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Press Review

IZVESTIA (12/5/2005)

The Federation Council on Wednesday was made to approve a new presidential wording of the bill concerning the elections of the State Duma deputies. The story reveals the essence of the Kremlin-drafted bill, focusing on deputies' voting. (1, 3, Kommersant, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 4, Gazeta, 4, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, MK, 2)

In an interview Vyacheslav Volodin, newly-elected Secretary of the United Russia General Council, explains why the Kremlin needs such a numerous party with a cumbersome apparat. He also talks about the party' s participation in the upcoming elections of local government bodies. (1, 3)

In an interview Poland' s former leader Voizech Jaruzelski (Sp. ?) , who attended the 60th Victory Anniversary celebrations in Moscow on May 9, talks about how his family is linked up to Russia and about Polish and Soviet history. He also shares his view on the accusations of the USSR of the occupation of Eastern Europe. (1, 5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 8, Gazeta, 1, 9)

The Constitutional Court (CC) on Wednesday recognized that Article 405 of the Criminal-Procedural Code prohibiting the revision of the verdict aimed at toughening the court' s ruling does not correspond to the Constitution. The story describes what has made CC consider the issue. (1, 2, Kommersant, 1, 7, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Gazeta, 1, 3, Vremya Novostei, 1, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6)

President Putin on Wednesday ordered the Cabinet of Ministers that it abolish the inheritance tax and simplify the registration of property rights for all realty and land plots. Prime Minister was also ordered to simplify tax procedures for businessmen. As for foreign capital, the gvt will introduce several restrictions. The story examines the president' s instructions, focusing on industries that will be closed to foreign companies. (2, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Gazeta, 19, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 6)

US President George W. Bish' s visit to Georgia on May 10 ended in a scandal. American special services have accused their Georgian counterparts of concealing the information that they had found a grenade RGD-5 when Bush and Mikheil Saakashvili made speeches on Svoboda Square in Tbilisi. The story describes the incident. (2, Kommersant, 10, Vremya Novostei, 2, Trud, 3)

The story examines a new version of the perish of 5 children who disappeared on April 16 in Krasnoyarsk. What have crime detection experts managed to find out? (2, Kommersant, 6, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Gazeta, 10, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Vremya Novostei, 1, 3, Trud, 5, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6, Zhizn, 1, 4, 5, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 5, MK, 1, 3)

Altai region governor Mikhail Yevdokimov on May 11 made a sensational decision --he proposed to all vice-governors and heads of his administration committees to hand in their resignations. The story comments on the governor' s decision. (2, Kommersant, 4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Gazeta, 5, Noviye Izvestia, 2)

The story examines draft bills that the State Duma will have to consider before June 19 when it goes into recess. (3)

Presidential representative in the Far- Eastern Federal District Konstantin Pulikovsky has begun to seek candidates to the post of Chukotka governor. He stated this in Khabarovsk on Wednesday. Chukotka governor Roman Abramovich' s term of office expires in December. Brief. (3, Vremya Novostei, 4, Gazeta, 5, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

General Staff chief Yury Baluyevsky stated on Wednesday that Russia needs 4 years as a minimum to withdraw its military bases from Georgia. Brief. (3)

Former Nuclear Power Minister Yevgeny Adamov' s business partner US citizen Mark Kaushansky by the ruling of the Pensilvanian Court was released on a $100, 000 bond until May 17 when an official indictment is brought in against him on charges of assisting Adamov. In the opinion of American investigators, Adamov and Kaushansky have embezzled over $9 million that the USA allocated to Russia for strengthening its nuclear safety. The story gives details of the case. (4, Kommersant, 5, Gazeta, 11, Vremya Novostei, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6, AIF, No. 19, p. 2)

The European Center for the Rights of the Gypsies in Moscow on Wednesday presented its report on the position of Gypsies in Russia. The report focuses on their main problems -- impossibility to receive education. The story examines the report' s main provisions. (4)

