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Press Review

IZVESTIA (16/3/2005)

The FSB on Tuesday reported that people, who told it about the location of Aslan Maskhadov, had received the promised reward of 300 million rubles. The FSB stressed that it would pay out the similar sum for information about the whereabouts of Shamil Basayev. The story comments on the FSB' s statement, saying that it contradicts what Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov stated. All central papers comment on this contradictory information. ((1, 3, Kommersant, 4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Gazeta, 1, 10, Trud, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 4, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, MK, 1, 2 )

The International Olympic Committee' s Evaluation Commission in Moscow on Tuesday inspected several sports facilities to see whether they are adequately equipped for the next Summer Olympic Games -2012. The story describes facilities inspected by the commission and its impressions. (1, 8, Gazeta, 12, 13, Vremya Novostei, Noviye Izvestia, 7, Moskovskaya Pravda, 1, Russky Kuryer, 14, 11, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 27, MK, 10)

Self-exiled Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky in March intends to arrive in Kiev. With this aim in view, he has asked Ukrainian authorities for an entry visa. The story comments on Berezovsky' s plans, saying that his visit may cause a Russian-Ukrainian scandal. (1, Kommersant, 10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4)

President Putin on Tuesday visited the building of the Bolshoi Theater, where its Director - General Anatoly Iksakov convinced the president that the theater urgently needs major renovation. The story describes the president' s visit and his decision to revamp the Moscow Bolshoi and the St. Petersburg Mariinsky theaters. (1, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Vremya Novostei, 1, 10, Gazeta, 2, 3, Trud, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 7, MK, 9)

The State Duma today is expected to pass a bill concerning the Public Chamber. The story examines the main provision of the bill, focusing on what may prevent it from being implemented. (2, Noviye Izvestia, 2)

Three authoritative Muslim public figures (their names are given) have stated the creation of a new public movement -- the Russian Islamic Heritage -- that, in their opinion, is independent, not political and not religious. The story describes its aims and tasks. (2, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Gazeta, 7)

The Constitutional Court on Tuesday ruled that Labour Code' s Point 2 of Article 278 is in line with the Constitution. This point allows authorities to fire enterprise bosses without explaining reasons. At the same time, the Court declared Article 279 unconstitutional. The story reveals its essence, commenting on the Court' s ruling. (2, Kommersant, 1, 15, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 4)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov stated his intention to complain to Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and to Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov against the Defense Ministry, which has neglected the apartment buildings (321) under its control and which does not want to make them Moscow' s property. The story comments on Luzhkov' s decision. (3)

VTSIOM has conducted an opinion poll to see how Russians regard the work of the State Duma in 2004. The story examines results, focusing on what S. D. Speaker Boris Gryzlov said to sociologists on Tuesday. (3)

Eggs were thrown at Education Minister Andrei Fursenko at the Krasnoyarsk Education House on Tuesday in protest against his education reform. Brief. (3, Kommersant, 8, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 2, Gazeta, 4, 5, Noviye Izvestia, , Komsomolskaya Pravda, 3, MK, 2)

Abkhazia' s President Sergei Bagapsh in Moscow on Tuesday proposed Russia to create an anti-terror center in Gudauta on the territory of the former Russian military base that was withdrawn in the early ' 90s. Brief. (3, Kommersant, 10)

Krasnoyarsk regional governor Alexander Khloponin examines reasons behind his region' s merger with Taimyr and Evenkia. (4)

Georgian police near the building of the parliament in the center of Tbilisi on Tuesday used muscles and iron rods to disperse a rally of medical students. The story describes the protest act, saying that several participants were injured. The focus is on its their demands. (5, MK, 6)

Dagestani police in the Khasavyurt region on Monday and Tuesday failed to kill rebels in two special operations. The story describes their unsuccessful efforts. (1, 6, Kommersant, 6, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 11, Trud, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 5)

