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Press Review

IZVESTIA (5/4/2005)

Chief coach of the national soccer team Georgy Yartsev on Monday handed in his resignation, and the new President of the Football Union, Vitaly Mutko, let it be known that he has no intention to retain him. The story comments on the coach' s decision. (1, 15, Kommersant, 1, 24, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 15, Noviye Izvestia, 1, Vremya Novostei, 1, Gazeta, 12, Trud, 1, Zhizn, 23, 24, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 28, MK, 1)

The Law concerning the monetarization of social benefits has been in effect for three months. Its results were discussed on Monday at the parliamentary hearings in the State Duma. Ministers Alexei Kudrin and Mikhail Zurabov assured deputies that the reform was useful. The story examines how they tried to prove it, saying how deputies responded. (1, 2, Kommersant, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 4, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 7)

The Management Board and the Council of Founders of the Television Academy today are expected to endorse new rules of awarding the national television Prize " TEFI-2005" . In an interview Academy President Vladimir Pozner talks about the new rules. (1, 13)

The federal law concerning flight safety took effect on Monday. According to this law, police in civilian clothing will be responsible for the safety of domestic and international flights. Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev comments on the document. (1, 2)

The creation of the military service call-up commissions contradicts the law on the monetarization of social benefits. The story gives details, saying that Nikolai Bezborodov, head of the State Duma Defense Committee, has already drafted amendments to the law. (2)

KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov on Monday made public " The Seventeen Moments of Political Spring" , which is the exact number of questions proposed by the KPRF for a referendum. Besides that, Zyuganov has come up with the idea of " forming the government of national interests" . The story reveals the essence of his proposals. (2, Kommersant, 3, Sovetskaya Rossiya, 1, Gazeta, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, Pravda, 1)

Experts warn that petrol prices in the next several months will go up by 10-20 percent. The story examines several reasons, saying how the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service regards the looming petrol hikes. (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 3)

President Putin in Sochi on Monday received Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko. The story describes their friendly meeting, focusing on issues they discussed. Experts say that Lukashenko' s main aim of his visit to Sochi was to try to understand whether he can count on the help of his only ally-- Vladimir Putin. The results of the meeting have shown that he can. (1, 3, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Gazeta, 6, 7, Vremya Novostei, 2, Trud, 1, 2, Krasnaya Zvezda, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, 5, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 3, MK, 2)

Askar Akayev in the Kyrgyz Embassy in Moscow on Monday finished his 14. 5-year presidential career -- he signed his official resignation and handed it over to Supreme Council Speaker Umirbek Tekebayev. Then he made a 18-minute address to the nation. The story comments on Akayev' s resignation, saying how he explained it. (3, Kommersant, 10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 8, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Gazeta, 7, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 5, Krasnaya Zvezda, 3, Trud, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 8, MK, 1, 2 )

Georgia' s President Mikheil Saakashvili refused to come to Sochi to meet with his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin. The story says why. Saakashvili, however, believes that the negotiations with the Russian president are possible, but only under his conditions. (3, Gazeta, 5)

The Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin on Monday was re-elected head of state for the second term. The story comments on his re-election, focusing on his action plan --Moldova-European Union. (3, Kommersant, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 14, Noviye Izvestia, 1, Gazeta, 7, Vremya Novostei, 5, Trud, 2, MK, 2)

The Prosecutor General' s Office has dropped the criminal case of Yaroslavl regional governor Anatoly Licitsyn for the lack of a crime. The story examines his case. (4, Kommersant, 5, Gazeta, 5, Vremya Novostei, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 4)

Work has begun in the regions to create a new bureaucratic structure called upon to expand the duties of the presidential envoys to the federal districts. As is known President Putin on March 25 signed a decree concerning councils under the presidential representatives in the federal districts. The story describes such councils and their aims and tasks. (4)

Net capital outflow by the private sector in 2005 increased almost by 5 times-- up to $9. 4 billion from $1. 9 billion. This was stated by the Central Bank. Brief. (4)

President Putin has signed the bill into law concerning the Public Chamber. The bill was passed by the State Duma on March 16 and endorsed by the Federation Council on March 23. Brief. (4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Gazeta, 5, Trud, 1)

The inauguration of Pavel Ipatov to the post of Saratov regional governor will take place in Saratov today. He has become the first head of the region, who has been elected according to the new system. In an interview talks about his new job and about his first moves on this post. (4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4)

