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Press Review

IZVESTIA (1, 2, 3/7/2005)

The St. Petersburg City Court on Thursday delivered a verdict in the murder case of State Duma deputy Galina Starovoiteva, who was killed on Nov. 20, 1998 by Vitaly Akishin. The murder was organized by Yury Kolchin. The story comments on the court' s verdict, saying that the court recognized the murder as political but failed to determine its motives. (1, 8)

Russia is willing to host the upcoming G-8 summit, and it is ready to host such a summit in 2006-- this was stated by presidential aide Igor Shuvalov. In his interview to the German magazine " Der Spiegel" Shuvalov he talked about priority political issues of the Russian leadership He also spoke about the Yukos case. The story comments on his interview. (1, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

Kremlin administration head Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday called on the Central Election Commission (CEC) to effectively inform citizens of results of elections in order to avoid political destabilization and " orange revolution" . The story examines Medvedev' s statements, saying how CEC head AlexanderVeshnyakov reacted. (2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

The military departments of institutes and universities, starting this year, have suspended the enrolment of students-- this was stated on Thursday by Nikolai Pankov, chief of the Defense Ministry' s Personnel and Education Service. The story reveals the essence of his statement. (1, 2, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3)

The Republican Party leaders on Thursday announced that the All-Russian Conference of the party will be held over the weekend. Deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov reported that all democrats were invited to attend the conference. The story describes its program and the major aim. (3)

The presidential draft bill containing amendments to the law on the prosecutor' s office has been submitted to the State Duma. The story examines the major amendments, saying that prosecutors' salaries will be considerably increased. (1, 3)

SPS Federal Political Council head Nikita Belykh has sent a letter to Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky, in which he called on him to unite and as soon as possible to launch joint preparations for the next elections. Brief. (3)

The bill on the Public Chamber became law on Friday July 1. In 2 months the president should endorse the candidacies of the first 42 (out of 126) members of the Chamber. The story examines the law' s major provisions, saying that the Chamber will begin its work next year. (3)

The South Korean gvt intends to create gigantic North-Korean collective farms in Russian Primorye that should help resolve the problem of food shortages in North Korea. With this aim in view, Seoul is allegedly willing to fund the resettlement of North Korean peasants to Russia' s Far East and to create there the corresponding infrastructure. The story examines North Korea' s plans, saying how experts and Russian diplomats regard them. (4)

The story reports on how the Estonian president is preparing to respond to Russia' s refusal to ratify the treaty that has been already signed and ratified by Estonia. (4)

The story recognizes the fact that Russia' s Siberia and the Far East are being populated by Chinese spontaneously but in huge numbers. In this context, is China threatening Russia? Six politicians, State Duma deputies, governors and public figures share their viewpoints. (6)

Economic Development Minister German Gref on Thursday criticized the reform of science that was proposed by Education and Science Minister Andrei Fursenko. Gref said in part that such reform will not help double the gross domestic product. (9)

KOMMERSANT (2/7/2005)

A terrorist blast in Makhchkala (Dagestan) on Friday left 11 Russian servicemen from the Rus special task force detachment killed and another 15 servicemen injured. The story gives details, focusing on the aim of this terrorist act. (1, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Trud, 1, 3, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, MK, 2)

The Ren TV channel is to change its owners: UES is selling its 69. 9 percent of its shares in the channel. The shares have been bought by Severstal Group rather than by the Yevrofinans bank, as it was previously announced. At the same time, Ren TV founders Irina and Dmitry Lesnovsky have sold 30 percent of their shares in the channel to German RTL Group, part of the international mediaholding -- Bertelsmann AG. The story describes the deal. (1, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Trud, 3, MK, 2)

Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov on Friday signed an order concerning the resignation of Moscow region fifty-five-year-old Prosecutor Ivan Sydoruk. The story examines the main reason behind his resignation and Ustinov' s protege to replace Sydoruk. (1, 2, Trud, 1)

According to the official announcement on Friday, the newspaper " Moskovskiye Novosti" that belonged to MENATEP Group owner Leonid Nevzlin was sold to Media International Group owned by well-known Ukrainian businessman Vadim Rabinovich. Brief. (1)

President Putin on Friday met with Chinese President Hu Jintao. The story examines the results of their negotiations. (1, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, s3, Krasnaya Zvezda, 3, Trud, 4, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, MK, 2)

Presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District Dmitry Kozak in Moscow on Friday met with Karachayevo-Cherkessia' s President Mustafa Batdyev and a delegation of Abazins, who on June 29 seized the gvt building in Cherkessk in protest against a transfer of 600 hectares of Abazin land to a neighbouring district. The story describes the meeting, focusing on Kozak' s attempt to settle down the conflict, on his promises and warning. (2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4)

Kalmykia' s parliament on Friday introduced amendments to the republic' s Constitution that have renamed the post of Kalmykia' s president into the post of head of the republic. The story reveals the essence of the amendments. (2)

July 2 marked two years since the arrest of former MFO MENATEP head Platon Lebedev. In the meantime, his lawyers on Friday made public Lebedev' s detailed analysis (made in the prison) of the court' s verdict, in which he has found the " majority of remaining contradictions" . Lebedev previously did not want to contest the verdict. but now he asked his defense to do it. The story comments on his decision. (3)

The Moscow Meshchansky District Court on Friday arrested the first two suspects on the case of derailing the Grozny-Moscow train. The suspects are Vladimir Vlasov and Mikhail Klevachev, members of the left-radical nationalistic party --the Russian National Unity. The story details the case. (3, Trud, 1)

The Moscow Regional Court on Friday acquitted former FSB officer and later lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin, who was convicted by the Dmitrovsky City Court for an illegal keeping of a pistol. The story details his case, concluding that in this way the court confirmed Trepashkin' s version that the pistol had been placed surreptitiously by police. (3)

The second (in two days) case of polluting the Moskva-River was registered in the district of the Zapadny River Port on Friday. Rosprirodonadzor Oleg Mitvol on Friday named a source of pollution --a car wash service on Ulitsa Barklaya. A criminal case was launched on this fact. The story gives details. (3, Trud, 1. Moskovskaya Pravda, 1, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 5, MK, 1)

Bashkiria' s Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov on Friday Morning suffered in a road accident. The story gives details. (3)

The trial of the two famed Georgian athletes (their names are given) caused riots in the center of Tbilisi in the small hours of the morning of July 1. The story gives details, saying that raging passions continued in the Georgian parliament on Friday when opposition parties called on their supporters to launch a national movement against siloviki' s arbitrary brual actions. (4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Trud, 1, 2, MK, 2)

Three-day celebrations of the Kaliningrad 750th jubilee began in the city on Friday. About several thousand policemen from all regions of the North-West of Russia, President Putin with State Council members, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and French President Jacques Chirac will attend the festivities. The story describes the opening day of the jubilee. (4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Izvestia, 1, 7, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, Moskovskiye Novosti, No. 25, pp. 16, 17, Trud, 3)

Moldova and Ukraine on Friday opened the first joint customs control check-points in the north and south of the border. The story describes their aims sand functions. (4)

Britain on Friday took up the presidency of the European Union, which means that British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the next 6 months will be EU Chairman. On Friday he met with European Commission members to discuss the program of action in the next 6 months. The brief looks at it. (4, Izvestia, 4)

Russia on Friday received the status of observer in the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) . This decision was made by participants in the 32nd Conference of OIC foreign ministers. Russia' s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attended the conference. Brief. (4)

The State Duma on Friday passed (in the second reading) the draft bill concerning the concession agreements. The bill provides investors with guarantees of investments in those facilities that cannot be privatized, since they are public infrastructures. The story examines the bills major provisions, saying that these guarantees to investors are not enough. (5)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Friday approved a construction project of a 21, 000 sq, m. hotel near GUM. The story examines the project in detail. (5, Trud, 1)

The State Duma Budget and Banking committees at a joint session on Friday recommended the S. D. that it take into consideration the Central Bank' s operating report-2004. Deputies criticized it for inflation and asked it to urgently work out anti-inflation measures in connection with soaring prices in the first half of 2005. (5)

The Moscow City Property Department has developed a new program of managing movie-houses in city property. The program will be submitted to Mayor Yury Luzhkov for consideration in July. All movie-houses have been divided into four groups. The story looks at them, focusing on the aim of such division. (5)

US Federal Reserve System representatives on Friday tried to persuade market participants that they would do everything in their power to crack down on inflation in the country. Analysts viewed it as preparations for an active raising of the dollar rate. The latter as a result renewed its many month maximums in relation to other world currencies. The story examines the dollar' s growth tendency, giving figures to illustrate it. (6)