The Emergency Situations Ministry' s Southern Regional Center has submitted to the State Duma amendments to the law concerning the fundamentals of tourism activities in Russia. The ministry would like to oblige the tourist firms to undergo obligatory certification and coordinate tourist itineraries. The story examines several amendments, saying how market participates regard the ministry' s efforts to earn good money. (9)

The fate of the Gazprom-Rosneft merger has been decided. The Economic Development Ministry, the Industry and Energy Ministry, the Federal Property Fund, and these companies' leadership have coordinated at last a concerted plan of action to consolidate the assets. The merger is to complete in June. The story reveals the plan. (9)

The Mitsubishi Electric company in Moscow today will present a program of boosting in Russia a new type of photo services --photo- kiosks. The company plans to place in Moscow many interactive devices that will be able to make copies of photos from cellular telephones. The story describes this novelty. (10)

Rosneft has found a way of getting rid of 50 percent of its debts amounting to about $20 billions: the company is suing Yukos managers, demanding from them $11. 1 billion in compensation for inadequate management of Yuganskneftegaz. The story examines the case. (11, Kommersant, 16)

The leadership of the state-run television and radio company " Chuvashia" , part of the VGTRK holding, on Monday sacked several tends of its employees. Lay-offs are also taking place in other television companies of the holding, which is connected with reforming of the VGTRK structure. The story examines it in detail. (11 )

Mayor Yury Luzhkov and Economic Development Minister German Gref on Tuesday signed a protocol on intentions to resolve all differences and to divide at last city disputed buildings of architectural significance. The story comments on the document' s main provisions. (13, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 5)

KOMMERSANT (16/3/2005)

Alexander Temerko, deputy head of the Managing Board of the Yukos-Moskva oil company, left Yukos on Tuesday. In Yukos he was in charge of contacts with state bodies. The story examines reasons behind Temerko' s resignation. (1)

President Putin on Tuesday met with Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov to discuss the social and economic situation in the country. They also discussed the agenda for the gvt budget commission' s sessions today and on March 18. These sessions will decide the fate of the future budget -2005-2008 and the stabilization fund. (2)

President Putin on Tuesday nominated in the Tatarstan' s State Council the candidacy of the head of state Mintimer Shaimiyev to be confirmed as President of the republic for the 4th term of office. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Gazeta, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4)

Central Election Commission head Alexander Veshnyakov and the United Russia party on Tuesday revealed their different stands on the new rules of elections to the State Duma. The story looks at their major differences. (3)

The United Russia General Council on Feb. 18 admitted to the party Kursk governor Alexander Mikhailov, which had been kept secret since then. The story says why, focusing on his former KPRF membership. (3)

First Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Belousov on Tuesday made public official figures on the ministry' s human losses in Chechnya in 2004 that have turned out to be drastically decreased. The story comments on the figures. (4)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov at a city gvt session on Tuesday summed up results of utility services' work in winter. They had to listen to his fierce criticism. The story examine it in detail. (7, Vremya Novostei, 3, Komsomolskaya Praavda, 6)

The international organization " The Committee on the Protection of Journalists" has published an annual report on the position of mass media in the world. The story examines the report, focusing on its provisions concerning the worsened situation with the freedom of speech in two countries -- Iraq and Russia. (8)

Has Moskovskiye Novosti Editor-in-Chief Yevgeny Kiselyov handed in his resignation ? The brief looks at the current situation in the newspaper. (8, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 6)

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Tuesday launched a stage-- stage withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Iraq, which is the most serious and responsible foreign policy move of the new Ukrainian leadership. The story describes the withdrawal program, saying that Viktor Yushechenko lets it be known that he is not an unquestioning executor of the USA' s will. (9)

The Foreign Minister of Lithuania, Antanas Valenis, on Tuesday threatened to a Russian diplomat that he may be evicted from the country. The story says why. (11)

VEDOMOSTI (16/3/2005)

The dollar on March 15 cost 27. 49 rubles, and how much will it cost tomorrow? The story examines the dollar situation in Russia, saying that it, despite everything, is continuing to trust in it. (A1)