The Moscow Regional Court on Wednesday ruled that six Vorovsky villagers (their names are given) were guilty of a killing of 17-year-old Korean Yakov Kan on the basis of ethnic hatred. They were also accused of numerous robbery attacks. The story comments on the court' s ruling, focusing on their severe prison sentences. (4, Kommersant, 6, Vremya Novostei, 3)

The story comments on Polish newspaper stories about how Russian Bolshoi opera and ballet stars' guest performances have been boycotted in Poland due to political reasons. (5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 7, Gazeta, 1, 9)

Kyrgyzstan' s former President Askar Akayev reflects on the fate of his native land, saying that what is happening in his country now causes his pain. (6)

The Natural Resources Ministry has drafted a revolutionary concept -- The State Strategy of Surveying and Developing the Oil and Gas Potential of the Russian Continental Shelf. The story reveals its essence, saying that the gvt is to consider it today. (9, Kommersant, 1, 14, Vremya Novostei, 7, Gazeta, 18)

President Putin on Wednesday signed several documents concerning pension reform. The story focuses on one of them -- The bill on introducing amendments to the Law concerning investments in the accumulation part of pensions. (9)

The Moscow city gvt has issued a directive on pulling down 40 apartment blocks in the east of the city Taganka district. The story examines the document. (12)

KOMMERSANT (12/5/2005)

LUKoil has been confronting with serious problems in Europe -- as it has turned out, the company does not have the right for its trade mark on the territory of the European Union. The story examines the company' s actions in this connection. (1, 13)

Irina Mironova, wife of the State Press Committee former head, Boris Mironov, on Wednesday passed over to Kommersant a letter from son Ivan Mironov, whose name has been put on the wanted list on the case of assassination attempt on UES CEO Anatoly Chubais. Ivan stated that he was not involved in this crime, and that the life attempt was staged by Chubais himself with the aim of accusing servicemen, the leaders of the national-patriotic movement and several Rodina faction deputies. They allegedly could prevent the " orange revolution" that Anatoly Chubais and his supporters are preparing. The story gives details. (1, 5)

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin in the Federation Council Wednesday told Senators about the present inter-budgetary relations between federal authorities and the regions. The minister said that only 5 regions today need serious financial support. The story comments on the minister' s sensational statement. (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Gazeta, 18 )

State Duma deputies, who on April 2, started s a fight during the State Duma session, will not be punished. This was stated on Wednesday by S. D. Rules Committee head Oleg Kovalyov. The story comments on his statement. (3)

President Putin on Wednesday nominated the candidacy of Penza regional leader Vasily Bochkaryov to the post of governor to be confirmed by the Penza Legislative Assembly. (4)

French financial crime police on Wednesday searched a castle of political emigree Boris Berezovsky. The story gives details. (5)

The leaders of the pro-presidential youth movement " Nashi" on Wednesday presented a Program of Fighting Fascism. A booklet titled " Unusual Fascism has been presented as an addition to the Program. The booklet describes a " unified campaign against Russia conducted by such opposition policy-makers as Eduard Limonov, Irina Khakamada, Vladimir Ryzhkov, Dmitry Rogozin, Garry Kasparov and Gennady Zyuganov. The story reveals the booklet' s content, saying that it will be distributed in schools, universities and institutes free of charge. (8)

The Moscow City Duma on Wednesday passed (in the first reading) amendments to the existing law that double the transport tax. The story comments on this provision. (8, Vremya Novostei, 3)

Latvia' s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday forwarded a Note to the Russian Embassy in Riga, saying that Latvian mass media were prevented from doing their job in Russia. The story reveals the content of the Note. (11)

Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko on Wednesday visited KamAZ and AvtoVAZ, with the leadership of which he discussed a plan of measures aimed at boosting the domestic auto industry. The story examines the plan. (13)

The shareholders of the Magnitogorsk Metals Combine and of the Poltava GOK on Wednesday held talks on cooperation in Magnitogorsk. The story examines their decisions. (13)

Baltic Beverages Holding AB, the leading domestic player on the beer market, has summed up its results of the first quarter of this year. The story looks at them in detail. (13, 17, 20)

VEDOMOSTI (12/5/2005)

