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Press Review

IZVESTIA (8/9/2005)

In an interview Alexander Shokhin, a spokesman for the Bureau of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) , talks about serious conflicts inside RSPP that has become not so politically active of late as before. It' s not excluded that a session of the RSPP Bureau scheduled for Sept. 28 will discuss an issue concerning a successor of RSPP President Arkady Volsky. (1, 9)

The 18th Moscow International Book Fair opened at the National Exhibition Center (former VDNKHA) on Wednesday. Sergei Stepashin, head of the Book Union, at the opening ceremony talked about the mechanisms of forming the national idea in book publishing, saying that his union is working out the ideology of reading. The story concludes that 70 years of the existence of the USSR has proven that ideology and business are incompatible. The story also mentions other officials that spoke at the ceremony. (1, 6, 14, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 10, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 3)

A long-standing conflict between the Academy of Sciences and the Education and Science Ministry has become less s acute after authorities promised scientists to raise their average salaries up to 30, 000 rubles. This information has encourage them, but the ministry is expected to make public a document soon that makes the carrot and stick policy be directly connected with the promised higher salary rates. The story reveals the essence of the document. (1, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3 )

Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Kolesnikov, who on Wednesday arrived in North Ossetia to check the investigation of the Beslan terrorist act, has made several significant statements. Thus, at a news conference in Vladikavkaz he harshly criticized the republic' s leaders, who, in his words, do not want to cooperate with the official investigation commission. The story comments on Kolesnikov' s statements. (2, Kommersant, 3, 4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, 3)

The story describes the first fall session of the State Duma after the summer vacation. Deputies discussed problems of agriculture, difficulties in the domestic aviation industry and the president' s social initiatives. The State Duma passed (in the second reading) three draft bills, including amendments to the Code on administrative offences. (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 2)

Health Minister Mikhail Zurabov in the State Duma on Wednesday made a report featuring a complicated state of domestic medicine today. The story examines the main provisions of the report, saying how deputies regarded it. (2, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, Zhizn, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 5)

The story is another publication devoted to children of Beslan, who survived the terrorist act in School No. 1 last year. (2)

The story describes the meeting of President Putin with Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan, who arrived in Sochi on Wednesday. (3, Kommersant, 5, 10, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, 3, Vremya Novostei, 2, Gazeta, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

President Putin today will go Berlin to meet with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. The story examines the visit' s aim and program, focusing on several significant documents to be signed by the two leaders. (3, Vremya Novostei, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, 6)

Russia' s Ambassador to India Vyacheslav Trubnikov is being threatened by extremists. The Indian intelligence service has confirmed this information. The story comments on the ambassador' s situation. (3)

Kazakhstan' s parliament on Wednesday scheduled the presidential elections for Dec. 4, 2005, thus putting an end to the intrigue around a possible veto by President Nursultan Nazarbayev on the Constitutional Council' s decision on holding the elections this year. The story reports how analysts assess the pre-election situation in the republic. (3, Kommersant, 9, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 5)

The parliamentary election campaign began in Azerbaijan on Wednesday. As many as 2, 000 candidates are running for 125 seats. The story describes the start of the campaign, saying that the elections are scheduled for Nov. 6. (3)

Former President Boris Yeltsin at a resort in Italian Sardinia on Wednesday fell and broke a thigh bone. On the same day he flew to Moscow, where he will undergo surgery at the Central Clinical Hospital. (4, Kommersant, 1, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 7, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

Journalists from three central television channels, who arrived in Primorye, are not allowed by local veterinaries to leave the region due to the foot and mouth disease that hit the area. The story focusing on supposed real reason behind their delay. (4)

A forced evacuation of survivors of the natural disaster may begin soon in flooded New Orleans according to the mayor' s order. If they refuse to leave the city, they may become victims of a new disaster -- this time the ecological one. The story describes its danger. (4, Kommersant, 11, Gazeta, 7, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 7)

