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Press Review

IZVESTIA (23/6/2005)

The Moscow Prosecutor' s Office decided to continue its check-up in relation to the Congress of the Jewish Religious Organizations and Associations in Russia that has published the Code of Religious Judaic Rules (" Kitsur Shulkhan Arukh" ). The story details the history of this case, saying that now the Moscow Prosecutor' s Office after its repeated check-up may launch a criminal case against the leaders of the Jewish community. (1, 3)

The story reflects on possible reasons behind two latest failures to launch military communications satellites into space. (1, 2, Kommersant, 4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6, Vremya Novostei, 1, Gazeta, 1, 4, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Trud, 5, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 5)

The Television Academy has completed to accept applications for the national and regional competitions for the Prize TEFI-2005. The story examines several nominees. (1, 14)

The Inter-State Bank with Russia and Kazakhstan being its major contributors will fund joint economic projects-- such was a decision made in the Kremlin on Wednesday by the summit of the heads of state of the Eurasian Economic Community. The story comments on its results. (1, 2, Kommersant, 1, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Gazeta, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

Terrorists' two attempts to get to the nuclear storage facilities have been foiled-- this was stated on Wednesday by Igor Valynkin, chief of the 12th Main Board of the Defense Ministry. He did not elaborate. In his interview (Izvestia of May 24, 2005) Valynkin for the first time admitted that his Board has developed special measures excluding any terrorist act in the nuclear facilities under its control. The story comments on Valynkin statement. (2, Kommersant, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 6)

Our Choice party leader Irina Khakamada and SPS Political Council Secretary Boris Nadezhdin have analyzed United Russia' s amendments to the Election Code. At a news conference in the Rosbalt agency on Wednesday they stated that these amendments allow authorities to exclude any attempt of their legal replacement. The story reveals the essence of both party leaders' conclusion. (2)

According to results of the latest opinion poll taken by the Bashkirova and Partners company, the State Duma has rating increased by 8 percent. The story comments on the rating, saying how experts explain it. A graph. (2)

Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin has proposed to create military police that will crack down on hazing and other legal violations in the army. This is stated in his report that was published on Wednesday. Brief. (2, Vremya Novostei, 1)

Boris Berezovsky, owner of the Publishing House Kommersant, at its shareholders' annual meeting in London on Wednesday morning revealed his plans in relation to a new leadership of the company and the newspaper. Nothing unexpected happened: thirty-seven -year-old Vladislav Borodulin became Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper Kommersant. The story examines Berezovsky' s plans. (4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Gazeta, 5, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Vremya Novostei, 3, MK, 2)

Presidential representative in the Southern Federal District Dmitry Kozak in Chechnya on Wednesday met with six relatives of Borozdinskaya villagers, who went missing after the brutal mop-up in the village on June 4. The story describes the meeting, saying that Kozak called those developments " crying sabotage against Russia" , and that Southern District Main Board of the Prosecutor General' s Office launched a criminal case on the fact. (4, Kommersant, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 1, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4)

Teachers in the Vologda region on Wednesday staged a protest against the law concerning labour remuneration in the state power bodies in the region. The story describes the protest, its participants and their demands. (4)

Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region Gennady Khodyrev stated on Wednesday that he had asked the president if he trusted him. In this way the governor ignored the opinion of presidential envoy to the Volga region Sergei Kiriyenko, who did not intend to include Khodyrev in the list of nominees to the post of governor. The story comments on Khodyrev' s move. (4)

PACE on Wednesday devoted this day to Russia: it passed a resolution on Moscow' s meeting its obligation before the Council of Europe. The story examines serious claims that were made to Moscow. (5, 6, Kommersant, 1, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 9, Trud, 2, Vremya Novostei, 5, Gazeta, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 5)

The Amnesty International human rights organization and the British Oxfam humanitarian fund on Wednesday made public a report on weapons sales by the G-8 countries. The story examines the report, saying that most of the remarks went to Russia. (5)

