal funding of gubernatorial elections has broken out in the Ryazan region, where local entrepreneur Natalya Suchkova is suing regional head Georgy Shpak for his failure to fulfill their pre-election agreement. The story reveals its essence. (1, 3)

The State Duma on Feb. 18 is expected to consider (in the second reading) the draft bill concerning the Public Chamber. The story examines several amendments, according to which the chamber should turn into a bureaucratic structure to manage the civil society. (3)

The Voronezh Regional Election Commission on Monday completed the registration of party lists for taking part in the upcoming Regional Duma elections scheduled for March 20. The story looks at parties on those lists. (4)

Authoritative human rights activist and lawyer Makhmut Magomadov, who since Jan. 20 had been missing in Chechnya, has been released. This was on Monday by Moscow Helsinki Group head Lyudmila Alekseyeva. Brief. (6)

The story describes how Russian citizen Kakha Bendukidze at the high post of Economics Minister in Georgia is successfully reforming its economy. (11)

The leading ADV advertising holding has opened a new creative Znamenka agency, the staff of which consists of employees from two other creative agencies, parts of ADV--McCann Erickson Worldwide and Lowe Adventa. The ADV leadership stated that the company is being created for servicing Russian advertising agencies. The story describes the new company, saying how advertising market participants regard it. (13, 15)

The Russian Hotels (RH) company affiliated with the Bazovy Element holding intends to build a business center of class B in Tbilisi. According to RH Press Secretary Yelena Guryanova, such agreement was reached between RH Director-General Stanislav Kapinos and Tbilisi Mayor Zurab Chiaberashvili at the beginning of February. The story examines the project. (13)

The dollar rate towards the euro on Monday fell by 1 percent--down to $1. 2989 per euro-- the minimum mark over the past 10 days. Russian dealers' trust in the dollar on Monday was supported only by the Central Bank. (15)

The Economic Development Ministry today will submit to the gvt a draft of the comprehensive plan to put into effect the Kyoto Protocol in Russia in 2005-2007. The story examines the draft. (15)

The AvtoVAZ Press Service on Monday reported about a new stage of reforming the dealers' network of the auto plant. The story reveals its essence. (16)

The shareholders of the Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK) on Monday decided to install independent representatives into the company' s Board of Directors. The story focuses on the aim of the decision. (16)

Russia has lifted the ban on flower exports from the Netherlands. The delivery, however, can be resumed only by the middle of spring. The story comments on the decision. (17)

Severo-Zapadny Telecom, one of the seven subsidiaries of Svyazinvest, stated on Monday that the Federal Tax Service has demanded from it 20 million rubles as a tax for 2001-2003. (17)

VEDOMOSTI (15/2/2005)

The Khairullin brothers owning the brewery Krasny Vostok for the first time intended to sell part of their business. They would like a world brewery to be their partner and are willing to give it a share in their company. Experts have calculated that Krasny Vostok may cost up to $1 billion. (A1)

Boris Nemtsov, head of the Board of Directors of the Neftyanoi concern, has become an adviser to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. The story comments on the latter' s decision. (A1)

Gazprom' s managers and subsidiaries have believed in the company' s early merger with Rosneft and the liberalization of its share market. The monopoly' s managers have spent over $6 million and its subsidiaries -- $500 million on buying up the company' s shares. (A1)

Russia needs immigrants, and, therefore, should have a civilized migration policy, not the one it is pursuing today The story examines what such policy should look like. (A1)

Domestic oil companies have received new tax claims from the Federal Tax Service that denies the fact that oil companies have become victims of its special measure aimed at receiving additional taxes. (A3)

The State Duma this week may cancel two serious problems of the domestic stock market. United Russia would like to make financial consultants' services voluntary in issuing additional shares The story reveals the essence of United Russia' s proposals. (A3)

The Committee-2008 at a session today plans to make a decision on principles of forming a new united democratic party. But the question is --can Russian democrats unite? Six experts share their viewpoints. (A4)