The Moscow Arbitration Court on Friday rejected 2 suits of the two offshore companies --Nimegan Trading Ltd. and Gemini Holding Ltd--against Yukos. (These companies are affiliated with Sibneft) . The brief says why. (6)

Sibur and its subsidiaries (they are all named) on Friday signed a founding agreement on the creation of AKS Holding. Its co-owners endorsed its charter and elected its Board of Directors. The brief gives their names. (6)

The story reports on how Culture Minister Alexander Sokolov has responded at last to Federal Culture and Cinematography Agency head Mikhail Shvydkoi' s threats to file a suit against him. (8, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Izvestia, 3, Trud, 2, MK, 3)

In an interview Bolshoi Theater Director-General Anatoly Iksakov talks about a major renovation project of his theater. (9, Izvestia, 1, 14)

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (1/7-2/7/2005)

American mass media have accused Iran' s newly-elected head of his involvement in the seizure of the US Embassy in Teheran in 1979. The story describes those distant developments. (1, 6)

Former Yukos employee Konstantin Kostin, Deputy Head of the United Russia Central Executive Committee, is seen as a protege of deputy Kremlin administration head Vladimir Surkov. In an interview Kostin talks about his relations with Surkov, about the letter of 50 intellectuals, about Yukos and its former CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and about his monthly salary. (1, 4)

The newspaper offers a list of 100 most influential politicians in Russia in June. The poll was taken last month by the Glas Naroda Center for the Study of Public Opinion. The story comments on the rating. (1, 5)

There is much talk in the political circles of St. Petersburg about a possible new post for governor Valentina Matviyenko, who may be appointed Prime Minister of Russia. Observers say that Mikhail Fradkov as the head of gvt was unsuccessful, that is why the president' s decree on his resignation is allegedly prepared for being signed. The story says that Matviyenko today is named as the most probable successor of Fradkov. (1, 4)

Viktor Pinchuk, son-in-law of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma recently stated that he intends to sell the first of his strategic enterprises--the Nikolayev Ferro-Alloy Plant (NFZ) . Renova Group (Viktor Vekselberg) and separate shareholders of Yevrazholding (Alexander Abramov) are willing to buy about 75 percent of NFZ. The story examines how President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko regard this possible deal. (1, 3)

Ryazan regional governor Georgy Shpak has found himself in the center of a new financial scandal that has erupted around a local vodka distillery. (4)

The political movement " For Fair Kazakhstan" uniting practically all opposition forces of the republic intends to sue state authorities. Thus, the Justice Ministry has for the second time refused to officially register this movement. Its leader Zharmakhan Tuyakbai commented on the situation. (6)

In an interview Vladimir Sazonov, Vice President of the Russian Railways (RZH) company examines reasons of the recent railway accidents in the Tver and Krasnodar regions. He also says what decisions were made by the RZH leadership on the basis of results of the investigation of the recent railway accidents. (8)

ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA (2/7/2005)

The top brass of the Defense Ministry, Sergei Ivanov and top officials from the State Duma and the Prosecutor General' s Office on Friday endorsed the ideas of civil control in the army. The story reveals these ideas sand concrete measures to put them into effect. (1, 2)

The discussion of two issues -- concerning the ratification of the agreement between Russia and Canada on cooperation in the sphere of utilization of chemical weapons and the utilization of Russian nuclear submarines, and the issue on a transfer of books to Hungary from the Sharoshpatsky (Sp. ?) College that were moved to the Soviet Union after World War II -- caused deputies' sad sentiments. The story features heated discussion, deputies' remarks and their decisions. (1, 2)

Document. The Federal Law concerning the recognition of several legislative actso longer valid and concerning introducing amendments to several legislative acts in connection with the cancellation of the property tax transferred in case of inheritance or gift-making. Full tax. (1, 2)

Activists from the youth movement " Nashi" in Grozny on Friday festively opened the Center for Civic Society -- such is the name of a new beautiful building, the construction of which has been completed thanks to Nashi young activists and local residents. The story describes the first Center for Civic Society in Russia that has opened in Grozny. (1, 2)

A session of the Presidium of the State Council is scheduled for July 3 in Kaliningrad. The session will be presided over by President Putin. The story examines major issues it will discuss. (2)

President Putin on Friday signed a decree correcting the procedure of giving powers to the regional heads. The story comments on the document, saying that now the president has the possibility of stating reasons behind his refusal to nominate governors. (3)