The story comments on results of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko' s meeting with US President George W. Bush in Washington on Monday. (5, Kommersant, 10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 8, Vremya Novostei, 5, Gazeta, 6)

Cuba' s Defense Minister Raul is expected to visit Russia in May. It' s quite possible that Fidel Castro, too, will visit Russia soon. The story stresses that, irrespective of the visit, Moscow and Havana are willing to restore their relations. (5)

The funeral of Pope John Paul II is scheduled for Friday April 8 in the St. Peter' s Basilica in the Vatican. A Russian delegation will be headed by Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and Metropolitan Kirill, Chairman of the Foreign Religious Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. (1, 5, Kommersant, 1, 11, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 12, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6, Gazeta, 8, Vremya Novostei, 1, 6)

Ukraine' s Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko will visit Russia in the middle of this month. This was reported by Interfax. Brief. (5)

Monday in the Moscow Meshchansky District Court was the day of the defense of MENATEP head Platon Lebedev. The story examines speeches by his lawyers, who tried to assure the court that their client was innocent. (8, Kommersant, 5, )

The World Bank on Monday published its report " Russia' s Accession to the WTO. How It Will Affect the Macroeconomy, Different Economic Branches, the Labour Market and the Population " that states that Russia from its accession to this organization will gain annually $19 billion in profit. The story examines the report' s major provisions. (9, Kommersant, 1, 15)

Vadim Vorobyov, head of the LUKoil' s Nizhny Novgorod subsidiary LUKOIL-Volganefteprodukt, has become new Vice-President of LUKoil. The story highlights this person, saying that he is a close friend of Sergei Kiriyenko, presidential representative in the Volga Federal District. (9)

Vympelcom on Monday revealed details of the modernization of his brand BeeLine. The story examines them in detail. (10)

Federal Anti-Monopoly Service head Igor Artemyev in St. Petersburg on Monday made several sensational statements. In his words, the Health Ministry has violated the legislation by independently selecting the suppliers of medicines to be provided at no cost or at a discount. Artemyev has also s given at last his permission on the Siemens-Siloviye Mashiny deal. The story comments on his statements. (10)

The flow of cargo passing through the Kaliningrad region may drastically decrease soon due to a conflict between the Kaliningrad affiliate of Russian Railways and the state-run Sea Fish Port. The story looks at the conflict. (10)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov and the Moscow Urban Planning and Reconstruction Council have announced a competition among students and specialists on the best construction design of high-rises on Kutuzovsky Prospekt. The story comments on the mayor' s decision. (12 )

KOMMERSANT (5/4/2005)

Chechnya' s President Alu Alkhanov on Monday harshly criticized the republic' s muftiate for its inadequate resistance to Wahabbism. In response Chechen mufti Akhmad Shamayev proposed to the president to issue a decree banning Wahabbism as extremist ideology. The story reveals its essence and its origin in Chechnya. (4)

The defence of Alexei Pichugin, former employee of the Yukos security service, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison, tried on Monday to defend him in the Supreme Court. The story describes their efforts, focusing on the prosecutors' resistance. (5)

Beslan tragedy survivors in the building of the Prosecutor' s Office of the Pravoberezhny Region in North Ossetia on Monday handed over to the Investigation Commission things evidencing that heavy weapons were used during the storm of the school. The survivors wanted to know whether the use of such weapons was justifiable. (6)

The Prosecutor General' s Office that is investigating the criminal case on the recent assassination attempt on UES head Anatoly Chubais not far from Zhavoronki on March 17 has recognized Chubais as a victim. Brief. (6)

Oleg Smolin, deputy head of the State Duma Education and Science Committee, on Monday announced the creation of the all-Russian public movement " Education for All" that he heads. He plans to hold its founding congress on April 16. The story describes the aim, tasks and ideology of this movement. (8)

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana on Monday arrived in Moscow to discuss issues on preparations for the upcoming Russia-EU summit scheduled for May 10. Brief. (9)

The Scientific Center concern controlled by AFK Sistema has bought out 53 percent of shares of the Kvant enterprise in Zelenograd from the Information Inculcating Company. The story examines the deal. (13)

The Perekryostok Trading House has become a Ukrainian retailor: the Russian company has bought 100 percent of the Kiev Spar retail network. The story describes the deal. (13)

Rosneft this year plans to invest 407. 3 million rubles in the construction of 11 and reconstruction of 27 gas filling stations. This was stated by the corporate magazine " Gazprom" . (13, 20)

VEDOMOSTI (5/4/2005)