In an interview Michael Roberts, President and Seniour Manager of McDonald' s, who was elected to these posts by the company' s Board of Directors on Nov. 22, 2004, and who has visited Moscow, shares his good impressions about the company' s business in Moscow. (A5)

The Procter & Gamble five years ago decided that the previous pattern of working out new products became outdated. The story examines what has changed since then. (A7)

EDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENhe Indian Oil and Natural Gas Corp. company (or ONGC) is in talks with Rosneft on its participation in developing the Vankorsky oil and gas deposit. This was stated by an ONGC top representative. Brief. (B )

The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the petition of the Canadian Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC) and agreed to consider its suit againstLUKoil and its subsidiary Arkhangelskgeoldobycha. This is stated in LUKoil' s press release. Brief. (B1)

Severstal has submitted its bid for buying assets of the Canadian steel-smelting Stelco company. This was stated by a source familiar with Severstal' s plans. (B1)

The Gazprom Board of Directors on Feb. 22 will consider an issue on improving the procedure of independent organizations' access to the system of Gazprom main pipelines. This is stated in the gas monopoly' s press release. Brief. (B1)

The Polyus company managing the gold-extracting assets of Norilsk Nickel, via the subsidiary Lena gold-ore company, has obtained 74 percent of shares of Pervenets from four individuals. Brief. (B1)

The beginning of the second trading of GDR AFK Sistema on the London Stock Exchange was successful. The demand for securities was high and on the first day they went up in price by 5. 5 percent, and the capitalization of Sistema grew by $450 million up to $8. 65 billion. (B1 )

Managers of Perekryostok, part of Alfa-Bank, do not participate any longer in Moscow authorities' construction project Moskva-City. Moscow authorities have announced a new auction to select a new investor in the project. (B1)

Severstal-Avto has determined the price of its new car UAZ Patriot that will leave its conveyor-line in July. This off-road vehicle will cost $12, 000. It' s practically the price of the present Chevrolet-Niva made by GM AvtoVAZ. (B2)

Irkut and the European aircraft-building EADS consortium have launched preparations for a deal that will allow Europeans to get 10 percent of shares of the Russian corporation. The sides hope to complete the deal in September. Experts believe that 10 percent of shares of Irkut can cost to EADS approximately $50 million. (B2)

A consortium of foreign companies headed by British BP has begun to extract oil in the Azeri deposit in Azerbaijan that already this year can be transported along the Baku-Dzheikhan pipeline. (B3)

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (15/2/2005)

Official Moscow that traditionally criticizes the Council of Europe ' s activity has given a cool reception to this organization' s Secretary General Terry Davis. He was refused to meet with President Putin and Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov, despite the fact that his status allows him to be received by top state officials. FC International Affairs Committee head Mikhail Margelov comments on the situation. (1, 2)

Another round of many-side negotiations and a session of the working group in charge of Russia' s accession to the World Trade Organization began in Geneva on Monday. The negotiations are expected to last till Feb. 17. At the same time, this issue was discussed in Moscow on Monday at the First All-Russian Congress of Economists-Agrarians. Its participants concentrated on what Russia can lose from its WTO membership. So what can it expect from its WTO membership? (3)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov on Monday held a gvt session to discuss a critical situation with providing benefit-recipients with subsidized medicines. Health Minister Mikhail Zurabov made a report. The story examines its major points, saying that, as it turned out, the number of benefit-recipients this year may reach 49 million, which is by 5 million more than the figure for last year. (3)

The public-political movement of St. Petersburg students " Moving Without Putin" has come out with an initiative to apply to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the fact of numerous violations of human rights and democratic freedoms during mass rallies on Feb. 12 in support of President Putin. This was stated by movement leader Mikhail Obozov. The story comments on his statement. (4)

The Ukrainian authorities this week intend to take concrete moves in their resolute actions against oligarchs. The story examines their several concrete moves. (5)

