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Press Review

IZVESTIA (25/4/2005)

President Putin in the Kremlin today will deliver a state of the nation address to the Federal Assembly. The story examines how it differs from his previous ones, focusing on its difficulties. What did the president say in his five previous addresses? (1, 4, 6, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 3, Vremya Novostei, 1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, Gazeta, 4, MK, 5)

The German newspaper " Handelsblatt" reported that the German RTL Group media-holding with a participation of the Bertelsmann AG concern will soon buy 49. 9 percent of shares of the Russian REN TV television channel for 100 million euros. The story examines the deal, focusing on its paradoxical nature. The brief names five Russian television networks owned by foreigners. (1, 2, Kommersant, 16)

Twenty-nine-year-old Vice-Governor of the Perm region Nikita Belykh has been declared as the leader of the Union of Right Forces party (SPS) that for almost 18 months had existed " without the face" . The story highlights this person. (1, 2, Kommersant, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 2, Gazeta, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 2)

The story describes new suspects of the recent assassination attempt on UES CEO Anatoly Chubais. Among them is former Press Minister Boris Mironov' s son Ivan, who worked as an aide of Rodina faction deputies -- first of Sergei Glazyev and then of Yelena Mukhina. The faction has rejected a version of its members' participation in the assassination attempt. (1, 2, Kommersant, 5, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 12, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 2, 7, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, MK, 2)

United Russia leader Boris Gryzlov at a session of the party' s General Council on Saturday stated that his party will have neither ideological platforms nor wings. Along with this, the party now have new chiefs -- Vyacheslav Volodin as General Council Secretary and Yury Volkov as head of the party' s Executive Committee. The story comments on Gryzlov' s statement. (2, 7, Kommersant, 1, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Gazeta, 2, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Novaya Gazeta, No. 30, p. 9, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, MK, 1, 2)

The gvt on Thursday decided to revise the existing decree concerning narcotics control. Its new decision is aimed at toughening its anti-drug policy. The story reveals its essence. (2)

Official Tbilisi has demanded from Moscow that it punish its peacekeepers suspected of killing a Georgian refugee in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. This was stated by Gigi Ugulava, a new leader of the administration of the Georgian president. The story details the case. (3, Kommersant, 11)

The GUUAM members (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova) at the summit on Friday stated that they no longer view themselves as the fragments of the USSR and intend to become the driver of the " third wave of democratic revolutions" on the territory of the former Soviet Union. The story reveals the essence of this statement, commenting on the summit' s results. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6, Vremya Novostei, 5, Noviye Izvestia, 4)

In an interview Ukraine' s Security Council Secretary Pyotr Poroshenko shares his good impressions from his recent conversation with Russian President Putin. He also talks about Ukraine' s proposals on Trans-Dniestria and about the fate of the Black Sea Fleet. (1, 3)

The story reflects on a possible meeting between Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko with US President George W. Bush in Moscow during the festivities devoted to the 60th Victory anniversary. Official Minsk is interested in such a meeting. (3)

Not long before President Putin' s visit (April 27-28) to Israel, the latter' s Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom in his interview to Israeli journalists called this visit historic. What does the minister expects from it? The story comments on his interview (4)

The French Embassy in Belarus at the initiative of the European Commission has begun in Belarus as an experiment to issue visas with biometrical data. The similar experiment will be conducted in Belgium. The story says how French Ambassador to Belarus Stefan Shmelyovsky (Sp. ?) explained the aim of the experiment. (5)

Estonia has accused the Russian Air Force of violating its air space, saying that the An-26 plane on Saturday without permission entered Estonia' s air space. Brief. (5)

The US Senate has endorsed a draft bill concerning allocating financial aid from the federal budget to Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus for " boosting there vitally significant political and economic reforms" . Brief. (5)

Police in the Moscow region on Thursday detained Podolsk administration head Alexander Fokin, who is suspected of organizing the killing of his rival in the 2002 election-- First Deputy Mayor Pyotr Zabrodin and his driver. The story details the case. (8, Kommersant, 5, Gazeta, 13)

Grozny police during a special operation on Friday killed local terrorist Suleiman Dakayev, who was a so-called emir of the Shcholkovskaya and Chervlenaya villages. Brief. (8)

Five prison convicts in Vsevolozhsk (Leningrad region) on Saturday evening after an attack on two guards left the building. Two of them were detained on Sunday. Brief. (8, Kommersant, 5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 7, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 12)

