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Press Review

IZVESTIA (22/3/2005)

Rosneft that has bought Yukos' major asset Yuganskneftegaz has obtained it without its extracting equipment that three years ago was transferred to Yukos' subsidiaries. This fact has not been noticed even by valuators, who prepared the sale of Yuganskneftegaz. This was stated by Viktor Gerashchenko, head of the Yukos Board of Directors. In an interview he says how this company was valuated and sold. He also sums up results of Yukos' work in 2004. (1, 10)

The story features revolutionary events in Kyrgyzstan, where opposition supporters have seized several state buildings in several regions. Thus, on Monday they managed to seize several gvt buildings and a local airport in Osh. Now their task is to seize Bishkek, the republic' s capital city. President Askar Akayev stated that he is ready to revise the results of the parliamentary elections, but this is already not enough for protesters. (1, 5, Kommersant, 1, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Gazeta, 1, 4, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 4, Russky Kuryer, 1, 8, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 5, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, 3, Trud, 4, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 15, MK, 2)

Legendary cinema and theatrical actor Georgy Zhzhonov has turned 90 today. In an exclusive interview he reminisces about grim years spent in a Soviet Gulag. (1, 15, Trud, 6, MK, 1, 9)

Estonia' s Prime Minister Juhan Parts (Sp. ) has announced his intention to resign. He commented on his decision. (2, Trud, 1)

The story comments on results of the Sunday parliamentary elections in the Voronezh, Tula and Ryazan regions, focusing on the victory of the United Russia party. (2, Kommersant, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Trud, 1, Vremya Novostei, 4, Gazeta, 2, 3)

The Free Russia party has launched its project aimed at supporting the president in reforming the regional level of the political system. The story describes the project, focusing on its aims. (2)

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU Commissioner for External Relations, in Moscow on Monday met for talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other state officials. In an interview she comments on their results, focusing on the present state of EU-Russia relations. (2)

Federation Council Speaker and Party of Life leader Sergei Mironov on Monday signed cooperation agreements with two political parties --SLON and the Russian Party of Self-Government of the Working People. The story comments on Mironov' s plan to create a democratic party on the basis of this coalition. (2, Gazeta, 9)

Bashkiria' s President Murtaza Rakhimov on Monday fired two key ministers, who controlled the oil sector of the region. The story examines what stands behind these dismissals. (2)

The Moscow Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights and the All-Russian Coalition of Human Rights Organizations " For Alternative Civic Service" have made public a report on how military registration and enlistment offices violate the rights of army draftees. The story examines its major provisions. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2)

The movement " Nashi" on Monday made public its statement, saying that it is neither a " masquerade" not " dangerous" . The statement was made in reply to Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov, who compared " Nashi" with the Chinese hunveibins of the 1960s. The story looks at the statement. (3)

State Duma deputies on Monday proposed to introduce new amendments to the Labour Code that would make May 10 and 11 holiday days instead of May 4 and 5. The story examines how deputies explained their proposal. (1, 3, Gazeta, 7)

The story describes a round-table discussion devoted to Chechnya' s problems that took place in Strasbourg on Monday under the aegis of the Council of Europe. It was attended by the republic' s leaders and Russian parliamentarians. The focus is on several conclusions. (3, Kommersant, 1, 4, Vremya Novostei, 2, Gazeta, 2, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 6)

State Duma deputies will spend this week in their regions to collect information about how the law concerning the replacement of social benefits with cash compensations is being implemented there. The story forecasts the fate of the gvt and its Health Minister Mikhail Zurabov on April 13 when the ultimatum given to it by the State Duma expires. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Gazeta, 3, Trud, 3)

UES CEO Anatoly Chubais on Monday assessed law-enforcers' work to investigate the " assassination attack" on him as " highly effective and very professional" . But Vladimir Levin, a lawyer of detained suspect Vladimir Kvachkov, disagrees with this assessment, saying that the Prosecutor' s Office has failed to present any proof of his client' s guilt. In an interview the lawyer talks about it. (1, 6, Kommersant, 5, Gazeta, 13)

An explosion and then a fire in a three-story apartment house in the north-east of Moscow on Monday morning left 2 people dead and another 12 injured. Eleven families were left without housing. The story describes the accident. (6, Kommersant, 6, Gazeta, 14, 15)

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia on Monday expressed its indignation in connection with the appearance of school notebooks depicting skinheads and their slogans on the covers. The Moscow Prosecutor' s Office promised to check up the incident. (6, Kommersant, 7)