In his recent interview to the German magazine " Der Spiegel" , deputy Kremlin administration head Vladimir Surkov stated that the events in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan were not revolutions, thus having objected to many domestic and foreign politicians. Boris Makarenko, Deputy Director-General of the Center for Political Technologies, comments on Surkov' s statement. (7)

Police in Cheboksary (Chuvashia) on Wednesday detained 75-year-old Anatoly Matveyev, whose hobby was to set dachas on fire. The story describes his case, doubting his sanity. (8)

The gvt today is expected to announce that over 20 federal programs and subprograms will be suspended and will not be funded next year. The Economic Development Ministry is willing to voluntarily give up even the program " Administrative Reform" . The story comments on this gvt' s move, saying that not all ministries support it. (9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Gazeta, 15, Vremya Novostei, 4)

According to the new law, all state departments should provide to anyone any non-secret information about themselves, and if required information is extensive, departments can provide it for money. The story comments on the new law. (9, Kommersant, 5)

In an interview Sergei Ushakov, deputy head of the Gazprom Management Board, talks about the deal (called the " purchase of the year" ) of buying by the state of 10. 7 percent of shares of Gazprom, as a result of which the company will be totally controlled by the state. (10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, Vremya Novostei, 7)

Russian Yevrazholding has refused to buy Georgian Chiaturmarganets and several electric power stations, for which it has already paid out $20 million. The story looks at the official reason. (10)

Unified Energy Systems (UES) before the end of this year will sign an agreement with China on increasing the deliveries of electricity up to 30 billion kilowatt-hours. The story comments on this possible deal. (10)

KOMMERSANT (23/6/2005)

Russian Alfa Telecom, managing the telecommunications assets of Alfa Group, is buying from Turkish Cukurova Group 27 percent of shares of Turkcell for $3. 3 billion. The story comments on the deal. (1, 5, Gazeta, 13, 14, Vremya Novostei, 9)

The Federation Council on Wednesday applied to Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov with a proposal to raise the rate of the land tax for the deposits of the oil, gas and mining companies. The story reveals the essence of the proposal. (2)

The State Duma State Building Committee today is expected to consider a package of presidential amendments to the election laws that will be considered in the second reading on June 29. The story examines the main amendments. (3)

The story reveals Gazprom' s plans to implement a project of developing the Shtokmanovsky gas deposit. Thus, Gazprom is willing to divide business on gas condensate extraction, on its processing and the marketing of liquefied natural gas within the framework of the single project and conduct parts of the project with different partners. (5) , Vremya Novostei, 8)

According to the decision of the Stavropolye Regional Court, Novatek has been allowed at last to sell Geoilbent. The story comments on the court' s ruling. (5, 6)

The state has decided to abolish its own monopoly on the export of platinoid metals. The story describes how it will be done. (6)

The World Bank (WB) in the Center for Strategic Studies on Wednesday presented its report " How to Make the Investment Climate Favourable for All" on world development in 2005. Its discussion with a participation of several central ministries (they are names) revealed a main reason behind a negative investment climate in Russia -- the absence of certainty in the chosen way of development. The story examines the report, focusing on its conclusions. (6)

The UES Board of Directors on Friday is expected to endorse a scheme of reorganization of Kuzbassenergo. According to the scheme, the energy company will not be divided and together with all generating assets will be part of TGK No12. The story examines the scheme. (7)

The Real network of hypermarkets, part of the German Metro Group is launching its business in Russian regions It announced on Wednesday what shops it will open there The story reveals its plans. (7)

VEDOMOSTI (23/6/2005)

Alfa Group intends to become a leading domestic investor abroad. The Group is willing to spend $1. 6 billion on a purchase of 13. 22 percent of shares of Turkcell, the leader of the Turkish cellular market. What do experts think of this deal? (A1)

Where is the watershed between bad and good tax optimization?Kremlin officials cannot answer this question and Kremlin administration has declared a competition. , the winner of which will receive 300, 000 rubles and will recommend how to answer this question. (A1)