Gazprom shares went down in price by 1 percent on Friday when it was reported that the Gazprom-Rosneft merger scheme may be revised again. The story examines how the Gazprom share market reacted to this information. (9, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 4)

President Putin in the Kremlin on Friday received TNK-BP shareholders, including British Petroleum chief executive Lord Browne of Madimngley. The story describes the meeting, saying what factors made it urgent. (9, 11, Kommersant, 13, 16, Vremya Novostei, 8)

The Vympelcom Board of Directors at a session on Friday blockaded Alfa-Group' s proposal to buy Ukrainian WellCom. (Alfa-Telecom owns the controlling stake of Vympelcom. ) The story explains why Alfa-Group' s attempt to break into the Ukrainian market has failed. (9)

Renova Group head Viktor Vekselberg intends to create a platinum holding on the basis of domestic and international assets. The story reveals Vekselberg' s ambitious plans. (9)

The Audit Chamber has made claims to the Finance Ministry, saying that it has failed to use its right to delay tax payments by enterprises. The story comments on the Chamber' s claims. (10)

The strategy of boosting the domestic financial market will be submitted to the gvt before June 1. This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov at a session of the Council on Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship on Friday. The story examines the document' s main provisions. (10)

Ukraine' s Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko at her negotiations with TNK-BP and LUKoil late last week managed to persuade them to lower petrol prices in Ukraine. The story describes how she did it. (11)

Bazovy Element is in talks with the Nizhny Novgorod Fair administration on the purchase of its controlling stake. The story describes the negotiations. (11)

Moscow Chief Architect Alexander Kuzmin commented on results of sociological opinion polls to see how Muscovites regard living in high-rises in the city. (12)

KOMMERSANT (25/4/2005)

The Finance Ministry today is expected to submit to the gvt a reworked text of amendments to the Tax Code concerning reform of tax administering. The story examines the draft' s major provisions. (1, 15)

The State Duma, despite numerous objections, on Friday passed (in the first reading) two draft bills -- the Forest and Water codes. The story examines the documents, focusing on their provisions that caused heated debate. (2)

The Orel Regional Council on Saturday by President Putin' s nomination unanimously endorsed the candidacy of present regional head Yegor Stroyev to the post of governor for the fourth term. The story comments on the Council' s choice. (4)

The Nizhny Novgorod Regional Legislative Assembly on Saturday asked governor Gennady Khodyrev to quit his post voluntarily. Thirty-six out of the 42 deputies signed the appeal to the governor. The story looks at the appeal, saying why several deputies refused to sign it. (4)

The Expert Council attached to the Education and Science Ministry has drafted a concept of new school standards that includes state demands to the education process. The story examines the concept, focusing on its revolutionary character. (6)

GAI in the center of Moscow today, starting 18:30, will close streets to auto traffic. The given map shows these streets. (6)

Russian police in Volokolamsk (Moscow region) on Saturday by the warrant of Kazakh authorities detained highly-regarded Kazakh opposition journalist Irina Petrushova, Editor-in-Chief of the weekly " Respublika" . The story details her case. (11)

The Russian Maxima advertising agency (part of AFK Sistema) announced that the Maxima-Kiev company has been registered in Kiev. The brief looks at its place and role in Ukraine. (13)

The Economic Development Ministry has instructed Rosimushchestvo to valuate the state-run packages of shares in several companies that the state intends to transfer to the charter capital of ALROSA Rosimushchestvo will complete this work by the end of this summer. The story examines the aim of this state-controlled operation. (13, 14)

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin spent this weekend in Kemerovo where he met with governors from the Siberian Federal District to discuss the fulfillment of the budget-2005 and compiling the budget-2006. Governors in Kemerovo demanded from the Finance minister to spend the stabilization fund to boost Siberia. The story describes the minister' s visit. (14)

Mikhail Krizky, Director-General of Aeroflot-Don, a subsidiary of Aeroflot, on Friday announced his company' s intention to lease up to the end of this year three - short-distance Fokker 100. The story comments on the company' s decision. (16)

Mikhail Abyzov, member of the Management Board of Unified Energy Systems (UES) holding, decided to leave it. The photo caption says why. (16)

The British MG Rover auto company over the weekend announced its bankruptcy. PricewaterhouseCoopers stated that 200 companies all over the world have shown interest in buying its assets. What are they? (16)

VEDOMOSTI (25/04/2005)