Economic Development Minister German Gref at a gvt session presided over by President Putin on Monday reported about the economic results of January and February of this year. The story examines them in detail, focusing on how Vladimir Sokolin, head of the Federal State Statistics Service, commented on Gref' s report. (9)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov at a gvt session on Monday seriously criticized those regional administrations and governors, who up to now have failed to resolve the problem of providing benefits-recipients with discounted public transport tickets. The story comments on the issue. (9, Kommersant, 2)

The Federal Statistics State Service on Monday made public data showing how salaries of bureaucrats of all levels increased in 2004. The brief offers concrete figures. (9)

The Ukrainian Soyuz-Viktan company on Monday announced that it had bought vodka distillery from Russian Group Vestor in Ruza (Moscow region) . The story examines the deal. (11, Gazeta, 23)

Gazprom on Monday began to accept bids on a participation in an open auction to sell 20 percent of the Olympiisky bank. The story focuses on an unusual situation around the sale. (11)

The story presents an in-depth analysis of the domestic insurance market in 2004 when it expanded by 9 percent as compared with the previous year. (12)

Apartment houses in the center of Moscow are sold without notifying their tenants about it. As an example the story describes a concrete case to illustrate the point. (13)

The world today is marking the Day of Water. Environmentalists disapprove the quality of Moscow water, saying the the city water supply system urgently needs major renovation. The story examines this serious water problem. (13, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 9, Trud, 1, 7)

OMMERSANT (22/3/2005)

The bank accounts of the Moscow Oil Refinery since Friday had been frozen due to $135 million tax claims for 2000-2002, but on Monday they were unfrozen, and the refinery was given a month to come to agreement with tax agencies. The story examines its financial problems. (1, 13)

President Putin at a gvt session non Monday analyzed in detail results of his visit to Ukraine, calling them " comforting" . The story gives Putin' s assessment of his Ukrainian visit. (2)

Penza regional governor Vasily Bochkaryov has applied to the president with a request to express confidence, which Vladimir Putin should do in a week. Penza analysts say the governor' s chances to preserve his post are small. The story says why. (3)

The story comments on results of the Sunday mayoral elections in Chelyabinsk, in which State Duma deputy Mikhail Yurevich has won a victory. (3)

Will Chechnya be admitted to the European Union? Six politicians, State Duma deputies and party leaders share their views on the point. (4 )

Former Mayor of Snezhinsk (former Chelyabinsk-70) Anatoly Oplanchuk late last week was arrested on charges of bribe-taking and abusing power. The story details his case. (6)

The Health Committee of the Moscow City Duma on Monday sent to the Health Ministry an official inquiry demanding to include codeine- containing medical preparations into a list of medicines being sold strictly by doctor' s prescription. The story gives reasons behind deputies' demand. (7)

The Overseeing Council of the weekly " Moskovskiye Novosti" stated on Monday that it had " put a moratorium " on the decision of Editor-in-Chief Yevgeny Kiselyov to sack the key employees of the newspaper. The story comments on the Council' s decision. (7)

The press service of the Moscow city gvt reported on Monday that the Christ the Saviour Cathedral that was restored six years ago needs remont. The story examines a serious problem. (8)

The State Duma on Monday conducted a round table to discuss the ecological safety of anti-ice substances. The discussion was initiated by the Ecology Committee of the Moscow gvt. The main reason for the discussion of the city problem at the federal level was numerous complaints from the population against the used chemical reagents. The story describes the discussion, focusing on deputies' proposals and decisions. (8)

The Emergency Situations Ministry on Monday made public its forecast on weather anomalies in the next several days. Weather specialists forecast emergency situations in the majority of Russian regions. The story examines their forecasts. (8)

The Kommersant. Publishing House company on Monday paid out ahead of schedule 85 million rubles to the Bank of Moscow, thus clearing off the credit it borrowed from the bank to pay money to Alfa-Bank that was demanded by the court. Brief. (13)

The Prosecutor General' s Office has appealed to the Yukos' subsidiaries with a proposal to declare themselves as losing sides in investigated criminal cases on embezzlements by Yukos managers. The story reveals the essence of the proposal, saying how the subsidiaries regard it. (13)

Wimm-Bill-Dann in 2004 increased its net profit by US GAAP by 8. 5 percent as compared with the figure for 2003. This was stated by Interfax. Brief. (13)