Cypriot SWGI Growth owning 26. 7 percent of shares of Novatek intends to sell a big part of this package on the London Stock Exchange. The story comments on the company' s decision. (A1)

Gazprom in June has won back control over Nortgaz without paying a kopeck for it. The cost of Nortgaz over the recent 5 years has grown considerably. Its co-owner Fakhad Akhmewdov is pleased at his reconciliation with Gazprom. (A1)

The story reveals the essence of new serious claims to Russia that were made by PACE on Wednesday. (A2)

The growth of domestic industry has stopped. In May the daily industrial production was by 0. 1 percent less that in April. The output of electricity and heating fell, and oil extraction cannot resume its growth. The story gives figures to illustrate all these pessimistic facts. (A3)

Economist Yevgeny Yasin says what Russia has and what it lacks to begin to build democracy in its classical meaning. (A4)

VEDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENT

Severstal has quickly learned how to work in the American way. Only 1. 5 years after the purchase of the Rouge Industries assets, the American subsidiary of the Russian company-- Severstal North America (SNA) -- has persuaded the Michigan authorities to grant it tax benefits worth $50 million in exchange for a $250 million investment. (B1)

South African Gold Fields has introduced two representatives (their names are given) from Norilsk Nickel in its Board of Directors. The brief looks at their posts. (B1)

The sum of obligations before shareholders and bondholders of Lenenergo amounts to about 5 billion rubles the company' s Director-General Andrei Likhachev reported on Wednesday. Brief. (B1)

Group Menatep Managing Director Tim Osborn reported on Wednesday that the company' s main shareholders in the face of Yukos Universal Ltd and Hulley Enterprises will take part in the shareholders' meeting that will take place in Moscow today. Brief. (B1)

Sibir Energy expects the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service in July to approve a deal to add 95 percent of shares of Margma belonging to the company to the charter capital of the Moscow oil and gas comcpany. Brief. (B1)

Michelin, Pirelli and Nokian are interested in cooperation with Nizhnekamskmashina in making agricultural machines. They are willing to invest up to 30 million euros to the enterprise. This was stated by Tatneft-Neftekhim Director Zagit Sharafeyev. Brief. (B1)

Alfa-Bank clients, who suffered as a result of the banking crisis, are going to sue the bank managers. The Society of Suffered Depositors have offered clients its assistance in recovering a compensation from the bank. (B1)

Gazprom comes out for imposing a floating rate of the export duty on liquefied natural gas, which allows it to refuse from PSA on the Shtokmanovsky deposit. This was stated by Gazprom top official Igor Meshcherin. Brief. (B2)

Severalstal, starting July 1, will annually deliver 500, 000 tons of rolled metal to Chinese Minmetals that will give full support and assistance on all issues concerning trade disputes and limits. This was stated by Severstal. Brief. (B2)

The Serpukhov auto plant and the plant making cars with small engines intend to launch a joint modernization of the Oka car. This is stated in the company' s press release. Brief. (B2) s

Yevrazholding and Steel Group Mechel have announced that they would like to buy two Kuzbass electric power stations. The story describes how such a deal can be formalized. (B2)

Rusal may invest over $1 billion in the construction of the aluminum plant in the Krasnoyarsk region. This was stated by the company' s press center. Brief. (B2)akhalin Energy, a Sakhalin-2 operator, will deliver to the North American market only 20 percent of the produced liqquefiewd natural gas. Brief. (B2)

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (23/6/2005)

A scandalous report titled " Russia: Compiling Rules for the Market" by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OESR) was ordered and partially paid for by the Russian gvt. As much as $250, 000 was transferred to the OESR bank account. The results that has been received by a client could hardly pleased him. The story examines the report, focusing on its pessimistic conclusions, saying that gvt officials most probably have more than once regretted about the spent money. (1, 3)

Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on Tuesday evening signed a memorandum on cooperation in defending the rights and freedoms of citizens in the army. The story examines how this cooperation will proceed and in what spheres. (1, 2)