Russia will be effectively protected from foreign investors. The Kremlin has ordered Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov to draft a package of bills limiting foreign capital' s participation in " sectors ensuring the security of the state" . (A1)

Spanish Comision National del Mercado de Valores has published notes to the rules of revealing information by members of the boards of directors of public companies. The story looks at the notes and their aim. (A1)

The gvt at a session on May 19 will discuss the fate of the domestic automobile industry. An Industry and Energy Ministry spokesman reported that his ministry has already coordinated and submitted to the gvt a plan for boosting the sector up to 2008. The ministry among other things proposes to change the duty on importing used foreign cars. (A1)

The system of mass mortgage crediting is a national project that is needed by people, by the stock market and by the financial system as a whole. It' s strange to see how some state agencies prefer not to see its advantages. (A1)

The Mineral Resources Ministry has proposed to revive the production sharing agreements with the aim of attracting investments in the extraction of oil and gas on the shelf. Other ministries have no objections. (A3)

World Bank experts' conclusion in a report " Governance Matters" is that the quality of state governance over the past 10 years has not improved. They made this conclusion on the basis of their study of the experience of 209 states in 1996- 2004. The story examines the situation in Russia. (A3)

Russia will become a normal country only when its people begins to value their freedom rather than to regret their country' s former might. (A4)

President Putin considers the issue connected with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact closed The Baltic states, however, disagree. Does Russia need to apologize to the Baltic states? Six experts share their viewpoints. (A4)

In a far-ranging interview Henning Kagermann (Sp. ?) , head of the Board of Directors and Executive Director of SAP, talks about his company' s successful business on the Russian software market. (A5)EDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENransneft would like to cut dividends going to the state by 10 times. Rosimushchestvo insists on preserving the previous payments, but private investors are getting rid of the monopoly' s shares, since its securities over the past 3 months went down in price by 20 percent. (B1 )

Keppel Singmarine, a subsidiary of the Singapore Keppel Corporation ship-building company, has won a $49 million contract on building three tankers and two bunker vessels for LUKoil Kaliningradmorneft and French Bourbon SA. Brief. (B1)

The Czech export bank has opened a 300 million euro credit line for Uralvagonzavod up to the year 2009. The money will be spent on buying equipment to modernize Uralvagonzavod, and 40 percent of money should be spent on purchasing products of Czechia' s machine-builders. Brief. (B1)

The South African Anti-Monopoly Tribunal has approved a proposal of South African Harmony Gold Mining to absorb Gold Fields for $3. 8 billion. , 20 percent of shares of which belongs to Norilsk Nickel. The brief looks at the possible deal. (B1)

RosKosmos has proposed to replace the leadership of the Rocket- Space corporation Energia in order to lead it out of the financial crisis. Gazcom Director Nikolai Sevastyanov has been nominated for the post of president. Brief. (B1)

The Naberezhniye Chelny auto plant that is making the car Oka will assemble Korean off-road vehicles Ssang Yong Rexton. This was stated by Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko on Wednesday. (B2)

Group Yevrazholding has managed in a year to increase its proceeds six-fold and net profit-- by 5 times. The story reports on how analysts regard the group' s successes. (B2)

Yevrotsement Group after creating a big cement holding in Russia is buying up such enterprises in Ukraine. It became known on Wednesday that the Filaret Galchev company had bought the Balakleisky cement plant (Baltsem) , the largest Ukrainian cement producer. (B2)

The Baku-Dzheikhan oil pipeline, one of the most ambitious pipeline projects of the past 10 years, will become operational soon. The story describes the project. (B3)

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (12/5/2005)

President Putin for the first time has refused to take part in the summit of heads of state and gvt of the Council of Europe that is scheduled for May 16-17 in Warsaw. The story looks at the reason behind Putin' s refusal, saying that a Russian delegation will be headed by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (1, 5)

Participants in the ecological demonstration, who were arrested in Moscow before May Day holidays and who demanded a release of their colleagues in Minsk, were released from a special pre-trial detention center controlled by the Moscow Interior Department only on May 11. The story examines their demands. A list of the most well-known public ecological organizations functioning in Russia today. A list of the most influential international funds financing the ecological movement in Russia today. (1, 3)

