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Press Review

IZVESTIA (16/5/2005)

The uprising in Andijan has been brutally put down with numerous victims and practically without witnesses. Official Tashkent calls protesters Islamic terrorists, but protesters assure that they have nothing to do with religious extremists. No one believes the official version The story comments on reasons behind the bloody events in the Fergana valley, reflecting on what it was --a green revolution, a people' s revolt, a foreign conspiracy? (1, 4-6, 7, Kommersant, 1, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Gazeta, 1, 5, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 4, Vremya Novostei, 1, 3, 4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 3, MK, 3)

Five authoritative politicians in Europe and the USA, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the NATO Secretary General Yaap de Hoop Scheffer (Sp. ?) , share their views on the events in Andijan. (5, Gazeta, 6, 7)

The Moscow Meshchansky District Court today is to deliver a verdict to Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. Whatever it is, it' s clear that it will not put an end to their mishaps. Prosecutor General' s Office spokeswoman Natalia Vishnyakova stated on Friday that new indictments will be brought against them. . The story says that all Russia is awaiting the verdict --it' s a significant event that will determine the country' s fate for many years ahead. In an interview Khodorkovsky' s wife Inna talks about how the family is missing its beloved father. (1, 7, 8, Noviye Izvestia, 3, Vremya Novostei 1, 2, Gazeta, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 2, 6, Novaya Gazeta, No. 34, pp. 2, 3)

Prosecutor General' s Office (PGO) official representative Natalia Vishnyakova on Friday stated that prosecutors intend to bring in new indictments against Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev on charges of embezzling a package of shares of Apatit and evading taxes. The story comments on PGO' s planned effective move. (2)

The 3rd summit the heads of state of the Council of Europe is to open in Warsaw today. Its main theme is the Council' s role in the new architecture of European security. Numerous rumours and intrigues are circulating around the summit, with Russia being in the center. The story examines them in detail, focusing on President Putin' s refusal to attend the event. (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 4)

The Moscow City Prosecutor' s Office (MCPO) intends to check-up the financial and economic performance of the domestic leading diamond-extracting ALROSA company. This was stated by MCPO Press Secretary Sergei Marchenko. The story examines what has caused the check-up. (2, Kommersant, 1, 4, Gazeta, 1, 20, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4, MK, 2)

As many as 50, 000 Nashi members, who arrived in Moscow from 30 regions, conducted a rally " Our Victory" on Leninsky Prospekt on Sunday. The story describes this act, saying that police before the act detained 22 activists from the Vanguard of Red Youth movement. (2, Kommersant, 7, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Gazeta, 4, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta)

The Nature Ministry today is expected to inspect a dacha of UES CEO Anatoly Chubais in Zhavoronki (Moscow region) . The story examines the aim of the inspection. (2)

Famed actress Natalya Gundareva died in a hospital on Sunday morning at the age of 56 due to a stroke. The story describes her creative career. (3, 13, Kommersant, 1, 21, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Vremya Novostei, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 5, Gazeta, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 3, MK, 1)

Russia and Ukraine have to work out new terms of stationing the Black Sea Fleet' s bases in Crimea, said Ukraine' s President Viktor Yushchenko in Kiev on Friday. In an interview Navy Admiral Vladimir Masorin says what is happening around the Black Sea Fleet today. (1, 3)

The Paris Club has agreed to accept a debt from Russia that it will pay ahead of schedule. Before the end of this year Russia OSCE will pay out $15 billion from its $40 billion debt. The story examines what money Russia will use to pay out this part of the debt. (3, Noviye Izvestia, 3)

Rolf Ekeus (Sp. ?) , OSCE High Commissar on National Minorities' Affairs, is arriving in Moscow today on a 3-day visit. In an interview (on the eve of his visit) , he talks among other things about OSCE' s work in CIS countries and about the situation in Iraq. (3)

