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Press Review

IZVESTIA (7/4/2005 )

Mayor Yury Luzhkov' s new book titled " The Development of Capitalism in Russia. 100 Years After" has become in high demand thanks to the efforts of Luzhkov' s Press Secretary Sergei Tsoi. The story describes how he promoted the book. Semyon Linovich, Director General of Moscow Textbooks Publishers, shares his impressions about the book. (1, 2)

Amendments to the law concerning the status of the State Duma deputy regulating the rights and duties of Duma bouncers will be ready in 2-3 months-- this was stated in the Iz. Media-Center on Wednesday by Oleg Koval, head of the S. D. Rules Committee. He believes that introducing bouncers in the State Duma will prevent fights, similar to the one that took place a week ago between the LDPR and Rodina. The story comments on Koval' s statement. (1, 2, Kommersant. 8, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Gazeta, 2, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

Mikhail Khodorkovsky' s lawyer Genrikh Padva in the Moscow Meshchansky District Court on Wednesday continued to defend his client. The story describes his speech, saying how Prosecutor Dmitry Shokhin reacted. (1, 4, Kommersant, 5, Gazeta, 2, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6, Novaya Gazeta, No. 25, p. 9)

Television channels' extensive coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II, this propaganda act in favour of the Vatican, should be stopped -- this was stated in the State Duma on Wednesday by LDPR faction deputy Alexei Mitrofanov. Though the S. D. refused to support him, his statement caused heated discussion. The story describes it Two authoritative television anchors share their views. (2, ,7)

The Committee-2008 on Wednesday held a regular meeting to discuss an issue concerning the creation of the single democratic party. The story describes the meeting, its participants, their views on the issue and their failure to resolve it. (2, Kommersant, 1, 3)

Tajikistan' s President Emomali Rakhmonov on Wednesday instead of visiting the military exercise " Rubezh-2005" arrived in Sochi to meet with President Putin. Rakhmonov made this decision after his long conversation on Tuesday with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov. The story examines issues the two presidents discussed in Sochi. (1, 3, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 2, Gazeta, 5, Trud, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

In an interview European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana shares his good impressions about his meeting with President Putin in Sochi. (3)

President Putin in Sochi on Wednesday received the leaders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The story reveals a specific essence of this meeting. (3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 2)

Gazeta Editor-in-Chief Mikhail Mikhailin on Friday will go on vocation and after it he will resign. The story comments on his decision, saying that, starting Monday, Pyotr Fadeyev will replace him. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3)

Petrozavodsk schools at the initiative of the Karelian Union of Children' s Defense have begun to teach pupils how to defend themselves from police. The story describes such lessons conducted by local human rights advocates. (1, 4)

The Khasavyurt Prosecutor' s Office on Wednesday opened a criminal case on results of special operation conducted in Dagestan on Tuesday to kill Chechen rebels. The operation left a three-year-old boy dead, though the Dagestani Interior Ministry declared it successful. The story details the case. (4, Kommersant, 6, Gazeta, 10, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4, Vremya Novostei, 3)

Georgia' s former President Eduard Shevardnadze on Wednesday harshly criticized his successor Mikheil Saakashvili, who has failed to provide him with pension. The story describes Shevardnadze' s troubles. (5)

According to results of the latest opinion poll taken by Gallup International' s mission " Gorbi" in Georgia, the approval rating of President Mikheil Saakashvili is 38. 2 percent in the whole of Georgia and 30. 1 percent in Tbilisi. Brief. (5)

Kyrgyzstan' s Supreme Court on Wednesday delivered a verdict of ' not guilty' to Felix Kulov, former National Security Minister and one of the most authoritative persons in the republic. The story comments on the verdict, focusing on Akulov' s statement. (5, Kommersant, 10)

The Ukrainian Supreme Rada will send an inquiry to Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun with a request to clarify several mass media' s information concerning Boris Berezovsky' s involvement in preparations of an assassination attack on Viktor Yushchenko in November of 2004. Brief. (5)

The Internet has posted unprobable information saying that Usama ben Laden will attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II scheduled for tomorrow. The pontiff' s 15-page testament on Wednesday were read to Vatican cardinals. The story examines the document. (5)