The FSB has paid out $10 million for the information about the location of Aslan Maskhadov. Many experts, however believe that the FSB should not have done it. (A1)

Economic Development Minister German Gref has launched a big privatization deal: his ministry in a couple of days will submit to the gvt a draft presidential decree on excluding Svyazinvest from the list of strategic enterprises. (A1)

President Putin late last week strongly criticized the domestic system of licensing and issuing permissions to small and medium-sized businesses. High-level authorities therewith have shown their attitude to the issue on small businesses. (A1)

The State Duma has found four new auditors to work in the Audit Chamber. Deputies on Friday will vote for six candidates, who were selected by the Budget Committee. The story looks at the selected candidates. (A2)

The Justice Ministry in the fall will launch an experiment to create state-run lawyers' services for the poor. The Prosecutor General' s Office has already criticized this idea. The story examines its stand on the issue, saying how private lawyers regard it. (A2)

President Putin have invited representatives from entrepreneur associations to the Kremlin. They have no idea what the president will talk about, but entrepreneurs on their part intend to discuss tax reforms and to tell president about their social projects. (A3)

UES head Anatoly Chubais believe that to have two, three or five democratic parties is a " ridiculous luxury" for Russia. So how many democratic parties does Russia need ? Four spin doctors and party leaders share their viewpoints. (A4)

Krasnoyarsk region governor Alexander Khloponin this year can go down in history as a collector of Siberian land In a month people of his region, Taimyr and Evenkia will vote for a project of merging the three regions. Khloponin for several months already has been assuring locals that the merger will allow them to carry out the " second industrialization of Siberia" . In an interview he talks about his efforts and ambitious plans. (A5)EDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENwedish Oriflame' s plans irritate residents in prestigious districts on Novorizhskoye Shosse in the Moscow region, where the company intends to build a factory. They have even complained to President Putin, and the company now will be checked up by prosecutors. (A1)

The Yukos Board of Directors has recommended to the company' s leadership to fire Alexander Temerko seniour Vice-President responsible for the company' s contacts with state bodies. Israeli shareholders of Group Menatep support this decision. (B1)

Rosneft creditors next week are expected to hold a meeting with the company' s President, Sergei Bogdanchikov. The brief looks at issues they will discuss. (B1)

The annual meeting of the UES shareholders are scheduled for June 29 in Zelinograd. This was stated by a source close to the holding' s Board of Directors. Brief. (B1)

Unified Energy Systems and its subsidiaries have already sold more than 50 percent of their non-core assets and earned over $500 million. But the energy holding' s minority shareholders would like UES to share this money with them through dividends. (B2)

GM-AvtoVAZ in 2005 can decide to produce the third model on its capacities. This was stated by the company' s Director-General Richard Swando (Sp. ?) (Brief. (B2)

St. Petersburg in 2005 will clear off its 583. 2 million ruble debt before Lenenergo for heating and electrical energy supplied to the city in 2002-2003. Brief. (B2)

The Visa International payment system announced its intention to renew its brand. Thus, Visa would like to present itself as an organization providing a wide range of payment and financial services, and not only plastic cards. The story examines some of its services. (B5 )

The Federal Service for Insurance Surveillance has suspended the license of the AVEST-Classic company from the AVEST Group. The story says why. (B5)

According to the magazine " Institutional Investor" , the best group of investment analysts work in the Renaissance Capital bank, which has for the third time become the best bank in 2004. (B5)

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (16/3/2005)

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has made a sensational statement (unnoticed by many) , saying that the number of troops in Chechnya has increased. The minister at his recent meeting with foreign journalists for the first time over the past 2 years made public the number of troops (including the republican ones) in Chechnya now, which is about 80, 000. In October 2003 the figure was 75, 000. The story comments on the minister' s statement. (1, 4)

Math problems selected for senior school students, participants in the 16th Moscow Math Competition, reflect political changes in the country. The storyffers one such math problem to illustrate the point. (1, 2)