Group SOK, the most closed automobile company, belongs to Samara businessman Yury Kachmazov, a former trader in VAZ trucks. His holding' s turnover amounts to $2 billion. The story features this company and its mysterious boss. (A1)

The American Express payment system has unexpectedly trusted the exclusive right to issue its cards in Russia to Russky Standart. This bank specializing on a mass crediting of the population now would like to teach Russian to use elite cards. (A1)

Russia' s accession to the World Trade Organization will at once yield it immense benefits. In the opinion of World Bank, the well-being of Russian companies and people in 4 years will increase by $64 billion. Overseers have strong doubts. (A1)

The story reflects on what experience the Russian and Belarussian presidents Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko could have shared with each other instead of the issues they discussed. (A1)

Youth organizations of various political orientations have emerged in Russia lately, and associations created in the ' 90s but unknown to the broad public have launched their activities. The story examines some of them. (A2)

According to the Public Opinion Fund, 60 percent of Russians are sure that their country as a whole and they in particular need democracy. The story comments on results of the latest opinion poll. (A2)

The Center for Strategic Studies has found a method to struggle against bureaucrats indifferent to people' s needs. Thus, experts propose to create independent appeal collegiums and encourage people to unite into associations of state service consumers. The story examines the proposal. (A3)

Realty belonging to dead unitary state-run enterprises should be used for the benefit of small business-- such is the Economic Development Ministry' s proposal aimed at boosting small businesses. (A3)

Dmitry Stepanov, a spokesman for the Economic Development Ministry' s working group responsible for reforming corporate legislation, examines their proposals in such reform. (A4)

In an interview Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev talks about how he intends to reform the whole system of managing mineral resources in Russia, focusing on proposals in this sphere. (A5)EDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENUAL is in talks with the Industry and Trade Ministry of South Africa on its participation in the construction project of the aluminum Coega plant costing $2. 2 billion. Brief. (B1)

The Sheremetyevo Board of Directors has ordered to the airport' s Management Board to prepare a deal to buy a share in the Sheremetyevo-3 project. This was stated by a participant in the board session. Brief. (B1)

The growth of the world steel demand in the first quarter went down to 7 percent from 9 percent in January-March 2004. This was stated by the Bloomberg Agency with a reference to Societe Generale in London. Brief. (B1)

Bevarages transnationals begin to play an increasing role on the Russian juice market. After owners of St. Petersburg Multon juice combine sold it to Coca-Cola, the competing Nidan company gave the right to sell its products in the north-west to PepsiCo, an irreconcilable adversary of Coca- Cola. (B1)

Gazprom intends to pay 23. 5 billion rubles in dividends by the results of last year, which is by 45 percent more than the figure for 2003. The story reports on what state officials and investors think of it. (B1)

The Gorky Auto Plant (or GAZ) may increase its charter capital not by more than 2. 2 times to consolidate shares of several Ruspromavto enterprises on its balance sheet. This is stated in the company' s press release. (Brief. ). (B1)

The general cost of the project " Prom City Moskva-Sever" amounts to $4. 8 billion. This was stated by Yevgeny Panteleyev, minister in the Moscow gvt and head of the Moscow Department on Science and Industrial Policy. Brief. (B1)

Severstal intends to consolidate its own ore base. With this aim in view, its shareholders will provide $100 million to Karelsky Okatysh, a major supplier of Severstal. (B2)

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) decided to place under its control buying up energy assets by Gazprom. What can FAS demand from it? (B3)UKoil would like to develop oil deposits in Eastern Siberia. With this aim in view it has announced its desire to take part in auctions. (B3 )


inance Minister Alexei Kudrin has blocked again Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov' s initiative to double pensions and wages to budget workers by 2008. The Ministry' s Note (for office use only) shows that the budget lacks funds for such a doubling. The story examines the origin of Fradkov' s initiative, saying why it has turned out to be unrealizable. (1, 3)

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on April 5-6 will visit Tajikistan with a working visit to conduct negotiations with his Tajik colleague and to attend the joint military exercise " Rubezh-2005" . Brief. (2)

Participants in the presentation of the World Bank' s (WB) 10th report on Russia' s economy on Monday failed to mention Yukos, though they spoke about problems connected with business-authorities relationships. This factor, however, was not stated as a main reason behind a slowing down of economic growth in the country. John Litvak (Sp. ?) , chief economist of the WB mission in Moscow, commented on the report' s main provisions. (3, Noviye Izvestia, 3)