The Natural Resources Ministry on Wednesday confessed that at the request of Rosneft it had canceled auctions for several large deposits with the aim of preventing foreign companies, including TNK-BP, from a participation in them. State officials say that they have no idea how to legalize limitations for the foreigners. The story comments on the ministry' s decision, saying what experts think of it. (9, Vremya Novostei, 7, Gazeta, 18)

The number of loss-making banks in January increased by almost ten-fold--up to 204 from 22. This is stated in the Central Bank' s report published this week. The story examines the report, citing experts view (9)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov on Wednesday signed a directive on the resignation of two deputies (their names are given) of the Federal Property Chairman. Brief. (9)

Presidential economic adviser Andrei Illarionov on Wednesday supported Gazprom' s plans to liberalize wholesale gas prices for industry and called on authorities to quickly get rid of the other monopolies. . And Economic Development Minister German Gref stated that another liberalization connected with lifting restrictions on trade in Gazprom shares will take place this year. The story comments on their statements. (1, 10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 1, 7, Gazeta, 19)

Information and Communications Minister Leonid Reiman on Wednesday stated for the first time that there is a mechanism of " golden share" in the gvt draft decree on privatizing 75 percent minus one share of Svyazinvest. This draft decree allows the state to block decision making by the Board of Directors. The story examines the draft, saying that it can be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers already today. (11)

The story examines a tense situation with criminal business in Moscow, saying that about 50 percent of all circulated funds in the city is under its control. (12)

KOMMERSANT (7/4/2005)

The gvt at a session today is expected to endorse the conditions of the country' s social and economic development and the main indices of free financial balance for 2006 and for the period of up to 2008. The document has been drafted by the Economic Development Ministry. The story examines the draft, saying that its macroeconomic parameters may cause heated debate. (1, 2, 15)

The story examines proposals by the Federal Tax Service on introducing amendments to the law concerning the improvement of tax administering. (1)

Transportation Minister Igor Levitin, Federal Railway Transport Agency head Mikhail Akulov and Federal Road Agency head Oleg Belozerov in the State Duma on Wednesday told deputies about railway reform and about measures to fund and boost the road sector. The story examines their reports, saying that railway funding was OK, . but motor-roads suffer due to the lack of money. (2)

The St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly on Wednesday passed (in the first reading) a new draft bill concerning the elections to the city parliament. The story examines the draft' s main provisions. (3)

Saratov regional governor Pavel Ipatov on Tuesday evening appointed Saratov Regional Duma Speaker Sergei Shuvalov his representative in the Federation Council. The story comments on the governor' s act, saying what it means. (3)

Ryazan entrepreneur Natalya Suchkova Wednesday resumed her suit in the Ryazan Regional Court against governor Georgy Shpak, demanding money he had borrowed from her on the election campaign. The story details the case. (3)

Israeli police on Wednesday completed their questioning of media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky on the case of laundering money in the Hapoalim bank. No violations by Gusinsky were found. The story gives details. (5)

Chechnya' s Shalinsky District Court on Wednesday sanctioned an arrest of Mesker-Yurt villager Adam Dzhabrailov, who is suspected of killing in 1996 six employees from the International Red Cross. The story details his case. (6)

The Leningrad regional gvt on Wednesday decided to return the Alexandro-Svirsky monastery to the Russian Orthodox Church. Since the ' 60s the monastery has been used as a mental hospital. The story comments on the decision, asking where will its patients go now? (7)

Deputy Education and Science Minister Andrei Svinarenko on Tuesday evening made a sensational statement, , saying that, according to education reform, the number of university specialties is supposed to be cut down to 40-50 from the present 670. The story comments on the statement. (7)

Ukraine' s President Viktor Yushchenko on Wednesday made a speech in the US Congress. The story examines its major provisions, reflecting on how Kiev-Washington new relations may affect Russian-Ukrainian relations. (10)

Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world are bidding a hush farewell to Pope John Paul II. The story describes a tense situation on St. Peter' s Square. (11)

A big deal was struck on Wednesday on the Russian computer games market-- American Ener1 Group bought out the soft Nival company from its founder Sergei Orlovsky for $10 million. The story describes the deal. (13)