Ukraine' s Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko on Saturday accused Russian oil companies of their deliberate suspension of delivering oil to Ukraine. The story comments on her accusations, saying how Russian oil companies regard them. (9, Kommersant, 10, 13, Vremya Novostei, 8, Noviye Izvestia, 3, Gazeta, 19, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4, )

Frenchman Pascal Lami (Sp. ?) , 58, starting Sept. 1, will head the World Trade Organization (WTO) that, in his opinion, needs an " intensive therapy" .The story looks at his professional career. (9, Kommersant, 14)

Bashkiria' s Arbitration Court has ruled to make 63. 72 percent of shares of Bashneft and 32. 07 percent of shares of Bashkirenergo belonging to Ural, son of Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov, the state property. The story comments on the court' s ruling, saying what stands behind this de-privatization. (10, Kommersant, 15, Vremya Novostei, 7, Gazeta, 18)

As much as 1. 5 billion rubles from the federal budget will be spent this year on boosting small businesses. Where will this money go to ? In an interview Andrei Sharov, Director of the Economic State Regulation Department of the Economic Development Ministry, answers this s question. (10)

Rosneft head Sergei Bogdanchikov most likely has managed to uphold the independence of his company. Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko on Friday stated that the state will receive control over Gazprom and will form a full-fledged market of its shares without merging with Rosneft. The story comments on the minister' s statement. (10)

Oleg Vyugin, head of the Federal Service for Financial Markets, stated on Saturday that his Service intends to submit to the State Duma amendments to the law concerning the securities market. The story examines the amendments, saying that they s will make it impossible to place Russian issuers' securities abroad without a preliminary listing procedure on the domestic trading grounds. (11, Kommersant, 13, Vremya Novostei, 7, Gazeta, 20)

The story examines specific features of the current election campaign to the Moscow City Duma. (12)

The story examines in detail one of the most expensive and grandiose road construction projects of the Moscow city gvt -- the Big Metro Ring. (12)

KOMMERSANT (16/5/2005)

The Penza Legislative Assembly on Saturday confirmed President Putin' s nominee present regional head Vasily Bochkarev as governor for the next term. . The story comments on the choice. (2)

Sergei Neruchev, former Vice-Governor of the Sakhalin Region has been arrested in Saratov on charges of fraud. The story details his case. (4)

Cherkessk police as a result of a night operation on May 15 killed six rebels, who were controlled by notoriously known terrorist Achimez Gochiyaev. The story describes the operation and its successful outcome. (5, Vremya Novostei, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 7)

It was announced in Chechnya on Sunday that Ichkeria' s former Vice-President Vakha Arsanov had been killed. The story describes how it happened. (5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 7, MK, 2)

FrontAIDS activists defending the rights of HIV-positives staged a protest in front of the Health Ministry on Saturday. The story describes the act, focusing on protesters' demands. (7)

The Georgian parliament at a plenary session tomorrow intends to demand explanations from executive power officials why they have suspended the parliament' s decree on withdrawing the Russian troops and bases from Georgia. Meanwhile, water supply has been suspended in the headquarters of the Russian troops in the center of Tbilisi. The story comments on the situation. (10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3)

The American administration conducted a closed-door briefing after the return of President George W. Bush home. The story examines its content. (11)

The Transneft Management Board on Saturday proposed to lower the dividends on the ordinary shares for 2004 by almost 10 times as compared with 2003 and on the privileged shares -- by 3. 2 times. The brief shortly comments on the Management Board' s decisions. (13, Vremya Novostei, 7)

The Federal Service for Veterinary and Fitosanitary Surveillance (or Rosselkhoznadzor) , starting today, has banned the imports of vegetables and fruits to Russia from Moldova The story examines the reason behind the measure. (13, 16)

The Unified Energy Systems (UES) company this week will submit to the gvt a draft of its investment program for 2006 and for the period of up to the year 2008. The story examines the program' s main provisions. (15)

German Volkswagen AG (VW) decided to launch its own production in Russia and endorsed the deadline of the implementation of this project. The construction will begin in Stupino in the fall and in 2007 the plant will produce its first Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Pointer cars. The story describes the project. (16)

