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Press Review

IZVESTIA (19/5/2005)

Academics at the General Meeting of the Academy of Sciences, which was the most scandalous one over the past 15 years, after long and heated discussion of the gvt program of modernizing the state- controlled sector of science agreed on a compromise with state authorities. But some of them disagreed. The story examines the program' s controversial provisions and academics' reaction. (3, Kommersant, 8, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 9 Noviye Izvestia, 7, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 5)

The gvt at a session today will discuss a ban on import and on registration of foreign cars with steering wheels on the right side. The story comments on the issue, saying that drivers are expected to stage a protest in front of the gvt White House. (1, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 5, Noviye Izvestia, 3)

In a far-ranging interview Georgian highly-regarded artistic stage director Rezo Gabriadze, who has arrived in Moscow to take part in the Festival " Chereshnevy Les" (Sweet Cherry Forest" ) talks about his latest productions, saying why, despite all hardships, he cannot leave his native Tbilisi. (1, 13, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 12)

Uzbekistan' s authorities on Wednesday allowed foreign ambassadors and journalists to visit Andijan, who were accompanied by Uzbek special services. Despite President Karimov' s promises, not all reporters could visit the city. At the same time, Uzbek authorities have begun to prosecute a public organization that decided to conduct an independent counting of people killed during the recent riots in Andijan and neighbouring cities. According to its report, their number stands at 831. (1, 2, Kommersant, 10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Gazeta, 12, Vremya Novostei, 5, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 5, Krasnaya Zvezda, 3, Trud, 3)

The story describes developments in the Moscow Meshchansky Court on Wednesday, when the judge continued to read a verdict in the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. Many those present were shocked, saying that it was more an execution than a trial. (2, Kommersant, 4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Novaya Gazeta, No. 35, pp. 3, 4, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Trud, 3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4, MK, 1, 3, Sovetskaya Rossiya, 1, )

The draft bill concerning the recognition of several legislative acts on the state accreditation of scientific organizations as expired will deprive 60, 000 people of the right to have a deferment from the army service. The story comments on the issue. (1, 2)

The Presidential Council on Science, Technologies and Education in the Kremlin today is to finalize a list of nominees to receive state prizes in the sphere of science and technologies for 2004. The story examines a changed awarding procedure that will look like the Nobel one. The story examines the novelties. (3)

The story describes President Putin' s Wednesday' s meeting with gvt and state Duma representatives, focusing on four key ideas, which Putin concentrated on. (3, Kommersant, 1, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3, Gazeta, 1, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4, MK, 2)

The State Duma on Wednesday refused to deprive deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky of immunity for his recent indecent behaviour in late April. Brief. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, MK, 2)

Regional Development Minister Vladimir Yakovlev and head of the Federal Construction and Housing -Utility Sector Agency Vladimir Averchenko in the State Duma on Wednesday reported to deputies about what has been done lately in their sectors. The story describes their reports, saying that deputies, unlike what was expected, were satisfied. (4, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 4, Vremya Novostei, 4)

The Krasnodar City Duma on Wednesday fired City Mayor Nikolai Priz. The story examines what stands behind such a decision. (4)

The draft bill that was submitted to the State Duma on Wednesday proposes to postpone putting into effect the legislation on local government reform to July 2008 from Jan. 1, 2006. The story comments on the draft. (4, Kommersant, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Gazeta, 3 )

The Russian Orthodox Church on Wednesday made public its own anti-alcoholic strategy. The story reveals its essence. (4)

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Estonian counterpart Urmas Paet in Moscow on Wednesday signed the treaty on the state border that now should be ratified by both parliaments. Brief. (5, Kommersant, 9, Vremya Novostei, 2, Gazeta, 7, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 5)

Will restrictions on alcohol advertising in mass media help resolve the hard drinking problem? Two authoritative experts share their viewpoints. (7)

Vladimir Levin, the lawyer of Vladimir Kvachkov accused of an assassination attempt on UES CEO Anatoly Chubais, stated on Wednesday that he temporarily gives up the case. The story says how he has explained his decision. (8)

