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Press Review

IZVESTIA (5/7/2005)

The Rock Festival " Phoenix: Return to Life" should have taken place in Gudermes (Chechnya) today, but it has been cancelled, since neither the military nor Chechen authorities could guarantee its security. The festival has been postponed to the fall. The story describes the situation, saying that First Vice-Premier Ramzan Kadyrov in charge of local siloviki decided that he may be responsible in case of unfavourable developments. (1, 2, Kommersant, 13, Vremya Novostei, 2, Zhizn, 2)

The Sibneft Board of Directors on Monday recommended to allocate about $2. 3 billion for paying out dividends for 2004, which is practically the whole net profit of the company. Analysts have called such a decision unprecedented and the sum--record high. Is that really so? The story gives a negative answer, since, as it has turned out, LUKoil and AvtoVAZ have paid out much more. (1, 3, Kommersant, 1, 5, Vremya Novostei, 7, Gazeta, 14)

A 370 kg space probe on July 4, Independence day of the USA, hit its Temple-1 comet target in a NASA -directed mission. The story describes this historic event, focusing on its significance for science. (1, 2, Kommersant, 11, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 9, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 9, MK, 1, 3)

The consideration of a sue filed in the Moscow Presnensky District Court by astrologer Marina Bai against NASA was scheduled for Monday, but no one from NASA appeared. The court session was postponed to July 28. Brief. (2, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2)

The dollar rate on Monday reached its highest level this year-- 28 rubles 80 kopecks. In this way the domestic market has reacted to the fall of the euro lower than its significant psychological level --$1. 20. The story examines the main reason behind the dollar rise, saying that, in analysts' opinion, the dollar rate in the next several weeks may reach 29 rubles/$. (1, 2, Kommersant, 7, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 5, Vremya Novostei, 1, Gazeta, 15, MK, 2) s

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana (Kazakhstan) will hold a summit today when seven presidents of its member - states will get together to discuss vital issues. Kazakhstan' s President Nursultan Nazarbayev will show a new gvt complex to his guests. (2, Kommersant, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Trud, 4, Vremya Novostei, 5, Gazeta, 1, 2, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 5, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

The State Duma Rodina faction and the S. D. Rules Committee at their sessions today will sum up results of the faction' s split--Vice Speaker Sergei Baburin has left the faction with an intention to create his own faction Rodina. Dmitry Rogozin in this case has promised to sue the parliamentary majority. (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Gazeta, 4, Trud, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3, MK, 2)

President Putin during his recent visit to Kaliningrad was pleased at its " good economic results and economic growth pace" . The story examines the region' s economic achievements The brief looks at five variants of the region' s future. (3, Kommersant, 2)

The USA intends to apply its own methods to crack down on exhaust emissions and has no intention to sign any international agreements like the Kyoto Protocol. This was stated by President George W. Bush on the threshold of the G-8 summit that will discuss this issue. The story comments on the statement. (4, Vremya Novostei, 1, 6)

The story describes how Americans celebrated their great holiday--Independence Day-- on July 4. (4)

Audit Chamber head Sergei Stepashin in Teheran has signed a cooperation agreement with the Supreme Arbitration Court of Iran. The brief looks at the essence of the document. (4)

Moscow police have detained two swindlers (their names are given) who extorted money from Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Leonid Parfyonov. The story details the case. (1, 6, Kommersant, 1, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 6, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 9, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 9, Trud, 3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4, MK, 1, 2)

Economic crime police in Moscow have arrested a group of swindlers, who acted as realtors and defrauded many realty buyers. The story gives concrete facts showing how they did it. (6, Vremya Novostei, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 9)

The Moscow City Court on Monday cancelled its verdict of ' guilty' in the case of Alexandra Ivannikova, who in December 2003 killed Sergei Bagdasaryan, who, in her words, attempted to rape her. The story details the case. (6, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4, )

The Dagestani Interior (Police) Department leadership on Monday resigned. The story comments on the process, saying that it will continue in the republic. (1, 6, Kommersant, 1, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, Gazeta, 1, 5, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4, Sovetskaya Rossiya, 1)

The Moscow City Court on Monday launched hearings on the criminal case of Vyacheslav Ivankov (better known as Yaponchik) . The judge decided to hold hearings without the press. Brief. (6, Kommersant, 4, Vremya Novostei, 3, Trud, 3)

The Stabilization Fund has considerably decreased. Thus, by July 1 it amounted to 617. 9 billion rubles, whereas on June 20 the figure was 1 trillion 47. 9 billion rubles. The story examines the most probable reason. (7, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 3)

