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Press Review

IZVESTIA (3/2/2005)

ederation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov and State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov on Wednesday made significant statements on the fate of the gvt and deputies' benefits. The story comments on their statements. (1, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 1, Gazeta, 1, 3)

In an interview legendary sci-fi writer and philosopher Stanislav Lem talks about his new essays, explaining why in the last 15 years he has not been writing science fiction. (1, 15)

Now it has become clear that the Regional Development Ministry headed by Vladimir Yakovlev will be responsible for the gvt' s work in the regions to put into effect the monetarization of welfare benefits. In an interview the minister says what his ministry intends to do to settle the scandalous benefits situation. (1, 4, MK, 6)

The story describes how five State Duma Rodina faction deputies, who had been on a hunger strike for 11 days, will recover. Doctors' recommendations. (2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, MK, 3)

State Duma LDPR deputy faction leader Alexei Mitrofanov on Wednesday proposed to cancel all benefits enjoyed by former President Boris Yeltsin. The story describes how deputies discussed this issue. (2, Noviye Izvestia, 3, MK, 2)

The notorious 122nd Law concerning the monetarization of welfare benefits has caused the liquidation of natural parks. Thus, Greenpeace activists in Moscow on Wednesday harshly criticized the administration of the Republic of Altai for the cancellation of unique natural parks that have included in the UNESCO lists. The story looks at Greenpeace' s criticism. (2)

Participants in a rally near the building of the Kaluga region' s representation in Moscow on Wednesday protested against the cancellation of the traditional mayoral elections in Obninsk. The story describes the protesters' demands. (3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

Patriots of Russia coalition leader Gennady Semigin is winning more and more patriotic organizations as his allies. Thus on Tuesday he signed a cooperation agreement with " Narodnaya Volya (People' s Will) with State Duma Vice-Speaker Sergei Baburin as its leader. The story describes Semigin' s successful efforts to win new supporters. (3, Kommersant, 4, Noviye Insvestia, 2, Gazeta, 2, Russky Kuryer, 4) , Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4)

In his letter to State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov President Putin shared his vision of the anti-terror struggle. The letter contains amendments to the Law on countering terrorism. The story reveals the content of the letter. (3, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 2)

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on Wednesday visited the Siberian Military District, where he spoke about the need to impose military training in schools and about the state task to prepare citizens for the future army service. The story looks at the minister' s pronouncements. (3, Kommersant, 4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Krasnaya Zvezda, 3, Vremya Novostei, 4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 2, MK, 3)

Pope John Paul II has been hospitalized with serious health problems. The story describes his problems, focusing on specialists grave predictions. (5, Kommersant, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 8, Noviye Izvestia, 4, Vremya Novostei, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 5)

The Ukrainian Supreme Rada intends to take former President Leonid Kuchma into custody. Rada has deputy Grigory Omelchenko' s inquiry to the Prosecutor Generals on opening a criminal case against Kuchma. The story examines what he is being accused of. (1, 5, Kommersant, 10, Noviye Izvestia, 4, Vremya Novostei, 1, 5, 6, Gazeta, 1, 5, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 5, MK, 2)

The parliamentary election campaign began in Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday. The story examines the specific features of these elections scheduled for on Feb. 27. (5)

The serious railway accident in the center of Riga on Wednesday left 3 people dead and another several dozens injured. The story gives details. (6, Kommersant, 6, Gazeta, 6)

Yukos' creditors (a consortium of foreign banks) on Wednesday demanded from Rosneft to pay out about $540 million by the credit that was released to Yukos. Rosneft does not reject its debts, saying that it will conduct negotiations with the creditors. The story focuses on experts' views. (9, Kommersant, 16)

Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (or FAS) head Igor Artemyev at a gvt session today intends to demand more powers for his FAS. The story comments on his proposal, saying that the gvt will hardly share its power with him. (9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3)