The State Duma Budget Committee on Tuesday nominated 6 candidates, whom the State Duma on Friday will endorse to the post of auditors in the Audit Chamber. The story examines the candidates. (2)

The German BASF AG concern intends to take part in the construction of the North- European gas pipeline that, according to the design of the Russian gvt and Gazprom, will pass along the bed of the Baltic Sea from Russia' s north to the coastline of Germany. The story examines the project. (3)

The St. Petersburg Charter Court has ruled that the existence of the administration of the city governor does not correspond to the law. The story comments on the court' s ruling, saying how the case was initiated. (4)

NOVIYE IZVESTIA (16/3/2005)

The Committee on State Control, Use and Protection of Monuments of St. Petersburg has presented a draft of the new city strategy of saving the cultural legacy. According to the document, the area of the historic zone protected by the state will decrease by 5 times, and many other things will also change. City residents were indignant and are willing to protest. The story examines the controversial draft. (1, 7)

The National Association of Genetic Safety on March 15, the World Day of the Consumer, made public results of its planned check up of meat and sausage produce, conducted in Moscow February. Results were disturbing It found out that sausages made by leading Moscow meat combines contain transgenic substances. The story examines results of the check-up. (1)

Russia -Moldova relations are becoming worse with each passing day. The State Duma on Tuesday again called on the gvt to impose sanctions against this unfriendly country, and on that day Moldova' s President Vladimir Voronin appealed to OSCO with a request to make Moscow withdraw its troops from Trans-Dniestria. The story examines this tense situation, saying that Gagausia' s local residents have written s a letter to President Putin asking him to let them in to Russia. (1, 4)

The Confederation of Consumers' Societies (KonOP) on Tuesday stated that it is willing to publish a list of banks that clients should not apply to. Thus, KonOP intends to fight banks that delude Russians, concealing from them real sizes of payments on consumer credits. (3)

The gvt tomorrow plans to discuss the Economic Development Ministry' s proposals on the creation of the investment fund to finance big economic projects. This fund is to receive money from oil trade. The story examines the ministry' s proposals. (3)

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA (16/3/2005)

The newspaper provides 5 answers to readers' questions about the killing of Ichkeria' s President Aslan Maskhadov on March 8. (2)

Former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky is selling his posh houses in Rublyovka. One house (called a guest private residence) has already been sold for $8. 5 million. The story describes the sold houses. (4)

Chukotka governor Roman Abramovich has been nominated for the Saint Stanislav Order. The story describes its origin and the governor' s charity acts. (4 )

Viktor Kruglov, Chairman of the Legislative Assembly (Parliament) of the Irkutsk region, says what, in his opinion, should be done to prevent Russia from collapse. (5)

In an interview writer Yury Polyakov assesses one year of President Putin' s work in his second term of office. The focus is on reasons behind his errors and failures. (8, 9)

The February session of the Presidium of the State Council devoted to the development of the domestic aviation sector decided to create the United Aircraft-Building Company (OAK) . Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko stated that the creation of OAK will make Russia one in the five world leading aircraft producers. The story describes how this decision is being put into practice. (12)

MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS (16/3/2005)

MK, unlike other papers and magazines, will be sold in the Moscow metro in its news automatic machines. The story describes them in detail, saying that in the not so distant future they will begin to sell other newspapers, too. (1)

A draft of the new Forestry Code has been submitted to the Moscow City Duma. The story examines the draft' s several provisions, focusing on the controversial ones. (2)

More than 50 percent of Ukrainian business is maintained on Russian money. The story describes Russian companies in Ukraine, saying what is awaiting them with President Yushchenko' s promises and Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko' s practical actions. (4)

According to the Swiss Institute Mercer' s report, Moscow is one of the most dangerous cities in the world to live in. In an interview one of the report' s authors researchers Slodjin Parakatil (Sp. ?) comments on the rating, saying how he and his colleagues are compiling such ratings. (6)