The fuel prices that in the previous three months remained unchanged considerably increased last week. Owners of gas filling stations raised petrol prices by 20-40 kopecks per liter. The story explained the reason, saying how experts regard such a big price rise. (7)

Self-exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky intends to file a suit against Chukotka governor Roman Abramovich. He stated this in an interview to Ekho Moskvy. The suit will concern several previous deals. The brief names some of them. (7, Kommersant, 5, Gazeta, 15)

The feature story describes a private reserve that has appeared in a new elite housing development not far from the center of Moscow in the place of a former dump. (9)

The Moscow Public Town-Building Council attached to the mayor on Friday approved a construction project of a five-star hotel in place of the notorious remains of the monument of architecture-- Tyopliye Torgoviye Ryady-- not far from the Kremlin. Mayor Yury Luzhkov has selected a project proposed by German architects from the BRT firm. The story examines the project. (9)

The first excursion bus initiated by the Moscow City Transport Department (Mosgortrans) has appeared in Moscow. The story describes its itinerary. (9)

KOMMERSANT (5/7/2005)

Rosneft on Monday published an operative report for 2004 by US GAAP. It says in part that in order to receive control over Yuganskneftegaz, the former major oil-extracting asset of Yukos, the company violated the terms of the previously received loans. Its overall debt increased by 5. 4 times -- up to $22. 65 billion. In order to correct the situation, the company intends to demand additional $3. 53 billion property from Yukos. The story examines the report. (1, Gazeta, 13, Vremya Novostei. 8, )

Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov at a news conference in Moscow on Monday stated that he supported a return of some powers to regions. The speaker, however, said that he opposed the return of governors to the FC on the previous conditions. The story reveals the essence of his statements. (2)

The story comments on results and decision of the Republican Party' s conference in Moscow on Saturday when its liberal opposition delegates discussed ways of a possible unification of democratic forces. Different stands on the issue are in the focus. (2)

The Nizhny Novgorod Regional Legislative Assembly has failed to receive a letter from the Kremlin nominating the present governor, Gennady Khodyrev, to be reelected for the second term. The story comments on the issue, reflecting what it could mean. (3)

Moskovskiye Novosti Editor-in-Chief and Director-General of the MN Publishing House Yevgeny Kiselyov on Monday officially announced his resignation This was also confirmed by MN new owner Ukrainian businessman Vadim Rabinovich. The brief comments on his statement. (4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 2, Gazeta, 4, Sovetskaya Rossia, 1)

Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH) has sold 11 percent of shares of the Baltika brewery to three related companies. The Baltika minority shareholders immediately stated that BBH through such manipulations is pursuing concrete aims: new co-owners will take part in voting of Baltika shareholders on disputed issues and will ensure more votes in favour of BBH. (5)

Sixty-six percent of shares of Geoilbent that Novatek for about a month already has been trying to sell to LUKoil has been frozen again, and Transneft again does not have the right to accept Novatek and Geoilbent oil to its pipelines. Brief. (5)

The Inter-Departmental Commission on Implementing the Kyoto Protocol in Russia held its first session in the Economic Development Ministry on Monday when its participants divided into two opposing camps. The story presents their viewpoints on the Kyoto Protocol. (6)

The Federal State Statistics Service on Monday made public its official report on the state of affairs with doubling the gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of this year. As compared with the fourth quarter of last year, GDP decreased by 12. 1 percent. At the same time, the Industry and Energy Ministry reported that Russian export in the first half of this year increased by only 0. 6 percent. The story comments on these and other figures of the report. (7)

The Complex Energy Systems company (CES) controlled by businessman Viktor Vekselberg announced on Monday that it had bought shares of Kirovenergo and Udmurtenergo and of companies that were separated from them during the reform. . The story examines the deals, saying what CES has gained from them. (7)

The gvt of the Khabarovsk region has put up on sale the air terminal, land and technological equipment of Khabarovsk Airport costing 264 million rubles. The story describes what has been offered for sale, saying that the probable buyer is Alyans-Prom, part of Group Alyans. (7)

The USA on the threshold of the G-8 summit that is to open tomorrow has launched a wide-scale discussion about the prospects of American-Russian relationships. Some analysts propose to cut G-8 down to G-3 and exclude Russia from it, others propose to expand the group up to G-20 to make Russia unnoticed among other developing countries. The story examines various views. (10)