The Finance Ministry on Wednesday refuted Minister Alexei Kudrin' s sensational statement saying where Rosneft had received money to buy Yukos' assets. The story makes the issue clear. (1, Kommersant, 1, 16, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2)

The State Duma Special Commission on Wednesday completed to rework the third variant of the so-called anti-beer draft bill. The story examines amendments introduced by the commission. (10)

The privatization of energy enterprises controlled by the Unified Energy Systems holding may begin already in the 3rd quarter of this year. The state can retain control over the generating enterprises during this privatization with the help of Gazprom. The story says how it can be done. (10)

The Nizhny Novgorod Territorial Board of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has opened administrative investigation against Alfa-Bank and the Bank of Moscow that are accused of violating the advertisement law. The story details the case. (11, Kommersant, 13, Vremya Novostei, 7)

Economist Valery Petrov, spokesman for the Management Board of the Guild of Investment and Financial Analysts, examines the situation with the dollar in Russia, focusing on several serious factors that affects the dollar/ruble rate. (11)

Tenants in the apartment house with the famous Yeliseyevsky Food Shop on its ground floor, fear that they can be evicted due to major renovation of the shop The story describes their troubles. (13)

The story describes the fate of four buildings of architectural and historical significance on Ulitsa Ostozhenka in the center of Moscow. (13 )

American Rassel Christof (Sp. ?) , 58, has become an owner of $16 million when the Californian Jury Court has ruled the case with Nestle in his favour. The story describes the case and the lucky American. (16)

KOMMERSANT (3/2/2005)

Mikhail Brudno and Vladimir Dubov, co-owners of Group Menatep, a Yukos major shareholder, who are searched for through the Interpol by Russian law-enforcers, arrived in the USA from Israel on Wednesday to be received by President George W. Bush today. Besides that, Brudno and Dubov plan to meet with American Congressmen and Senators. The story describes the aims of their meetings, saying that it' s not excluded that they will stay to the end of the hearings in the Houston Court that on Feb. 16-17 is to deliver its significant ruling on the Yukos fate. (1)

Unidentified assailants in Makhachkala on Wednesday killed Magomed Omarov, Deputy Interior Minister of Dagestan and chief of the public security militia. His three body-guards were also killed. The story gives details. (1, 5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 1, )

The site of Chechen separatists Kavkaz-Center reported on Wednesday evening that Aslan Maskhadov had ordered his rebels to suspend their military attacks in a token of good will. The story reflects on what could it mean. (1)

President Putin in his Moscow region residence Novo-Ogaryovo met with Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. The story examines issues they discussed, saying that they focused on the conflict in the gvt around the stabilization fund. (2)

The State Duma on Wednesday passed (in the first reading) an amendment to the Law concerning defense. The amendment allows the Defense Ministry to use armed forces to counter terrorists. The story examines the amendment. (4)

Tatarstan' s State Council has submitted to the State Duma amendments to the federal law concerning the general principles of the organization of local government in Russia. The story reveals the essence of the amendments. (4)

First Deputy Military Prosecutor Anatoly Ponomarenko on Wednesday asked criminal investigators to rework the criminal case, involving two Russian highly-placed officers and Ukrainian Acting Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko. The story details the case, focusing on its provisions to be corrected. (6)

As many as 1, 500 residents in Moscow' s Babushkinsky District on Wednesday submitted in the Moscow City Duma a collective petition with a request to deputies not to allow the construction of the Russian-American Christian. The story comments on the conflicting situation. (7)

The Belgorod Regional Duma has passed a draft bill concerning the parents' responsibility for the upbringing of their children. According to the bill, parents will pay huge fines or will be taken into custody if their children are found in public places after 9 p. m. The story comments on the draft. (7)

President Putin on Wednesday arrived at the Emergency Situations Ministry to attend a session devoted to the elimination of consequences of the tsunami tragedy in South and Southeast Asia. The story describes the session and the presidents' recommendations. (8, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, 3, Gazeta, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 2)

The state of emergency has been declared in Kamchatka that has been hit by the unprecedetedly powerful snowstorm. The story describes the devastating situation and residents in despair. s (8)