VEDOMOSTI (16/5/2005)

Interros CEO Vladimir Potanin now knows how to sell " Siloviye Mashiny" to the Siemens concern without irritating state authorities. After failing to get a permission to sell the whole company, Potanin is trying to sell its blocking stake to Siemens. (A1)

Lawyer Gamlet Akopyan' s old offence may cost dearly to the managers of the ALROSA diamond monopoly. His statement has underlain the case on money squandering in the company that has been filed by the Moscow Prosecutor' s Office. The story details the case. (A1)

President Putin' s promise to expend the federal parties' duties will not be left on paper-- in a couple of days the president and State Duma deputies will discuss the second this year gubernatorial reform. The story reveals its essence. (A1)

The story tries to answer the following question -- what is better to clear off a debt to foreigners or to boost the national business? (A1 )

While the situation in Andijan remains under state control, the revolt on May 5 hit the Kara-Suu city on the border with Kyrgyzstan, in which the situation remains tense --thousands of refugees crossed the border to get to Kyrgyz territory. (A2)

The Ukrainian gvt has prepared a list of 29 enterprises to be de-privatized, but it is in no hurry to make it public. The story says on how Supreme Rada deputies explain it. (A2)

The story examines what has caused an unprecedented fall in Russian-Belarussian trade, saying that even the 1998 financial crisis did not cause such a fall. (A3)

In his state of the nation address President Putin stated that the tax bodies have no right to terrorize business. Will a verdict to Mikhail Khodorkovsky confirm or reject the president' s policy announced in his speech? Five experts share their views. (A4)

In an interview Anatoly Protsenko, former Director-General of the Federal Guard Service, who in December 2004 became head of Alfa Telecom, talks about this company, saying why he decided to take up this job. He also talks about his company' s plans to take part in several projects. (A5)EDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENT

Investors due to an uncertain situation with the Gazprom-Rosneft merger, have begun to sell their shares of the gas monopoly. Many of them do not believe an early liberalization of Gazprom shares. The story says that investors' fears are not groundless. (B1)

The Natural Resources Ministry intends to check up the sum (119. 6 billion rubles) of the claims stated in Nortgaz' s suit against Russia. The Ministry supposes that this sum does not correspond to reality. This was stated by the ministry' s Press Secretary Rinat Gizatulin. Brief. (B1 )

Several State Duma deputies (their names are given) have applied to the prosecutor general with a request to make the situation around the Angarsk petrochemical company clear. This was stated by the press service of the Irkutsk region. Brief. (B1)

The Sibneft shareholders' annual meeting is scheduled for June 28 in Moscow. This is stated in the company' s press release. Brief. (B1)

The Union of Shareholders of Gazprom has applied to the company' s Board of Directors with a proposal to recommend to the annual meeting not to pay dividends for 2004. This is stated in the Union' s press release. (B1)

The owners of Mikhailovsky GOK Alisher Usmanov and Vasily Anisimov have reached their aim-- the Magnitogorsk metals combine has agreed to buy raw-materials from their enterprise. The story reports what analysts think of that. (B2)

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service got interested in Yevrotsement' s pricing policy-- it has raised prices of its products after it bought new plants. Construction workers complain that cement has gone up in price by 70 percent (B2)

Bazovy Element (or Bazel) buying the aluminum plant Kombinat Aluminijuma Podgorica in Montenegro also decided to buy energy assets in this country. Bazel is in talks on its participation in the construction of two energy units and a heating electrical power station in Kosovo (B2 )

A pipeline with an outlet to the seas of the Arctic Ocean, from where it will be possible to deliver oil to the USA, may become a reality. Transneft is allocating 850 million rubles to prepare an investment project of this route. The company also intends to build the Eastern and Northern projects. State officials for the sake of these projects are willing not to demand dividends from the company. (B3)