Vneshtorgbank (VTB) head Andrei Kostin recently stated that an issue on buying out from the Central Bank shares of Moscow Narodny Bank (MNB, London) and BCEN-Eurobank (Paris) has practically been solved: VTB hopes to complete all procedures connected with buying out from the Central Bank shares of its foreign subsidiaries before the end of this year. In an interview financier Anatoly Aksakov, deputy head of the State Duma Credit Organizations and Financial Markets Committee, describes the situation. (3)

A new metro station " Komendantsky Prospekt" was opened in St. Petersburg on Monday, when governor Valentina Matviyenko was present at the opening ceremony. The story describes the station. (4)

Protests against the monetarization of social benefits and against housing and utility reform are continuing in regions. The story gives concrete facts to illustrate the point. (4)

Presidential adviser Aslambek Aslakhanov at a news conference in Moscow on Monday made several significant statements on federal authorities' policy in the North Caucasus. In the adviser' s opinion, mass unemployment is the most serious problem in the region. He also stated several other problems. The story comments on the tense situation in the region, concluding that the Kremlin administration lacks clear-cut policy to be pursued in Chechnya. (4)

The story describes what Boris Berezovsky did and spoke about during his visit to Tbilisi on Saturday. (5)

Kazakhstan' s parliament on Monday discussed problems of boosting outer space exploration. The fact is that late last week founding documents on the creation of the joint Kazakh-Russian venture " Baiterek" were signed in Astana. The story reveals the essence of the documents, focusing on Kazakhstan' s ambitious dream to become a space power. (5)


As many as 199, 000 newcomers, of whom 110, 000 foreigners, have been registered in Moscow since the beginning of this year. This was stated at a news conference on Monday by Alexei Mikulenko, chief of the Passport-Visa Board of the Moscow Interior Department. Most of them come to Moscow to work. What conditions are provided for them? (2, Noviye Izvesstia, 3)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov on the occasion of the 60th Victory Anniversary has signed a directive on allocating material aid to war veterans and to all those, who worked in the rear for the front. The story comments on the mayor' s decision. (2 )

The technical examination of cars on April 4 went up in price by 140 rubles. The corresponding decree has been signed by Mayor Yury Luzhkov. The story explains the measure. (2)

The story comments on yesterday' s interview to the magazine " Expert" by Dmitry Medvedev, head of the Kremlin administration. , saying for whom it was designated. (3)

Spin doctor Leonid Radzikhovsky reflects on whether the recent turbulent developments in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan can be viewed as revolution. (3)

The 16th Congress of the Association of Russian Banks will open in Moscow today. The story examines its agenda. (4)

The LUKoil-Western Siberia company in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area has begun to exploit the Nakhodka gas deposit in the Bolshekhetskaya hollow. The deposit' s reserves exceed 275 billion cubic meters. According to the agreements all extracted gas will be bought by Gazprom (5)

President Putin on Monday received Kemerovo regional governor Aman Tuleyev, who concentrated on issues connected with boosting the coal industry in the region and in the whole country. In an interview Tuleyev talks about effective proposals he made to the president (5)

Aeroflot late last week replaced its Gabriel automated system of booking in advance and selling avia tickets with the American Sabre system. The transfer took place in all Aeroflot' s terminals at night March 22 and 23. The story describes the new system. (5)

Russian and German presidents -- Vladimir Putin and Gerhard Schroeder-- in Hannover on April 11 will open an Industrial Fair--Hannover-2005, one of the most representative fairs in the world. The story describes this event and its participants, focusing on Russia' s role in it. (5)


A big scandal is brewing in Rostov Veliky, in which businessmen are preparing to sell the 13th century Church of Praise of God' s Mother. The auction has been postponed from this week to a later period. The Orthodox community and the Yaroslavl diocese are opposing this upcoming deal. But the competition manager of the enterprise, on whose territory the church is located, is unbending : " Business is business. "The story describes the conflict. (1, 7)

Moscow gvt minister Yevgeny Panteleyev, head of the Science and Industrial Policy Department, at a news conference in Moscow on Monday stated that city authorities plan to step up control over an unfriendly absorption of enterprises. Panteleyev also said that several enterprises the city needs will receive gvt benefits. The story comments on Panteleyev' s statements. (3)

The dollar rate toward the ruble on Monday grew again and amounted to 27. 89 rubles/$. Thus, for the second weeks already, the American currency is consolidating its positions. Experts, however, believe that this growth will stop soon. The story says why. (3)