The story offers little-known facts about the life of Voronezh terrorist Maxim Panaryin, 28, who is accused of organizing blasts on city bus stops and near the metro " Rizhskaya" . (8)

The Foreign Ministry on Monday made public its commentary, in which it explained why the extradition to the USA of former Nuclear Power Minister Yevgeny Adamov, who was detained in Bern, was impossible without Russia' s preliminary consent. Brief. (8, Kommersant, 5, Gazeta, 3)

Gazprom head Alexei Miller after the final decision on the nationalization of his company on Wednesday gave investors several alluring promises. The story examines them in detail. (10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 4, Vremya Novostei, 7, Gazeta, 17, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

According to the Moscow Arbitration Court' s ruling, Samaraneftegaz, this subsidiary of Yukos, will have to pay out 8 billion rubles in taxes. The story examines the court' s ruling. (10, Kommersant, 1, 13)

Korean off-road vehicle Ssang-Yong Rexton will be made in Naberezhniye Chelny. The Severstal-Avto leadership on Wednesday made public details of the assembly project. The story looks at them. (11, Kommersant, 15, Gazeta, 20 )

The News Outdoor Russia company belonging to media magnate Rupert Merdock (Sp. ?) and specializing on outdoor advertising will receive a $130 million credit from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Merdock will spend this money on creating an advertising network in CIS countries. The story looks at his plans. (11)

The story examines in detail the present situation on the realty market in the Moscow region. Specialists from the Miel-Realty company have studied the structure of supply and demand in the segment of out-of-town housing. (12)

KOMMERSANT (19/5/2005)

At Wednesday' s meeting with the president, parliamentarians made several proposals, including to lower the tax rate for amnestied capital down to 3-4 percent from 13 percent. The story reveals the essence of the proposals, focusing on their main aim. Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov was not present at the meeting. Will he have to resign soon? Seven politicians, State Duma deputies and party leaders speak out about Fradkov' s fate. (1, 14)

Ukraine' s President Viktor Yushchenko on Wednesday signed into law a bill on lowering the rate of an excise fee and customs duties on imported petrol and diesel fuel. In the opinion of Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko, this measure will allow Ukraine to prevent Ukraine' s dependence from Russian oil companies. The story comments on the taken measures, saying the Ukrainian Security Service will conduct an investigation to see how Russian companies have organized the oil crisis in the country. (1, 14, Gazeta, 20, Vremya Novostei, 1, 7, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3, )

The gvt at a session presided over by Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov will discuss a plan of proposed measures aimed at boosting the domestic automotive industry up to 2008. The story examines several measures. (2)

Committee-2008 leader Garry Kasparov at his meeting with public representatives in Novosibirsk on Wednesday announced the creation of the United Civic Front capable of dismantling the Putin regime. The story comments on Kasparov' s statement. (3)

Deputy Prosecutor General Nikolai Shepel stated on Wednesday that terrorists, who seized the Beslan school, had a reserve group in Ingushetia that had to seize a school there in case of a failure of their plan in Beslan. (5)

Alexander Levin, NTV Chief Producer, is quitting his post, starting June 1. The brief says why. (7)

Venezuela and Russia on Tuesday signed an agreement on the delivery of 100, 000 Kalashnikovs to this South American country. The brief looks at this deal, saying that it was opposed by Washington. (9, 13)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on Wednesday placed ruble bonds to the tune of 5 billion. The story comments on this case, saying that it' s the first one in Russia' s history when a non-resident does it. (13)

The Federal Tax Service (FNS) has made tax claims to the MTS cellular operator, demanding from it 372. 15 million rubles (about $13. 3 million) for 2002. The story comments on FNS' s claims. (13)

Norwegian Statoil President Helge Lund (Sp. ?) in Moscow on Wednesday reported to journalists that Statoil and Gazprom held a meeting, at which they discussed the Norwegian company' s proposals on developing the Shtokmanovsky gas condensate deposit in the Barents Sea. Brief. (13)

The Pension Fund Chairman Gennady Batanov on Wednesday for the first time stated about a serious deficit of the fund' s budget. The story comments on his statement, saying what factors have caused the deficit. (13, 20)

The Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) Bureau on Wednesday discussed the Finance Ministry' s draft amendments to the Tax Code that in a couple of days should be submitted to the State Duma. The story examines several amendments, saying that entrepreneurs disliked them. (14)

Soyuzplodimport, owning the trade mark " Stolychnaya" in Russia is in talks with the Moscow Kristall leadership on transferring the distilling of this mark to Moscow Kristall. The story examines Soyuzplodimport' s aims. (17)

VEDOMOSTI (19/5/2005)

The cancelation of an absorption of Rosneft by Gazprom has embarrassed rating agencies. Thus, Standard & Poor' s on Wednesday lowered the rating of the oil company, and Moody' s on the contrary raised it to the investment level. (A1)

For the sake of making Russia united and strong the Kremlin is willing to respect the national patriotic opposition. The president' s 5-hour dialogue with 4 leaders of State Duma factions made KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov and Rodina leader Dmitry Rogozin happy. (A1)

Russians for the first time have received the possibility of comparing how various executives have decided the fate of pension accumulations that have been entrusted them. The AK&M Agency by the order from the Pension Fund has calculated how much different companies last year earned for their clients. (A1)

Is it possible to defeat Gazprom? Nortgaz owners for several years had sued the monopoly for the right to do an independent gas business in Russia. The story describes this fight, featuring its winner. (A1)

Presidential representative in the Southern Federal District Dmitry Kozak has allowed republican authorities to monitor and manage restoration construction work in Chechnya, which once was demanded by the late President Akhmad Kadyrov. (A2)

A group of State Duma deputies has proposed to postpone the launching of local government reform to July 1, 2008 from Jan. 1, 2006. Deputies believe that regions today are not ready for such reform. (A2 )

The story analyses the situation in the domestic oil-extracting industry, the growth of which has slowed down due to oil extraction stagnation in the first quarter. (A3)

The Ukraine' s leadership is on the brink of a split. The fact is that President Viktor Yushchenko and gvt members are displeased at the decisions of Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko, who has imposed state regulation of petrol prices and does not want to limit deprivatization by a closed list of companies. (A3)

The stoppage of a furnace of the Magnitogorsk Metals Combine has coincided with the president' s visit to the Chelyabinsk region. But this PR act has only irritated the Kremlin. How is it possible to impress Putin? Four experts share their views. (A4)

In an interview Sergei Stopchak, head of the Russian delegation and Director of the Finance Ministry' s International Financial Relations Department, says how they for 8 months had been persuading the Paris Club of creditors to allow Russia to pay part of its debt ahead of schedule(A5)EDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENhe Federal Service for Financial Markets on Wednesday allowed NOVATEK to place up to 20 percent of shares on international markets. Experts believe that NOVATEK can earn up to $1 billion on this placement. (B1)

The chairman of the Korean Bank in an interview stated that the bank will no longer conduct intervention on the hard currency market, because it has accumulated enough currency reserves. Brief. (1)

The financial consultant of Gasprom Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW) has increased the valuation of the gas monopoly by 4-5 percent. A factor that influenced the result of the re-valuation was an increased share of Gazprom in Sevmorneftegaz from 50 percent up to 100 percent. Brief. (B1)

ALROSA this year will sell diamonds for more than $3 billion. This was stated by the company' s President Nichiporuk. In 2004 the company earned $2. 4 billion. Brief. (B1)

Yevraz Group today will launch road show before placing global depositary receipts (GDR) on the London Stock Exchange. The price range of GDR placement will be announced. Brief. (B1)

Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday announced that it recalls as many as 860, 000 off-road vehicles from all over the world, including 130 Land Cruiser Prado off-roads in Russia. Brief. (B1)

The net non-consolidated profit of TNK (a subsidiary of TNK-BP) in 2004 decreased by 2. 7 times-- down to 402. 6 million rubles from 1. 103 billion rubles in 2003. (Brief. (B1)

BMW on Friday May 20 will officially launch production at its new plant in Leipzig, the construction of which cost the company $1. 7 billion. BMW prefers quality rather than lower prices in Eastern Europe. (B2)