US President George W. Bush today is arriving in Europe, where tomorrow he will take part in a G-8 summit in Gleneagles (Scotland) . And Bush' s European trip will begin with his visit to Denmark, where he will hold negotiations with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fog Rasmussen (Sp. ?) Photo caption. (12)

Highly - regarded Italian filmmaker Alberto Lattuada has died in Rome at the age of 90. The story features his creative career. (14)

VEDOMOSTI (5/7/2005)

Rosneft for the first time has presented its version of funding the purchase of Yuganskneftegaz. In its report-2004 by US GAAP the state-owned company stated that it had borrowed $1. 8 billion from state banks and issued veksels worth $6. 1 billion. Rosneft' s story. (A1)

Oligarch Roman Abramovich likes not only soccer, but also sports publications. Thus, he may become soon an owner of the popular newspaper" Sport-Express" and the magazine ProSport. (A1)

The dollar has begun the second half of the year with the $1. 2/euro level. The American currency is also growing in Russia, where it costs now close to 29 rubles/$. Analysts, however, believe that the ruble will be strong, too. (A1)

State alcohol monopoly may be imposed in Russia in a couple of days. President Putin has already approved Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev' s idea to do it. The story describes how it would be. (A1 )

United Russia in the next three years will give consultations to former Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich and his team to help them prepare for the next parliamentary elections. (A2)

Iran' s newly-elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Sp. ?) has been again accused of terrorism. Thus, Kurdish separatists on Monday stated that he allegedly had killed their leader Abdul -Rahman Gassemla. And former American diplomats recognized in Ahmadinejad one of the invaders of the US Embassy in Teheran in 1979. The story examines how Iran regards these accusations. (A2)

In a far-ranging interview Aroldo Lima, President of the state-run National Oil Agency of Brazil (ANP) , talks about his agency that at the end of the 1990s began to control the de-monopolization of the oil market. Mr. Lima has come to Moscow to invite Russian companies to work in Brazil. (A5)


Sibneft intends to pay out its shareholders record high dividends for 2004--$2. 3 billion. . True, it' s not clear who will get this money and when: the Sibneft controlling shareholders are dragging the holding of the annual meeting. (B1)

According to the Central Bank, foreigners' direct investments in the first 6 months of this year doubled and reached $9. 3 billion. This is a record. Analysts are happy that the success has been ensured by the majority of medium-size deals rather than by one big one. (B1)

Rosneft has prepared SK Neftepolis for sale. The brief examines what Rosneft' s annual report says about Neftepolis. (B1)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will give Perm Uralkaly a 4-year credit worth $65 million. This is stated in the bank' s press release. Brief. (B1)

Several domestic oil companies in 2004 unjustifiably increased their prices of oil products by 25 percent. This was stated by Audit Chamber auditor Vladimir Panskov. Brief. (B1)

The Dutch ABN Amro bank has no fear to take part in crediting Rosneftegaz to pay for 10. 74 percent of shares of Gazprom. It has promised the state company to find $7. 1 billion. Experts, however, are sure that it' s very difficult to do it. (B2)

Self-exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky intends to sue his former partner Roman Abramovich in an international court, where he plans to prove that through blackmail and threats he was forced to sell his Russian assets very cheap. (B2)

The management crisis in Boeing has been overcome at last. After several scandalous resignations, the corporation has obtained a new leader. The story names him and his former post. (B2)

The negative cost of the net assets of Yukos by the Russian standards of bookkeeping accountancy increased in the first quarter of 2005 up to 406. 32 billion rubles from 401. 455 billion. Brief. (B2)

Severstal in the next 10 years will invest over $1. 5 billion in boosting Vorkutaugol. This was stated by Severstal- Group Director-General Alexei Mordashov. Brief. (B2)

Sberbank decided to make its Sberkart payment system inter-banking. In the opinion of Sberbank' s colleagues, the bank would like to turn Sberkart into a single national payment system. The story reveals the bank' s plans. (B5)

A quiet default has happened on the domestic market of corporate bonds-- the RusLAD has not cleared off the securities worth 150 million. Their whole issue is in Web-Invest Bank. (B5)

An all-year-round down hill ski trail will be built in the Moscow region. A group of Su-155 companies intends to do it. The story describes the project. (B6)


State Duma United Russia deputy and journalist Alexander Khinshtein on Monday made public a large shady deal, involving former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, who, with the help of front firms and practically at no cost, obtained a state -run dacha (now the former one) in Troitse- Lykovo. The story gives details. (1, 3)