The American Senate International Affairs Committee on Thursday will hold hearings on Russia' s home political situation. Yukos representatives and leading American experts will speak out One of the reporters is Anders Aslound (Sp. ?) , former adviser to Yegor Gaidar, and now the Director of the Carnegie Funds' Programs for Russia and Eurasia. In an exclusive interview he talks about what the committee will discuss on Thursday, focusing on what can be expected from the upcoming Bush-Putin meeting in Bratislava. (8)

ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA (15/2/2005)

Economic Development Minister German Gref, who together with presidential representative in the North-Western Federal District Ilya Klebanov over the weekend visited Kaliningrad, harshly criticized the city administration for its slow preparations for the city' s 750th jubilee festivities in July. The story looks at Gref' s criticisms. (1, 4)

President Putin has signed a directive on calling up servicemen in reserve to attend military training sessions this year. The story comments on the president' s directive, saying that similar documents are issued every year. (1, 2)

Education Minister Andrei Fursenko after visiting the Nizhny Novgorod region over the weekend made several significant statements concerning funding the institutes and universities. In an exclusive interview he commented on several novelties in this sphere. (1, 14)

Romania' s President Trajan Basescu (Sp. ?) on Monday arrived in Moscow on a two day-visit. The story describes the aims of his visit, saying what he expects from his meeting with President Putin. (2, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 4)

Chechnya' s First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov stated his intention to file a suit in court against mass media that discredit his honour and dignity. The story describes his claims. (2)

Twenty-two employees from the local Radio Zavod production association have been registered in Omsk by the City Election Commission as participants claiming the mayoral seat in the city. The story reports on how the Radio Zavod' s press-service commented on the case. (3)

A new consumer basket compiled by the Health Ministry does not reflect Russians' real expenses. It is far from the soaring inflation rates. This conclusion was made at a session of the Russian 3-side Commission on regulating social and labour relations between the employers and the labour unions. They have failed to support the draft of the new federal bill concerning the consumer basket. The story looks at provisions they are opposing. (4)

The Houston Arbitration Court tomorrow will consider Yukos' suit against 4 Russian companies (their names are given) that in this way or another are involved in the events around Yukos' former major subsidiary Yuganskneftegaz. The story examines what the Houston Court will do. (5)

Sociologists have measured the level of anti-Semitism in Russia. According to their results, 83 percent of Russians do not feel any hatred toward Jews. The story comments on the results. (6)

The Housing Code will take effect on March 1. In an interview Sergei Kruglik, one of its authors and Director of the Construction and Housing-Communal Department of the Industry and Energy Ministry, explains some of the Code' s controversial provisions. Rossiiskaya Biznes Gazeta. (1, 3)

NOVIYE IZVESTIA (15/2/2005)

The State Duma plans to discuss amendments to the law concerning banking secret that allow law-enforcers to get all information about the movement of the client' s money long before instituting criminal proceedings. The story examines several main amendments, saying how bankers regard them. (1, 3)

Nizhny Novgorod war and labour veterans have proposed to rename the city into Minin. The story describes the historic event, which their proposal is connected with. (1, 7)

Alexander Kalyagin, Chairman of the Union of Theatrical Workers, on Monday evening met with Economic Development Minister German Gref to discuss upcoming reform of theaters. The story looks at the discussion, proposals and conclusions. (5)

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA (15/2/2005)

Rumour has it that Boris Nemtsov' s former SPS companion-in arms Sergei Kiriyenko, presidential representative in the Volga Federal District, may soon go to Kiev to replace Viktor Chernomyrdin at the post of Russian Ambassador to Ukraine. The story says that, according to information from highly- placed state officials, such an appointment is quite possible. (3)

After Boris Nemtsov became an adviser to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, the newspaper has asked eight influential politicians, State Duma deputies, party leaders and public figures to answer the following question -- What can Russian liberals advise to Ukraine? Their answers. (3)

Is it possible to make a good advertisement of the unsuccessful monetarization campaign ? The story offers several proposed ads. (4, 5)

The Moscow region gvt over the weekend held a session to sum up results of its work last year. The story examines them in detail, focusing on the gvt' s remaining problems. (12)