Economic Development Minister German Gref at his meeting on Wednesday with representatives from American companies working in Russia made several statements on a possible purchase by Siemens of 74. 4 percent of shares of Silovye Mashiny. The story examines his statements. (13, 15)

According to a Finance Ministry source, the Stabilization Fund in March considerably increased. The brief offers concrete figures to illustrate the point. (13)

VEDOMOSTI (7/4/2005)

Airport Domodedovo has taken away the title of the country' s main air gates. In February it serviced by 427 passengers more than its competitor. And though Sheremetyevo promises to gain back its leadership, experts are sure that Domodedovo will lead the race for another 2 years as a minimum. (A1)

Tax agencies invent exotic methods of making revenues to the budget. The story offers several concrete facts to illustrate the point. (A1)

The Federal Property Fund is demanding from the state-run companies that they pay no less than 10 percent from the net profit for 2004 and not to make payments less that they were last year. (A1)

Boris Ivanishvili, the founder and owner of the Russky Kredit bank, is one of the most mysterious Russian entrepreneurs. He practically has not taken part in any public events and has never given interviews. The magazine Forbes recently evaluated his fortune at $2. 6 billion, but in his own words, the owner of the bank costs more than $5 billion. Last year he sold his main industrial assets. In an interview he says why he has done it and what he intends to do with his money. (A1, A5)

The upcoming Congress of the Union of Right Forces (SPS) scheduled for May 28 may end with a split, since the present SPS leadership is unable to come to agreement on a single candidate for the post of the party leader. SPS former co-Chairman Anatoly Chubais is insisting on the candidacy of Leonid Gozman. Other SPS leaders oppose this person. (A2)

Rosoboronexport can sign a contract on the delivery of 400 tanks T-90C to India for $1 billion. This contract will provide the domestic tank industry with jobs for the next 2 years. (A2)

Does the Single Economic Space have the future? Vladimir Milov, President of the Energy Policy Institute, explains why he doubts it has. (A4)

US President George W. Bush promises to help Ukraine to join NATO and the WTO. How to prevent NATO from appearing in Crimea and how to synchronize the accession of Russia and Ukraine to the WTO? Five experts share their viewpoints. (A4)

The story examines ideas that aircraft builders borrow from auto plants and use in their practice. (A7)


The statute of limitations on foreign capital participation in Gazprom will take place already this year. This was stated on Wednesday by Economic Development Minister German Gref. In his words, it will happen before the end of this year. Brief. (B1)

The starting price at an auction for the right to develop the Udokan copper deposit in the Chita region can amount to 3 billion rubles. This was stated by deputy head of the Federal Natural Resources Agency Oleg Monastyrnykh. Brief. (B1)

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service requested Gazprom to give it information in connection with the creation of the gas-distributing holding " Gazpromregiongaz" . Brief. (B1)

Korean Daewoo has again become the leader on the Russian market. The story describes auto companies that are competing with it. (B1 )

The Magnitogorsk Metals Combine' s structures last year sold 15. 8 percent of the combine' s shares for $306 million. Experts believe that these securities went to managers owning the combine. (B1)

Polyus, managing the gold -extracting assets of Norilsk Nickel begins to obtain the additional issuance of shares of Rudnik imeni Matrosova in the Magadan region. Brief. (B1)

The Norwegian oil and gas Hydro company plans in the next several months to submit to Gazprom technical and economic justification on the development of the Shtokman gas condensate deposit. This was stated by Hydro Director-General Reiten Eivind (Sp?) Brief. (B1)

Economic Development Minister German Gref believes that Sheremetyevo should be privatized or should be passed over in management to a large international consortium with a solid experience. Brief. (B1)

Yuganskneftegaz' debt on a guaranteed obligation on Yukos credits before Societe Generale S. A. bank as of Jan. 1, 2005 amounted to $1. 9 billion. . This information is contained in the company' s quarterly report. Brief. (B1)

Moody' s Investors Service has lowered the long-term crediting rating of General Motors down to Baa3-. This, however, s has not strongly affected the GM bonds: their profitability considerably increased last month. (B2)


he Bashkir opposition today is to hold a protest demanding a resignation of President Murtaza Rakhimov. This act by its scale and spent funds promises to be unprecedented. Bashkir opposition leader Airat Dilmukhamedov, Chairman of the Popular Front of Bashkortostan, participants in the rally will be delivered to Moscow by a special Boeing plane. The story examines the opposition' s action plan. (1, 4)