Many well-known State Duma deputies and party leaders (their names are given) are running for seats in the Moscow City Duma. The story describes the " migration" process, explaining some deputies' decisions. (1, 2)

The story examines results of Uzbek President Islam Karimov' s recent visit to Moscow, where he signed several documents with President Putin that are significant for Uzbekistan and are hardly necessary for Russia. (2)

State Duma Vice-Speaker Georgy Boos on Monday visited the Kremlin, where he discussed his possible appointment to the post of governor of the Kaliningrad region. The story comments on the issue, saying that the term of office of the present governor, Vladimir Yegorov, expires in November. (2)

The CIS Inter-State Statistics Committee on Monday made public its report on the growth of industrial production in the CIS states. Russia by this index is getting far behind many former Soviet republics. The story examines the report. (3)


Authorities are continuing to ignore domestic neo-fascists' aggressive acts against foreign students receiving a higher education in Russian institutes and universities. The story gives concrete facts to illustrate the point. A map showing the most dangerous cities in Russia for foreign students. A long list of neo-fascists' attacks on them this year. (1, 6)

Rosselkhoznadzor has allowed 14 out of the 24 European Union countries to export their vegetables and fruit to Russia. Greece, Italy and Spain have not received such permission. Chief State Sanitary Inspector Mikhail Maslov describes the situation. (1, 3)

Several other central mass media can change their owners soon. The replacement of owners in REN TV and several print mass media is connected with preparations for the elections -2007/2008-- such is an opinion of former State Duma Speaker and former Editor of " Pravda" and " Komsomolskaya Pravda" and now State Duma independent deputy Gennady Seleznyov. The story comments on his statement, saying that, in experts' opinion, Argumenty i Fakty, Trud and the TVTsentr channel are expected to change their owners. (2)

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has agreed to consider a complaint from seven National Bolsheviks, who were convicted for the seizure of several office rooms in the Federal Health Ministry in August last year. They would like to receive 100, 000 euros each for moral damage, and their lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky is sure that they will receive at least part of this sum. The story details the case. (2)

The memorable day of Nov. 7 will remain in the calendar under the name of " The Day of the 1917 October Revolution" -- such an amendment to the draft bill concerning the days of military glory will be backed by State Duma deputies today when they consider the draft in the second reading. Brief. (2)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov has signed a decree, according to which the Federal Road Agency (Rosavtodor) will be in charge of the federal roads that before were controlled by the Transport Ministry. The story comments on the gvt decree. (3)

Close cooperation between United Russia and the Ukrainian Party of Regions has made Kiev politicians indignant. Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko on Monday recommended to Russians not to have any contacts with the Ukrainian opposition and all the more so, not to try to play on its side at the upcoming elections to the Supreme Rada scheduled for next spring. The story comments on Timoshenko' s statement. (4)


Oligarch Roman Abramovich has bought a very expensive castle in the Apennines on the shore of the Tirrenian (Sp. ?) Sea in Italy. Before Italian knights lived in that castle that has become the property of the Russian oligarch. The story describes the castle(3)

Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko has decided the fate of the domestic automotive industry. The story reveals the essence of his statement. (4)

The youth movement " Nashi" last week opened the Center for Civic Society in Grozny aimed at defending the human rights. It was built for1. 5 months. The story describes the opening ceremony, focusing on a speech by Nashi leader Vasily Yakemenko. (5)

A big brown stray dog attacking and biting people lives near the metro" Voikovskaya" , and the local housing administration receives many complaints, but does not know what to do with it. The story describes the dog, focusing on two views on its fate. (6)

Why is the number of state bureaucrats increasing? In an interview Vladimir Sulemov, Professor at the presidential Academy of the State Service, answers this question. (16, 17)


The story presents an in-depth analysis of the current army reform, focusing on its positive and negative aspects and also on its problems. (1, 6)

An unidentified thief at the exhibition devoted to the 60th Victory Anniversary in the Hall of the Federal Archives on Bolshata Pirogovskaya Ulitsa on June 30 stole Hitler' s breast badge and soldiers' books of Nazi generals. The story gives details, saying that this unusual theft was most probably someone' s order. Historian Vladimir Kozlov, head of the Federal Archives Agency, comments on the case. (1)

In an interview State Duma Vice-Speaker Vladimir Pekhtin, head of the S. D. working group that investigated reasons behind the recent energy crisis in Moscow, examines the main reasons. (2)