Presidential economic adviser Andrei Illarionov believes that its possible to double the gross domestic product not only by 2012 but also by 2010. He shared his opinion at a news conference on Friday. The story looks at his arguments. (3, Moskovskiye Novosti, No. 25, pp. 1, 4, 5)

MOSKOVSKIYE NOVOSTI #25

In a far-ranging interview presidential economic adviser Andrei Illarionov answers the following questions-- Does Russia need quick economic growth (the doubling of the gross domestic product for 10 years) ? And if Russia needs it --is it possible? And if it is possible what should be done to reach it? (1, 4, 5, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

Can the state play any role in accelerating the pace of economic growth ? Four economic experts share their viewpoints. (6)

The appointment of " Izvestia" editor-in-chief should take place this month. According to a source in Gazprom-Media that recently bought the newspaper, media-holding head Nikolai Senkevich has already a list of several candidates. The story looks at them all. (2)

Democratic forces have again proposed to Yabloko to unite, but Yavlinsky' s party considers it impossible. Nikita Belykh, Chairman of the Federal Political Council of the Union of Right Forces (SPS) , has made such a proposal to Yavlinsky in his letter (its full text) . (8) In an interview State Duma independent deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov says that he pins great hopes on the All-Russia Congress of the Republican Party that took place on July 2. The congress, in his opinion, will united all democratic forces in Russia. (8, 9)

Russia' s relations with the Baltic states have markedly worsened lately. Who is to blame? The story examines Lithuania' s point of view on the issue. (11)

In a far- ranging interview Viktor Gerashchenko, head of the Yukos Board of Directors, talks about his report at the recent annual meeting of the company' s shareholders. He describes the current situation in and around the company, focusing on its plans and prospects. (15)

In an interview Grigory Kulikov, head of the Board of Directors of the leading Moscow investment realty company, examines the specific features of the realty market in Moscow city and region today, and how it differs from what it was 10 years ago. (18, 19)

TRUD (2/7/2005)

Is the export of " colour revolution" to Russia possible? In an interview highly-regarded sociologist Valery Fyodorov, Director-General of the All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTSIOM) , shares his viewpoint. . (2)

The Bittsa Forest in the south-west of Moscow will receive the status of the natural-historical park. This decision was made by the Public City-Building Council at its session on Friday. The brief says what this status means for the area. (3)

The story is devoted to the Novorossiisk Marine Merchant Port, a leading domestic port operator of Russia and CIS countries, and one of the most effective and dynamically developing enterprises. By the volume of cargo turnover it is in the 10 leading ports in Europe. These days the port is marking its 160th jubilee. (5)

KRASNAYA ZVEZDA (3/7/2005)

In a far-ranging interview Yevgeny Velikhov, President of the Russian Research Center " Kurchatov Institute" , who has many international prizes and titles, reveals the whole danger of nuclear energy as a whole and of nuclear power plants in particular. (1, 3)

In an interview Major-General Sergei Chaban, Commander of CIS Peace-Keepers in the zone of the Abkhazia-Georgia conflict, describes the situation in the zone, saying what measures he and his subordinates take to make the situation normal. He focuses on Russian peace-keepers' social and material conditions. (2)

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA (2/7/2005)

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov at an enlarged session of the commanding staff of the army and navy on Friday made a sensational statement: the top brass gathered together in the Defense Ministry to think over how to raise the discipline and order in the army. After two hours of discussion, the minister summed up the result. In his opinion, all troubles in the army are explained by lack of educated lads The story comments on the minister' s statements, focusing on his explanation of the need to cut the number of military departments at institutes and universities. (2)

Rumour has it that a Western company would like to shoot a film about Mikhal Gorbachev and his wife Raisa. The film should be called " Love in the Kremlin" and the role of Raisa has been offered to Chulpan Khamatova. The story reports on how the press-service of the Gorbachev Fund regards this information, and what Mikhail Gorbachev thinks of that. (3)

MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS (2/7/2005)

The feature story describes a desired present to Mexican President Vincent Fox from President Putin -- a pair of soldiers' boots that are specially made at a Defense Ministry' s secret enterprise for officers of the Kremlin detachment. This enterprise that has made this present is also featured. (1, 12)

Seventy cats are guarding the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad. . The story describes how and when they appeared there, and how much they cost the museum' s administration. (12)