Bert Vos, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Industrial Bank, on Monday announced the purchase of 100 percent of shares of the bank that has joined the deposits insurance system. The story examines the deal. (14)

The Central Bank on Monday announced changes in the structure of the currency basket that it uses as a guiding line of its rate policy-- the basket now contains a doubled share of the euro. The story comments on the bank' s decision, focusing on its further plans. (14)

VEDOMOSTI (22/3/2005)

The deal to sell 25 percent of shares of MegaFon may cost a dear price to investment banker Leonid Rozhetskin. Moscow criminal investigators suspect him of swindling, for which he can receive a ten-year prison term. (A1)

The shareholders of the German cosmetic Dr. Scheller Cosmetics company have failed to refuse Russian Kalina to become an owner of 30 percent of its shares. Kalina for 8. 3 million euros will receive the whole portfolio of European cosmetic trade marks of the mass market segment. (A1)

Yukos subsidiaries have been instructed to demand $11. 5 billion from the parent company, which is the money that, in the opinion of the Prosecutor General' s Office, has not been received by Samaraneftegaz and Tomskneft due to Yukos' use of the transfer prices. (A1)

The gvt economic bloc and Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov are now disputing about the state approach to state-run property. Economic Development Minister German Gref believes that the Federal Property Fund should be stripped of monopoly on state property trade, but Fradkov is upholding the opposite viewpoint. The story reveals their viewpoints. (A1)

The south of Kyrgyzstan is being controlled by the opposition that aims now at seizing the republic' s capital city Bishkek. (A2)

If oil does not go down in price, the oil companies this year will pay to the budgets $60 billion-$65 billion in taxes, which is approximately by one-third more than it was last year. (A3)

A campaign to put fuel and energy enterprises under state control is continuing in Bashkiria. President Murtaza Rakhimov on Monday sacked two key ministers (their names are given) , who allegedly took part in withdrawing assets. (A3)

Ukraine has proposed to Russia to limit the project of the Single Economic Space (SES) by only instituting a zone of free trade. Is it possible to boost in this way SES that Belarus and Kazakhstan should also join soon? Four experts share their views on the issue. (A4 )

Yevroset over the past 8 years has turned from a couple of small shops into a powerful trading network with a turnover of almost $1 billion. In an interview its co-owners Yevgeny Chichvarkin, head of the Yevroset Board of Directors, and Timur Artemyev, member of its Board of Directors, talk about their profit-making business, focusing on how they started it. (A5)EDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENf Mayor Yury Luzhkov fails to find a method how to save the Moscow Oil Refinery, from which the tax agencies are demanding $135 million in taxes, the enterprise may be put under control of the minority shareholders -- either Sibneft or Tatneft. (B1)

Raiffeisen International, an East-European branch of Austrian Raiffeisen Zentralbank, is in exclusive talks on a purchase of the second large Ukrainian bank " Aval" . This was stated by Raiffeisen International Director-General Gerbert Schtepik. Brief. (B1)

The Interdepartmental Commission on reforming electrical energy on Monday approved a project of reforming Taimyrenergo. The brief looks at the project, saying what it envisages. (B1)

TNK-BP that has been appointed as a coordinator of the project of building the Burgas- Aleksandrupolis oil pipeline bypassing Bosphorus and Dardanella straits is ready to guarantee part of oil delivery by this route. This was stated by the company' s Executive Director German Khan. Brief. (B1)

The gvt decree on raising export oil product duties can be signed on Monday and will take effect not earlier than April 24. This was stated by a source in the interdepartmental commission on protective measures in foreign trade. Brief. (B1)

Yukos in 2004 increased oil extraction and gas condensate by 5. 3 percent -- up to 85. 1 million tons. This is stated in the company' s press release. Brief. (B1)

Group" SOK" is in talks with South Korean KIA Motors on making different models of this company at the Izh-Avto auto plant (part of Group SOK) . This was stated by holding' s Director-General Alexander Solovyov. Brief. (B1)

A small Barnaul company " Khleb Altaya" is trying to become large, using all affordable means for financing its projects. In the next 6 months the company would like to make a public and private placement of shares, receive banking credits and issuing bonds to receive $60 million. (B1)

Polyus, a leading domestic gold extractor, has received an export license to extract gold. Before the end of this year it will deliver to the CSFB bank 15 tons of gold worth $120 million. (B2)