The Central Election Commission (CEC) in July will announce new additional elections to the State Duma. This was stated by CEC spokeswoman Yelena Dubrovina, who stated that there are six vacancies in the lower house this year. The story looks at them, saying how the additional elections will proceed. (2)

Will the amnesty of capital deal a blow to the gvt plans to lower inflation? What should be expected in case of VAT cancelation?. In an interview Arkady Dvorkovich, head of the Expert Board of the Kremlin Administration, answers these and other questions. (3, Noviye Izvestia, 3)

The Transportation Ministry on Wednesday asked for 400 billion rubles (or $14 billion) from the gvt to boost road building, which is more than the whole proceeds by LUKoil last year. The story says that this sum will most probably be given to the ministry but the quality of roads will not improve. (3)

The City Council of Syktyvkar (Komi Republic) on Wednesday discharged Mayor Sergei Katunin from his post without explaining the reason. Deputy Mayor Vladimir Pystin was appointed Acting Mayor. (4, Noviye Izvestia, 2)

Fuel and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko on Wednesday stated Russia' s stand in its relationships with Ukraine in the gas sphere that was supported by Turkmenistan' s President Saparmurat Niyazov. The story reveals its essence. (5)

NATO Secretary General Jap de Hoop Sheffer (Sp. ?) is arriving in Moscow today on a short visit to meet with Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and President Putin. He will discuss NATO -Russia cooperation and ways of its expansion. (5)

ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA (23/6/2005)

According to the ruling of the Moscow Oktyabrsky District Court, trolleybus driver Alexander Bezrutskoi 40, must pay compensation to a 67-year-old passenger Muscovite Lyudmila Kuznetsova. The story details the case. (1)

The state register of the Russian population will be fully compiled by 2008-- such a statement was made at a news conference on Tuesday by Alexander Pankratov, Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for Information Technologies. The news conference was devoted to the creation of the database of information on the entire population of Russia. The story examines it in detail, focusing on its aim. (1)

Moscow Vice-Mayor Valery Shantsev, head of the Application Committee " Moscow-2012 " , on Wednesday spoke about Moscow Olympic chances, saying how the choice of the Olympic city will proceed at the International Olympic Committee session in Singapore on July 6. (2)

The ruble rate in relation to the dollar and to the euro fell on the Russian home market on Wednesday the story gives figures to illustrate the point. (2)

The story reflects on who may fill the vacancy of the head of the Federal Agency for Air Transport (or Rosaviatsia) . Its previous head Nikolai Shipil has quit the post and has become Deputy Director-General of Aeroflot. (4)

The issue on when Russia will join the World Trade Organization and how will be decided in Geneva tomorrow. With this aim in view, Economic Development Minister German Gref, the chief ideologue of Russia' s accession to the WTO, for the first time of holding these negotiations will arrive in Geneva. What is being awaited from him is the answer to the question -- Will Russia be able to become a WTO member in December? (5)

Vitaly Tretyakov, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine " The Political Class" presents an in-depth analysis of President Putin' s rule, focusing on his achievements and failures and trying to answer the following question -- Does Russia really need Putin after 2008? (7)

NOVIYE IZVESTIA (23/6/2005)

More than 50 percent of furniture sold in Russia is made illegally-- this is evidenced from results of the latest study conducted by the Association of the Enterprises of the Furniture and Timber-Processing Industry. The story comments on the issue saying why people by such furniture that is often dangerous for health. (1, 3)

A group of experts on Wednesday presented a collection of articles titled " The Law-Making by the State Duma in the Light of Public Interests. The Results of 2004" .The story focuses on the law-makers' failures to pass good laws. (2 )

Participants in Wednesday' s Conference " The Construction Complex: Finances, Possibilities, Problems and Risks" from official reports found out that with much empty talk about affordable housing, the construction industry today is in deep crisis that will be very difficult to overcome. And the recently created legislative base forming and regulating the relationships between the construction market participants already demands revision. (3)

The Moscow gvt has created a commission on providing financial aid to religious organizations in major renovation of their buildings. The story examines the commission' s tasks, saying that actually only one confession will get such assistance. (7)