The United Russia party will soon lose the constitutional majority in the State Duma. Two one-mandate deputies (their names are given) over the past several weeks left the faction. And one more deputy is willing to leave it. The story describes the process, saying how it can affect the future alignment of political forces before the 2007 parliamentary elections. (1, 3)

Anders Aslund, Director of the Russia and Eurasia Program for International Peace of the Carnegie Fund, comments on the Khodorkovsky trial, concluding that after the Yukos case no one will believe the honesty of the Russian judicial system. (2)

Is there a way out from the situation with the Yukos case for Russia to win back the immeasurable losses of the country' s image in its relations with the world community? Five authoritative financiers, political scientists, politicians and State Duma deputies share their viewpoints. (2)

Highly-regarded economist Vladislav Inozemtsev, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine " Svobodnaya Mysl-XXI" , notes Russia' s unpreparedness and unwillingness to defend its interests in Central Asia, particularly, in Uzbekistan, in connection with the bloody events in Andijan. (3)

Russian ALROSA, the world' s second large diamond-extracting company, has considerable interests in Africa. Thus, it conducts diamond extraction in Angola through its partially owned Catoca firm. The story examines ALROSA' s interests in Africa. (4)

The story offers an in-depth analysis of the state of out- of- town realty that over the recent years has considerably expanded. What attracts buyers of this realty? (5)

Tatarstan' s President Mintimer Shaimiyev has made minor reshuffles in the gvt. The story examines the changes. (11)


President Putin has invited both parliament speakers and Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov to come to the Kremlin on Tuesday May 17 to discuss ways of implementing the tasks set in in his recent state of the nation speech. The story examines the issues they will discuss. (1, 2)

The Moscow City Duma is to consider soon a draft bill concerning taxi-cabs that is a product of the city Transport Department' s five-year work. The story examines the draft' s main provisions. (1, 5)

The story describes a situation on the domestic telecommunications market that has been rapidly expanding lately. (2)

A blast in a private gas filling station in St. Petersburg on May 15 left two people dead. The story gives details. (2)

The All-Russian Socialist People' s Party " Otchizna" in Moscow on Saturday held its founding congress that was attended by 279 delegates from 56 regions. Yury Prokofyev, former member of the Politbureau of the CPSU Central Committee, was elected leader of the new party. The story describes its origin. (2)

Work has begun in Moscow to build a unique bridge that will connect above the Moskva-River a tunnel of future Krasnopresnensky Prospekt and its ground part. The story examines the project. (4)

To what extent have new technologies become part and parcel of Russians' everyday life? --this is what sociologists from the Public Opinion Fund tried to find out recently in their opinion pollThe story examines interesting results. (5)


The Organizing Committee of the All- Russian Protest Act held a meeting on May 15 to discuss the upcoming protest of owners of cars with steering wheels on the right-hand side Their actions have been triggered by the gvt' s plans to limit the exploitation of such cars in Russia. The protests is scheduled for May 19 when the Cabinet of Ministers considers this issue. The story examines the gvt' s decision, focusing on drivers' reaction. (1, 7)

Representatives from different wings of the left-patriotic opposition got together on Friday to discuss topical issues of the strategy of Russia' s development. For two days they had been working out new methods of fighting the present regime. But the main intrigue was whether the KPRF will be able to unite with Rodina. The story examines the conference, its participants and decisions. (2 )

Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Saturday stated that he was opposing the idea of preserving the direct elections of the mayors of Moscow and St. Petersburg. This proposal was made by several Moscow City Duma deputies, who suppose to discuss this issue at a session of the city parliament on Wednesday. The authors of this initiative believe that the appointment of these mayors contradicts the European Charter on Local Government, signed by Russia. The story comments on the issue. (2)

Russia' s Greenpeace has made public results of a sociological opinion poll taken by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion by Greenpeace' s order to see what Russians think of genetically-modified foods. The story examines results. (3)

Spring floods have hit several regions in the south of Russia among them North Ossetia, Ingushetia and the Stavropolye region. The story examines measures taken by local authorities to help local people survive. (6)