Kazakhstan' s united opposition on Sunday stated that the single candidate at the upcoming presidential elections will be Zharmakhan Tuyakbai, the Chairman of the Coordinating Council of Democratic Forces. The story examines his candidacy. (1, 5)

The story examines a program and participants in the International Festival of Detective Films --" DetectiveFEST" --that will soon open in Moscow. (2)

Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin on Monday submitted to Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov a report about his activity in 2004. A strange thing about it is that for 3 months it has remained closed for the public. Why ? The story reflects on its secret information. (2)

Russian companies are conducting negotiations on oil deliveries to North Korea. this was stated on Monday by Russian Railways head Gennady Fadeyev, who said that his company plans to take part in this project. The story comments on his statement. (3)


A group of support to revoke the mayor of the city has for the first time in Russia been registered in Voronezh, where residents are displeased at unjustified growth of local utilities tariffs that was even opposed by the court. Public protests against the reform of the housing utility sector have begun in many other cities, and if authorities ignore them, then the social outburst of indignation will be inevitable. The story comments on the issue. (1, 2)

The Security Commission of the Moscow City Duma on Monday discussed a letter from Moscow Military Commandant Major-General Alexander Denisov, who asked deputies to toughen punishment for an illegal wearing of military uniform. The story examines the existing legislation. (1, 7)

Several Russian politicians, State Duma deputies, human rights activists and party leaders (their names are given) on Monday signed a declaration on joint action against political and social reforms being conducted now in Russia. The story examines the declaration, focusing on its aim. (2)

The 21st National Theatrical Festival " Zolotaya Maska " (Golden Mask) was opened over the weekend that will end on April 11. The story features the event, focusing on its participants. (5)


The story describes a road accident in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday, when a trolley driver due to Lent did not eat anything for three days and fainted at the wheel. (3)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov new book titled " The Development of Capitalism in Russia. 100 Years After" (and the subtitle The Dispute with the Government About Social Policy) has appeared on sale in Moscow bookshops. The story previews the book, saying why it' s worthy to read it. (8)

In an interview Viktor Zubkov, head of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service, examines the problem of laundering money by banks, saying how such banks are punished. (9-11)

The Central Bank this week will finish to select banks, in which the state guarantees the safety of accumulations up to 100, 000 rubles. The story offers a list of 153 banks that have been included into the state system of deposit insurance. (12, 13)

After the killing of Aslan Maskhadov, the next target of domestic special services is undoubtedly Shamil Basayev. Where is this " one-legged" warlord hiding ? They say that he has married a Cossack woman. The feature story reflects on his possible whereabouts. (16, 17)

Law-enforcers guarantee safety to all those who will give information about the whereabouts of Terrorist Number One Shamil Basayev. Besides, the FSB will pay for a plastic operation and will give a $10 million reward. Brief. (17)


The story describes how so-called " black realtors" in Moscow with the help of city police kill lonely or old-age sick Muscovites to own their apartments. With this aim in view, killers use special lists of such Muscovites. One of such lists is given here (1, 6, 3)

The gvt is expected to endorse documents that will limit the disabled people' s access to social welfare benefits and compensations. The story examines one of such documents that classifies all disabled people into disability groups. (1, 3)

A twenty-six year-old scrap metal collector in Balashikha (Moscow region) late last week received home-made vodka instead of money for his scrap metal and invited his 10 friends to drink with him. As a result, all of them were poisoned, and five died. The story gives details. (1)

According to the decision of the Moscow, City Telephone Networks, all telephone numbers in the Moscow center, starting with 292, will be changed soon. The first figure " 2" will be changed into " 6" . All owners of such telephone numbers will be informed about these changes. (1)

Domestic scientists have developed special psychological methods, with the help of which terrorists can be made release hostages and give up any kind of violence. The story describes the method. (1)

An old-aged Muscovite, who formerly worked in law-enforcement bodies, through court demanded from the Moscow Police Department money for his funeral. The story comments on his demand. (1)

The Moscow City Duma plans to discuss soon urgent measures to protect Muscovites (by their numerous requests) from different religious sects, the number of which has considerably increased lately. The story gives concrete facts to show how adversely their sermons affect people' s health. (1)

Petrol after March 8 again began to go up in price. The story describes this spring tendency, saying what is awaiting us in April. (2)

The story looks into the Soviet past to find out who invented the system of social welfare benefits and with what aims. By the way, the monetarization of social benefits threatened us in 1997 and in 2002, but then that danger passed by. (4 )