E. ON Ruhrgas still hopes to become a partner of Gazprom in developing the Yuzhno-Russky gas deposit. How can the concern get to the project? (B3)

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (19/5/2005)

The story examines how the Moscow City Duma voted for restoring the institution of direct elections of the city mayor. The focus is on far-going political consequences of the new procedure of forming city power. (1, 3)

Garry Kasparov, Chairman of the Committee-2008, in Novosibirsk on Wednesday announced the creation of the United Civic Front opposing the presidential regime. The story comments on his statement, focusing on the Front' s aims and tasks. (3)

The International Industrial Bank (Mezhprombank) claims part of the banking retail market. With this aim in view, the bank' s whole retail business for 2-3 months will be transferred to its new subsidiary --Mezhprombank Plus, the charter capital of which amounts to 50 million euros. The story describes this new bank with its high ambitions. (4)

The story examines major provisions of a report delivered in Moscow on Wednesday at the Congress of Timber Industrialists by Miron Tatsyun, President of the Union of Timber Industrialists and Timber Exporters. The conclusion is that the domestic timber industry urgently needs investments. (4, Noviye Izvestia, 3)

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko on Wednesday arrived in Kazakhstan on an official visit to meet with President Nursultan Nazarbayev and discuss the recent events in Uzbekistan. The story examines several main issues they will concentrate their attention. (5)

ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA (19/5/2005)

Highly-regarded economist and State Duma deputy Yelena Panina, deputy head of the S. D. Economic Policy Committee, Vice-President of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) and the leader of the United Industrial Party, made RSPP Congress participants (Nov. 2004) pay attention to her speech full of fierce criticism. President Putin then also paid attention to her proposals rather than criticism. In her enlarged article devoted to domestic economic events that have taken part in the 6 months after the congress Panina proves the need for urgent changes of the domestic economic policy. She offers her effective proposals in this respect. (1, 10)

The Center for Political Technologies together with the Friedrich Ebert Fund on Wednesday presented an Analytical Report titled " The Russian Party System: the Present State and Prospects of Development" . The story examines the reports major provisions, focusing on its conclusion -- the present of the domestic political parties is sad, and the prospects are vague. (3, Noviye Izvestia, 2)

A massive attack on the interests of Russian business seems to be beginning in Ukraine: there are calls to cleanse in the next 3 years the domestic fuel and energy complex of foreign presence (read from Russians) . And the Economics Ministry is in a hurry to draft a bill concerning " repeated privatization" . The story examines the essence of these possible measures. Boris Nemtsov, adviser to the Ukrainian president, RSPP President Arkady Volsky, Boris Shmelyov, Director of the Center for Comparative Political Studies, share their views on these developments in Ukraine. (7)

Document. The Budget of the Russia-Belarus union state for 2005. Full text. (I-III)

NOVIYE IZVESTIA (19/5/2005)

The Song Contest " Eurovision" will begin in Kiev today. The story describes its program and participants, saying that this year Russia has little chance of winning due to political reasons. The story examines them in detail. (1, 5)

The Agreement concerning regulating the dual citizenship between Russia and Turkmenistan signed by former President Boris Yeltsin during his visit to Ashkhabad in December 1993 ended on Wednesday. The story examines its main provisions, saying what status have the residents of both states now. (1, 4)

Armenian brandy " Ararat" has a new image now : the design of its bottles and labels has been fully changed. Its quality can be read now on the package. The story describes all these novelties. (3)

The missing nine-year-old girl Sveta Tepereva, who was placed on the wanted list in Krasnoyarsk was found on Wednesday. The story describes how it happened, saying that she did not want to live with her cruel parents. (6)

NOVAYA GAZETA #35

NG observer Anna Politkovskaya examines documents that have been worked out in the Federal Interior Ministry (Police) with the aim of putting down massive protest acts. (2)

The British gvt has warned Moscow that it not tolerate Russian spies on its territory. The story says how it was done. (4)

The feature story highlights German school pupils, who have sold 10, 000 sunflowernd earned 15, 000 euros for Beslan children. (10)