US newly-appointed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday began her first foreign tour, starting it with the Middle East to be followed by Europe. The story features her mission, saying that she will not miss the opportunity to criticize Russia in the face of its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (10, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 5, Vremya Novostei, 1)

Kaskol Group has joined the shareholders of the aviation company Atlant-Soyuz. , the official carrier of the Moscow gvt. The story details the deal. (16)

VEDOMOSTI (3/2/2005)

Vneshekonombank (VEB) , Rosneft and state officials deny that the Chinese $6 billion went on the purchase of Yuganskneftegaz. Experts do not believe them, considering it as an attempt to deflect a blow from state-controlled VEB and China (A1)

Federal authorities do not need any longer to consult with Senators how to manage UES, and foreigners owning the holding' s shares should not fear that they are violating rules. The law concerning the specific features of disposing of UES shares passed in 1998 became invalid on Jan. 1, 2005. (A1)

The gvt today is to expected decide whether Russia needs the anti-monopoly service with serious punitive duties. The story looks at views shared by several ministries, the presidential administration and entrepreneurs. (A1 )

The Kremlin wants Audit Chamber staff employee Valery Goreglyad to replace Vasily Starodubtsev on the post of governor of the Tula region. The story describes the Kremlin' s choice. (A2)

The Presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court can win back the right to revise practically any decision of courts of the arbitration vertical. The State Duma on Wednesday introduced the corresponding amendments to the law. (A2)

The Ukrainian former opposition did not forget the crimes of the old regime. Thus, Supreme Rada deputy Grigory Omelchenko is demanding from the Prosecutor General' s Office that it arrest former President Leonid Kuchma. The story examines what he is accused of. (A2)

Russia is preparing to sign a contract with India to deliver it Smerch nuclear installations. The cost of the deal is no less than $450 million. The story describes the deal. (A3)

The domestic gross industrial product over the weekend grew by 0. 5 percent. On Friday the Federal Statistics Service (or Rosstat) head Vladimir Sokolin estimated economic growth last year at 6. 5-6. 7 percent, and on Tuesday Rosstat reported on an 7. 1 percent increase. (A3)

Is there a need for state monopoly on alcohol? Five experts share their viewpoints on the issue. (A5)

In a far-ranging interview First Deputy Director-General of Airport Sheremetyevo elaborates on its main problem. He also examines Sheremetyevo' s subsidiaries. (A6)

VEDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENT

The story describes the current situation on the stock market, focusing on the position of Gazprom shares. (B1)

After selling out his metals assets, entrepreneur Boris Ivanishvili has bought several financial assets. The UNIKOR company managing his assets has become the only owner of Interfin Trade. (B1)

Management Board head and shareholder of Sobinbank Sergei Kirilenko for already 2 years has been a co-owner of one of the large domestic agro-industrial holdings --Rusagro. (B1)

An independent check has shown that the losses incurred by mutual fund investors headed by Putnam Investments due to illegal operations amount to $100 million. Brief. (B1)

Gazprom has obtained 37. 5 percent of shares of the Czech gas-distributing Gas-Invest company. This was stated by Gazexport' s press service. Brief. (B1)

Licenses for developing the Sukhoi Log gold -ore and Udokan copper deposits will be sold on closed auctions without the participation of foreign companies. This was stated by a high-ranking official on Wednesday. Brief. (B1)

The Tatneft Board of Directors on Wednesday endorsed a list of candidates to the company' s Board of Directors. The number of independent directors can be expanded. Brief. (B1)

The Gazprom Board of Directors tomorrow plans to discuss the concept of boosting the petrochemical SIBUR holding. If it is endorsed, then a new company with a capitalization exceeding $1. 5 billion will be created from SIBUR assets. (B2)

An intensified struggle has erupted between two foreign state-run companies (their names are given) for the right to credit Rosneft for purchasing Yuganskneftegaz. The story examines what company has been preferred by the Kremlin. (B2)

