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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

04/15/2005

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Losing Lukashenko

Over the past 17 months, President Vladimir Putin has suffered a series of setbacks on the foreign policy front, in Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and Kyrgyzstan. As a consequence, he has little reason to believe that the CIS is a viable entity capable of enhancing Moscow's capacity to dominate events in the space formerly occupied by the Soviet Union.

Cold Cuts and Hot Beats

Half a lifetime in this country and I can't even get the food translated right?

Press Review

A brief look at the stories making headlines in the Russian-language press

Kyrgyzstan Welcomes Rumsfeld

President Bakiyev tells the defense secretary that the U.S. can keep its air base.

3 Indicted Over UN's Oil-for-Food Program

A Texas businessman, a British citizen and a Bulgarian citizen have been indicted in New York for reportedly paying millions of dollars in secret kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq as part of the United Nations oil-for-food program.

Teenage Czech Upsets Myskina

Anastasia Myskina's preparations for the defense of her French Open title suffered another setback on Wednesday as she lost to 15-year-old Czech Nicole Vaidisova in the Family Circle Cup second round.

Business in Brief

Reserves Hit $137.5Bln The Central Bank said it added $100 million to its foreign currency and gold reserves in the week to April 8, increasing the reserves to $137.5 billion, because of high oil prices. The reserves declined in the previous week as Russia repaid foreign debts that fell due at the end of March. (Bloomberg) $15Bln Surplus in '05? Russia expects to run a budget surplus of 405 billion rubles ($14.56 billion) in 2006, the government said Thursday, well above the 370 billion rubles forecast by the Economic Development and Trade Ministry last week. Spending was forecast at 3.685 trillion rubles on revenues of 4.09 trillion rubles. Next year's surplus is still expected to be much smaller than what Russia hopes for this year. (Reuters) Subsoil Law to Duma Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev has asked President Vladimir Putin to support legislation aimed at increasing investment, in part by restricting foreign ownership of the country's oil and metals deposits.

News in Brief

Putin's Duma Reform Plans President Vladimir Putin on Thursday presented detailed plans to reform the State Duma that he says will increase stability but which critics warn could do exactly the opposite. Putin's proposals will compliment a basic bill, which the Duma is expected to pass in a second reading Friday. Under the plan, all 450 seats will be elected on a party-list basis. The new bill also prevents small parties from joining forces, closing the last window of opportunity for them to meet the 7 percent threshold. The state subsidy for parties that make it to the Duma will rise six-fold to 600 million rubles ($21.57 million), and party leaders will be able to expel from the Duma any member who dares to defect.

Report: Beslan HQ Was Run by Others

Public anger over the handling of last year's Beslan hostage-taking crisis might have been directed at the wrong officials, according to an investigative report published by Novaya Gazeta on Thursday.

An Appeal to Rehabilitate Stalin

The legislature in Oryol said it had never been proved that Stalin was responsible for the deaths of millions.

Report: UES to Sell Mosenergo Early

Unified Energy Systems is planning to jump-start the stalled power sector reform by selling off its prize asset Mosenergo later this year, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

Iraqis Talk Business in Moscow

Members of the Baghdad Chamber of Commerce met Thursday with Russian business representatives in Moscow to discuss the revival of traditional Soviet-era ties that have lapsed since the Iraq war.

RZD Plans $1.5Bln Investment in 2nd Quarter

Russian Railways Co., or RZD, plans to spend 41 billion rubles ($1.5 billion) on tracks, rail cars and locomotive upgrades in the second quarter to increase oil shipments.

VimpelCom Q4 Profit Rises 28%

VimpelCom, Russia's No. 2 mobile phone operator, posted a 28 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, citing rapid subscriber growth.

Norilsk Gold Unit to Take World Stage

The planned spin-off of Polyus by Norilsk Nickel marks a step toward turning the gold unit into a global mining group and is likely to draw investors wanting a stake in Russian gold.

Gref Gives Siemens New Hope

German engineering giant Siemens' tie-up with Siloviye Mashiny, or Power Machines, could still go ahead despite a bid being blocked by the government, Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref said Thursday.

Pichugin Faces New Murder Charges

Prosecutors have filed new murder charges against Alexei Pichugin, less than two weeks after the former Yukos security official was sent to jail for 20 years after being found guilty of organizing a double murder and conspiring to murder.

Ring Smuggled 1,000 People

The Federal Security Service and the Interior Ministry have busted a crime ring that trafficked more than 1,000 people to France, Spain and the United States, an FSB spokesman said on Thursday.

Kostroma's Search for a Skull for the Tsar

The legend of Ivan Susanin, the peasant who gave his life to save the first Romanov tsar, may stand or fall on the analysis of a skull found near the ancient Volga River city of Kostroma, where archeologists are claiming to have unearthed the local hero's remains in a 17th-century graveyard.

A Train Trip to Remember

It was a scene, for some, right out of the movies: A military band filled the air with patriotic songs while relatives blinked back tears and waved goodbye to the men and boys behind the train windows, crisp in their full dress uniforms.
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