Rupert Murdock (Sp. ?) , head of the News Corporation media empire, intends to invest in the Russian advertising business about $200 million, which is approximately one fifth of the overall volume of the country' s advertising market. According to the Association of Russia' s Communications Agencies, this volume amounts to about $900 million. The story comments on Murdock' s decision. (3 )

NOVIYE IZVESTIA (12/5/2005)

The State Duma today (on Thursday) plans to consider amendments to the bill concerning medications that should limit the number of counterfeit medicines on the domestic market. The story examines the draft' s main provisions, saying why it will be difficult for deputies to pass this bill. (1, 3)

Ukraine' s Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko plans up to the year 2030 to build 11 new nuclear energy units. Where will she get money for her ambitious plans? The story reflects on various possible sources. (1)

The Moscow Department for Urban Planning, Development and Reconstruction reported that the city gvt next year will launch a program of building municipal garages. The story looks at the program, saying that parking places there will not be sold but will be rented out. (3)

Spring floods have hit many regions in Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, North Ossetia and the Stavropolye region. The story describes how federal authorities help local administrations evacuate people. (6)

ARGUMENTY I FAKTY # 19

In an exclusive interview Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu reveals secrets of his difficult job, saying that his team of rescuers gives aid not only to Russians but to people in other countries as well. (3)

In an interview Oleg Vyugin, head of the Federal Service for Financial Markets, explains why it is profitable today to invest pension dues in securities. (7)

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA (12/5/2005)

The story describes a news conference in the Kremlin on Tuesday when Latvian and Estonian journalists asked President Putin to answer unpleasant questions for him, concerning the " occupation" of the Baltic states by the USSR. (2)

The newspaper offers excerpts from President Putin' s interviews and speeches in the foreign press not long before the 60th Victory Anniversary celebrations-- his assessment of the post-war s Yalta Agreements, about the fate of democracy in Russia, about relationships on the territory of the former USSR, and about Russia-USA relations. (3)

The story describes a mysterious and very strange situation not long before the presidential elections in Mongolia. The point in view is its $11 billion debt to Russia. (5)

Vneshtorgbank is willing to maintain partnership relations with clients in the sphere of funding investment projects. In an interview Vneshtorgbank Vice-President Dmitry Khodko reveals its new plans. (7)

MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS (12/5/2005)

All toilets in Moscow City Hall are closed at 6 PM and open only the following morning. On weekends they are also closed. Along with this, many City Hall employees have to stay in the building till late at night. How should they take care of business? The story describes the situation. (1, 2)

In an exclusive interview American film star Mikkie Rurk (Sp. ?) talks about one of his favourite films " Gorod Grekhov" and explains why he has disappeared from big cinema. (1, 7)

The story examines what has made it possible to revise the murder case of MK journalist Dmitry Kholodov. (1, 2)

The Moscow City Duma on Wednesday passed (in the first reading) a draft bill on raising the transport tax that, starting Jan. 1, 2006, will increase for cars by 1. 3-2. 8 times, and for trucks-- by 1. 7-1. 8 times. The story examines the bill. (2)

The story describes a dangerous type of ticks in the forests outside Moscow that is becoming a serious problem now: their bites can be fatal. (1, 2)

The Health Ministry has signed a decree on additional medical treatment after patients' serious surgeries in health resorts and sanatoriums. The storxamines the document' s main provisions, saying what categories of patients will be sent there. (1)

All those who have committed minor offences will be made clean city streets and yards -- such decisions will be made by all courts, starting this year. According to the estimates by the Federal Punishment Execution Service, about 80, 000-90, 000 people will do such jobs every year. (1)

Three bears in the Moscow zoo are suffering from a toothache, and British dentists will come to Moscow to treat them. The story describes their job. (1)

The Culture Committee of the Moscow gvt has spent 30 million rubles on the 60th Victory Anniversary celebrations in Moscow. This was stated on Wednesday by First Deputy Mayor Lyudmila Shvetsova. (2)