Danish lawyer Jeoffrey Galmond (Sp. ?) earned $55 million when he helped MTS and Vympelcom find their place on the St. Petersburg market. The story describes his successful efforts. (A1)

Chernobyl businessman Andrei Rogachev has founded and controls a leading domestic retail Pyatyorochka network with a turnover exceeding $1. 5 billion. The story highlights this entrepreneur and his three partners. (A1)

Russia in the next four years will receive $83 billion in direct foreign investments, which is almost twice as much as was done in the previous 11 years. State bureaucrats and experts agree with this forecast made by the Center for the Macroeconomic Analysis and Short- Term Prognosing. (A1)

Having called Alexander Lukashenko " the last dictator in Europe" , US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice has promised moral support to the Belarussian opposition and stated that " time has come in Belarus for change" . (A1, A4)

President Putin in the Kremlin today has delivered the state of the nation address to the Federal Assembly. The document was prepared exclusively in the Kremlin ; even the prime minister did not take part in writing its text. (A2)

Ukraine' s President Viktor Yushchenko has proposed his own plan to settle down the Trans-Dniestrian conflict. The story reveals its essence. (A2)

LUKoil has promised President Putin to lower petrol prices, and it has kept its promise, which has made the Russian Fuel Union indignant. The latter has filed a complaint against the company with the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service. Does LUKoil really violate the market' s all laws when it trades in cheap petrol? Five experts share their viewpoints. (A4)

In a far-ranging interview Mark Fields (Sp. ?) , the Executive Vice President of Ford of Europe and Premier of Automotive Group, talks about the origin of his company' s successful business in Russia, focusing on its further ambitious plans. (A5)

VEDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMEN

The second wealthy person in Russia (according to Forbes) Vladimir Lisin, the owner of NLMK, can earn a lot of money soon. His company already in May plans to conduct a listing of its shares in London, and it has asked permission from the Federal Financial Markets Service to sell up to 40 percent of its shares on Western exchanges. (B1)

The state does not need to own more than the controlling stake of electrical networks. Such a conclusion has been made by the Economic Development Ministry that has proposed to the gvt not to increase its share up to 75 percent of shares in the Federal Network Company. (B1)

The Irkut Board of Directors has endorsed the agenda of the company' s annual meeting that will discuss issues concerning the company' s dividend policy in 2005-2009. Brief. (B1)

The Federal Property Agency (Rosimushchestvo) will valuate assets that can be included into the charter capital of ALROSA for increasing the state' s share Brief. (B1)

The story examines how analysts assess the schemes of Gazprom' s merger with Rosneft. (B1)

The Magnitogorsk Metals Combine is raising money to buy raw materials assets. Sberbank is willing to give it up to 1. 3 billion euros. (B2)

Former Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk can lose soon part of his assets. The fact is that the Kiev Economic Court has ruled that the privatization of Krivorozhstal was illegal. (B2)

The Severstal-Avto shareholders have sold 30 percent of shares of their company to portfolio investors for $135 million, which is by $6 million less than they planned. . Analysts believe that the reason is a negative situation on the world automotive market. (B2)

Mikhail Abyzov, a key manager in UES CEO Anatoly Chubais' team decided to leave the company after seven years of work in it. The story looks at his further plans. (B2)

The AvtoVAZ Board of Directors has recommended to the shareholders meeting to allocate 738. 8 million rubles or 13. 19 percent of net profit for paying out dividends for 2004. This was stated by AvtoVAZ Vice-President Mikhail Moskalyov. Brief. (B2)

Norilsk Nickel has transferred 20 percent of shares of the South African Gold Fields company to the balance of its subsidiary Jenington International. This was stated by Deputy Director General Denis Morozov. He said that the deal was struck within the framework of the consolidation of international gold-extracting assets on the basis of Polyus. Brief. (B2)

The Sberbank' s net profit in the first quarter of this year amounted to 18. 02 billion rubles as compared with 9. 95 billion rubles for the same period last year. Brief. (B6)

The Bank of Moscow has borrowed a $200 million syndicated credit for 2 years by the LIBOR +1. 6 percent of interest rate. The credit has been organized by ABN AMRO bank N. V. , DEPFA Investment Bank Ltd and Deutsche Bank. Brief. (B6)

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (25/4/2005)

State Duma deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov on Sunday left his ally Garry Kasparov, with whom he tried to create a liberal party. Ryzhkov on Saturday joined the Republican party headed by Vladimir Lysenko. The story comments on Ryzhkov' s unexpected move. (1, 2)