Uzbekistan' s authorities have begun to oust Western funds and non-governmental organizations that worked in CIS countries and shown themselves as donors of the opposition. Thus, Uzbekistan' s Prosecutor General' s Office has instituted criminal proceedings against a mission of the American non-governmental Internews Network organization. The story describes what the latter did in the republic. (1, 5 )

St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko has more than once told federal authorities about the monetarization law that, in her opinion, should be reworked, but no one has taken her remarks seriously. She describes measures taken by her city administration to make the pensioners' life better under this law. (1, 4)

The 8th Russian Economic Forum (called Russian Davos) will open in the Conference-Center of Queen Elizabeth II in London on Monday. The story describes its program and participants. (2)

The Central Election Commission on Wednesday conducted a round table that was attended by French specialists. Participants shared experience in applying different types of election systems. The story describes the discussion, focusing on the most interesting moments in it. (3)

Massive rallies in Ingushetia are demanding the resignation of the republic' s President Murat Zyazikov and a return of North Ossetia' s Prigorodny District to Ingushetia. The story describes the protest acts. (4)

Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov in the city' s Legislative Assembly on Wednesday made a report on his activity as a representative of the local parliament in the upper house of the Federal Assembly. The story examines his report. (4)

A powerful fire in the building of the Federal Sea and River Transport Agency (or Rosmorflot) on Ulitsa Petrovka at night on April 6 destroyed many valuable things, including archives, contracts, money department documents, etc. The story describes the fire and possible reasons. (6)


The bank deposits insurance system has taken effect. What guarantees does this system provide to millions of Russian depositors ? In an interview Alexander Turbanov, Director-General of the Agency for Deposit Insurance corporation, answers this question, revealing the advantages of this system. (1)

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and his Tajik colleague Sherali Khairulloyev on Wednesday signed an agreement, according to which Russia has received as its property not only facilities in the Nurek optic-electronic complex but also land under them. The story comments on the document. (2)

Transport Minister Igor Levitin in the State Duma on Wednesday told deputies about a poor state of railway and motor-roads in the country. The story examines his report. (2)

The gvt draft bill concerning the stature of limitations on privatization deals will be soon submitted to the State Duma. This was stated on Wednesday by Economic Development Minister German Gref. The story examines the draft. (2)

The American Embassy in Finland has come out in defense of Russia' s image. Thus, it has sent out a written inquiry to Finland' s key ministries with one and the only question -- Why has Finland, a member of the authoritative Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, allowed itself to publish a book about corruption in Russia? The story comments on the American Embassy' s act in defense of Russia. (2)

The presidents of Russia and Belarus--Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko-- during their recent 5-hour meeting in Sochi discussed 20 issues, on which they reached agreement. The story examines them in detail. Soyuz Belarus-Rossiya Supplement (1, 2)

Document. The Federal Law concerning the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation (passed by the State Duma on March 16, 2005 and endorsed by the Federation Council on March 23, 2005. Full text. (14)


The draft bill concerning an obligatory insurance of the responsibility for damage inflicted during a terrorist act committed in crowded public places has been submitted to the State Duma. . Its authors propose to oblige the organizers of public mass events and owners of these places to insure visitors from consequences of terrorist acts. The story comments on the draft, focusing on experts' opinion. (1, 2)

A rally against the dominance of low quality pop took place in Moscow on Wednesday evening. The story describes its organizers, its participants and their demands. (7)

Officials from the Central Election Commission will visit Evenkia on the eve of a referendum there (scheduled for April 17) on the merger with the Krasnoyarsk region. The story comments on the merger issue, focusing on its complicated character and examining other regions that are willing to merge. (2)

The American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow on Wednesday held a session that was attended by representatives from foreign financial corporations working in Russia. The focus was on a report by Economic Development Minister German Gref, who assured those present that results of privatizations will not be revisited in any way. The story describes the session. (3)

The first Integration Forum to discuss issues concerning the Single Economic Space (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan) will open in Moscow today. The story describes the event, its agenda and participants. (4)