SUAL decided to build the second plant (for $16 million) to make aluminum crockery. Analysts, however, doubt that it will yield profits to the company. (B2)

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (3/2/2005)

In an interview former head of the presidential administration' s Economic Board Anton Danilov-Danilyan, spokesman for the Business Russia General Council, answers the following questions -- Why have authorities urgently needed to conduct social reform?What are the methods of ensuring stable economic growth? (3 )

After taking away Yuganskneftegaz from Yukos, authorities have begun to discuss the problem connected with oil sales on the Chinese market. At a session in the Russian Railways (RZD) company on Wednesday. The story examines how RZD President Gennady Fadeyev regards the issue. (3)

Leaders in several insurance medical companies and public organizations in Yekaterinburg have voiced their protest against the system of providing regions with benefit medicines that has been imposed by the law on replacing social benefits with cash compensations. The story reveals the essence of the system, saying why the regional leaders are opposing it. (4, 6)

The Orthodox television studio has become operational in Pervouralks (Sverdlovsk region) . The story examines its broadcasting programs. (4)

The story comments on results of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov' s 2-day visit to Baku that ended on Feb. 2. The focus is on several unpleasant things the minister had to hear from his Azeri colleagues. (5)

ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA (3/2/2005)

The State Duma on Wednesday discussed the way how deputies use Russian words and expressions, often allowing themselves to use insulting lexicon. The story examines what made deputies raise sand discuss this topic. (1, 3)

The Federal Law concerning the state civil service took effect on Feb. 1. In an interview presidential aide Viktor Ivanov reveals the essence of the document, focusing on how it differs from the July 31, 1995 law. The full text of the law. (1, 9, 10)

The State Duma is to consider (in the second reading) the draft bill on instituting the Public Chamber. The story examines what amendments were introduced after the first reading. (3)

Russia last year extracted 210 tons of gold, a record high figure over the past 15 years, which is by 5 percent more than the figure for 2003. The story looks at the situation on the domestic precious metals market. (4)

The Ukrainian Parliament (Supreme Rada) today is to consider the candidature of Julia Timoshenko to the post of prime minister and to form a new cabinet of ministers. The story examines what President Yushchenko spoke at the recent World Economic Forum about his policy and about its priorities. (4)

The Federal Statistics Service has summed up results of wage arrears as of Jan. 1, 2005. It has turned out that 1. 9 million working Russians, i. e. , one in every 14, has failed to receive wages. Public polls were conducted in 8 leading industries. The story examines results. A graph. (4)

The story describes concrete cases of illegal seizure of industrial enterprises in the Krasnodar region. (5)

The Baltika brewery administration has summed up results of the company' s work last year that have turned out to be optimistic, despite last-years' anti-beer legislative initiative. The story gives figures to illustrate Baltika' s good results. (5) s

NOVIYE IZVESTIA (3/2/2005)

A public opinion taken by Ekho Moskvy Radio has shown that Ukraine is becoming an attractive place for Russians to live in: almost 60 percent of them would like to obtain the second --Ukrainian--citizenship. The story comments on the issue. (1, 4)

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has submitted to the parliament draft amendments to the Criminal and Criminal Procedural codes, according to which state officials and enterprises managers will face up to 2 years in prison if they fail to meet the forecast targets. The story comments on several tough amendments. (1, 4)

In an interview world-renowned artist and sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, talks about his latest works and about his 35 projects, focusing on his plans. (1, 5)

Communications Minister Leonid Reiman, head of the Board of Directors of Svyazinvest, on Wednesday stated for the first time that the sale of 75 percent of state-owned shares of the domestic telecommunications holding will take place in the fall of 2005. What is interesting is the fact that this enterprise is excluded from the gvt privatization plan that has been endorsed by Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. The story comments on Reiman' s statement. (3)

The gvt soon intends to divide domestic science into two groups: the state will financially support only profit -promising research, while the second group will seek support from private investors. The story examines the gvt plan. (7)