President Putin' s interview to Israel' s state TV Channel One and his " joke" about the Moscow-Damascus missile deal has caused heated polemics with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and MENATEP co-owner Leonid Nevzlin being its main participants. The story comments on their emotional statements (3)

UES head Anatoly Chubais last week in his several interviews criticized several politicians opposing authorities and spoke about a favourable economic climate in Russia. At the same time, some sources reported that UES is selling the controlling interest of the last significant independent television channel-- REN TV. What conclusions can be made from these facts? Six authoritative spin doctors, businessmen and public figures share their viewpoints on Chubais' state of mind. (1, 3)

The story comments on important events that took place last week for the patriotic opposition headed by Gennady Semigin, the leader of the political coalition Patriots of Russia. Thus, on Monday the People' s gvt he heads presented Russia' s New Course and Concept of alternative budget policy. And on Wednesday a new political party --The Patriots of Russia-- was created on the basis of the coalition under the same name. (3)

The State Duma in the 3rd quarter of this year will pass a draft package of amendments to the legislation concerning the liberalization of gas prices, which in turn will allow to liberalize the gas market for industrial consumers, starting 2006. . The story looks at several amendments. (4)

Rosimushchestvo has decided to liquidate 16 enterprises from the total number of federal state unitary enterprises under its control. This is stated in Rosimushchestvo' s press release. Brief. (4)

According to the WTO report, the overall volume of commodity export in the whole world in 2004 amounted to $9 trillion and 123. 5 billion, which is by 21 percent more than the figure for 2003. The brief looks at the first 10 states on the list. (4)

The Russian Railways Board of Directors decided to create the first several suburban passenger companies on the Moscow and Sverdlovsk railways. This was stated by Genrikh Fadeyev, the company' s President. Brief. (4)

ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA (25/04/2005)

In a far-ranging interview Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin talks about gvt financial policy and about the state of the budget -2005, focusing on its expenditures, saying that the gvt spends budget funds in a wrong way. (1, 5)

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov is also the deputy head of the Committee on Celebrating the 60th Victory Anniversary. In Nizhny Novgorod on this occasion on Saturday he opened a special all-Russian Memorial Watch. The story describes this event. (2)

Nine days have passed since five children disappeared in Krasnoyarsk. The story describes how police and FSB officers have been looking after them in the whole Siberian Federal District. (2)

The Moscow Public Traffic Inspectorate has announced disturbing results of its 10-day check-up of the work of Gazel taxi-cabs. The story examines them in detail. (2)

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Monday has begun two -day negotiations with his Georgian counterpart Salome Zurabishvili. The story focuses on main issues they will discuss. (3)

Russia has handed over to the Israeli Defense Ministry the tactical- technical specifications of anti-aircraft missiles it delivers to Damascus. The story examines the documents. (3)

Valery Yazev, head of the non-commercial partnership " Russian Gas Association" (RGO) , late last week announced its stand on the liberalization of gas prices. RGO believes that the State Duma in the third quarter of this year will pass a package of amendments making it possible to liberalize the gas market for industrial consumers, starting Jan. 1, 2006. The story reveals the association' s stand on the issue. (4)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov has signed a decree, according to which new security standards will be worked out soon for hotel guests. The story comments on the document that will help increase the number of tourists to Moscow. (4)

A season of Moscow fountains will officially be opened on April 30. The story describes the traditional fountain opening ceremony on Poklonnaya Gora(4)

Yury Lyubimov, chief artistic stage director of the Moscow Taganka Theater on Sunday showed its new production called " Suf (f) le" based on works by several Western philosophers. The story examines Lyubimov' s new work. (6)

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA (25/4/2005)

The story comments on a new article titled " The Community of Countries--the Allies of Russia " by authoritative pro-Kremlin spin doctor Stanislav Belkovsky. (3)

The first trans-national financial-industrial group has been created on the Moscow realty market to put into effect the concept of affordable housing in the city. About 30 companies have become its founders. In an interview its President Nikolai Karasev talks about this new structure, focusing on circumstances that have caused its creation. (5)

The story gives the rating of the longest lines in Moscow-- the first one -- to the City GAI office, the second -- to the Pension Fund and the third line is to the Kremlin Concert Hall. (8)

Eleven show business stars say what they prefer to insure: some prefer to insure their voice, others -- their nerves, and still other-- their legs, figures, etc. (12, 13)