The Emergency Situation Ministry in Kamchatka on Wednesday launched special exercises to train rescuers, medics and army units to eliminate the consequences of a large -scale earthquake and tornadoes in Kamchatka and the Kurils. The exercises will be conducted by Minister Sergei Shoigu. The story describes them in detail. (4)

The Defense Ministry today will make public a list of higher schools that will preserve their military departments. Brief. (4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 7)

President Putin through his decree has created the Federal Aeronavigation Service that will be controlled by the gvt. Brief. (4, Kommersant, 1, 7, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2)

Human rights activists before the end of this month intend to submit to the State Duma a draft of a new amnesty for convicts. This was stated by Valery Borshchev, head of the Public Council attached to the Justice Ministry. Brief. (4)

Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky has sent a notification to the election commission of Universitetcky District 201, saying that he intends to take part in the election. Brief. (4, Kommersant, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 2)

A split has hit the Ukrainian party of power. Thus, the pro-presidential faction " Nasha Ukraina " on Wednesday split into two parts -- Narodny Soyuz Nasha Ukraina and Narodny Rukh Ukrainy. The story examines reasons behind the split. (5, 7, Kommersant, 10, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 5)

French lawyer Senator-Socialist Robert Badinter (Sp. ?) is expected to come to Moscow to present his book " The Abolition of Death Penalty" "that has been published in Russian. In an interview the French lawyer talks about death penalty in Russia. (5)

Unidentified bandits in Moscow' s suburb " Zhulebino" in the small hours of the morning on Tuesday burned six cars. The story gives details. (8, Noviye Izvestia, 6)

The brief says how the Swiss Justice Ministry on Wednesday reacted to former Russian Nuclear Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov' s secret news conference. (8, Kommersant, 4)

The Economic Development Ministry has reworked at last and submitted to the gvt a draft provision concerning the state investment fund. The story examines the draft. (9, Kommersant, 6)

The gvt at a session today is expected to approve a draft bill concerning the State Realty Land-Survey that is the federal database that will contain information about all types of domestic existing property. The story examines the draft. (9)

Gazprom has finally selected its partners (BASF and ER. ON) for the construction of the North-European gas pipeline -- this will be announced today in Berlin at the present of President Putin and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. The story examines the project. (10)

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin on Wednesday announced the gvt' s intention to receive the controlling stake of ALROSA and then considerably to expand its participation in new business projects both in Russia and abroad. The story reveals the essence of his statement. (10, Kommersant, 7, Gazeta, 14, Vremya Novostei, 8)

The Moscow City Committee on Family and Youth Affairs on Wednesday passed a decree concerning additional measures aimed at improving work with youth and students. The story takes a critical eye at the document. (12, Gazeta, 17)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov at a session of the City Public Council on Wednesday rejected several construction projects and made a historic decision to restore the Grand Imperial Palace in Tsaritsyno. The story examines the mayor' s decisions. (12)

KOMMERSANT (8/9/2005)

The number of foreign tourists to Russia over the past years decreased almost by 12 percent. This is stated in a report made public by the Federal Border Service on Wednesday. The story examines it in detail, focusing on reasons behind the decreased number. (1)

The Economic Development Ministry intends to put into effect the president' s instruction on levelling the prices of Urals oil and Brent oil. The story examines how the ministry intends to level the prices. (1)

The Ryazan Regional Duma on Wednesday endorsed a candidacy of its representative in the Federation Council -- Rafgat Altynbayev, co-Chairman of the Party of Life. The story comments on the Duma' s choice. (2)

The St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, despite the demand of governor Valentina Matviyenko, on Wednesday did not fire Charter Court judges unloyal to her. The Assembly accepted three judges' bids on voluntary resignation. Kremlin administration head Dmitry Medvedev has recommended Matviyenko that she suspend to persecute the judges. The story describes the situation around the judges, who are unloyal to the governor. (3)

The Astrakhan Regional Prosecutor' s Office has instituted criminal proceedings against several local administrators (their names are given) , who are accused of failing to take urgent measures to restore order in the Yandyki village. The story details their case. (4)

The Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat) has made an unprecedented decision: at the Central Bank' s initiative it has obliged the insurance companies and the non-state pension funds to deliver their financial accountancy reports to the Central Bank. The story comments on the decision. (5, 6)

A closed-door session to be presided over by Economic Development Minister German Gref on Friday will consider proposals aimed at stabilizing prices on the home market of oil products. The story examines several proposals. (5)

Gazprom Management Board deputy heads Alexander Medvedev and Alexander Ryazanov have held talks with Georgia' s Energy Minister Nika Gilaury. The Russian side has proposed Georgia to raise gas prices up to the average European level. The brief reveals the essence of Russia' s proposal. (5, Vremya Novostei, 7, Gazeta, 15)

Vneshtorgbank (VTB) President Andrei Kostin stated on Wednesday that before the end of this year VTB will increase its charter capital by 37. 5 billion rubles at the expense of the budget. After that, as Kostin said, VTB will be able to buy out from the Central Bank the shares of Russian banks abroad. The story comments on Kostin' s plans. (6 )

VEDOMOSTI (8/9/2005)

Industrialists ever more often are complaining against imports. According to reports from the Institute of Economics of the Transition Period, the share of enterprises that over the past year had to toughly compete with foreigners for markets increased up to 40 percent from 30 percent. (A1)

The majority of wealthy people in Eastern and Central Europe are Russians. This information is contained in a rating compiled by the authoritative Polish magazine " Wprost" . Rosneft head Sergei Bogdanchikov for the first has been ranked among the rich. According to Wprost, he owns assets worth $700 million. (A1)

St. Petersburg tax agencies has demanded from Lenenergo that it additionally pay 360 million rubles in taxes, which may seriously undermine the basis of UES' whole business. he story reveals the essence of the tax agencies' claims (A1)

The better the economic situation in the country, the more expensive oil the more the working people suffer particularly on pay days and particularly when they learn about huge dividends shareholders determine for themselves. The working movement ' s potential is huge, but labour unions do not even try to become its serious player. (A1, A4 )

The work of the parliamentary commission investigating the circumstances of the terrorist act in Beslan is being dragged out for an indefinite time. Its head Alexander Torshin does not promise that investigation results will be made public this year. Commission members and experts do not exclude that dragging out is connected with changed moods in the Kremlin and the Prosecutor' s General Office. (A2 )

A contract worth over $1. 5 billion on the delivery of 38 Il-76 and Il-78 planes to China will be signed in Sochi today. And President Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on Wednesday received the Chinese defense minister. The story comments on results of their negotiations, saying what experts think of them. (A3)

The investigation of violations in implementing the UN " Oil for Food" Program has shown that the chronic incompetence of employees and obvious corruption are dominating in the UN today. Such a conclusion was made by an independent commission investigating violations. (A3)

Can social initiatives announced by President Putin recently be viewed as his new political course? Five authoritative politicians share their viewpoints. (A4)

In an interview Paul Marciano (Sp. ?) , co-Chairman and co-Director-General of the Guess? Inc. company, making clothes and accessories, talks about his company, its owners and about its business in Russia. (A5)EDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENntrepreneur Alexander Zanadvorov during this year will pass over about 25 percent of shares " Manezhnaya Ploshchad" (MP) to Group Dekra. MP is one of the most ambitious trading centers of Moscow. Dekra will receive control over the Okhotny Ryad trading complex, and Zanadvorov will earn another $90 million. (B1)

Rosneftegaz will borrow $7. 5 billion from Western banks on the security of 49 percent of shares of Rosneft. This deal on Wednesday was approved by the Board of Directors of Rosneftegaz, and the agreement with the banks may be signed today within the framework of President Putin' s visit to Germany. (B1)

Group Aeroflot has effectively used the money it earned in 2004: it bought out on the market about 4 percent of shares of its own air company for $35. 2 million. The price of this package today had doubled and costs about $70 million. (B1)

Ilim Pulp has given Moscow Narodny Bank a mandate on organizing a three-year syndicated credit worth $50 million for funding export deliveries of products of the pulp and cardboard combine, Brief. (B1)

The Aeroflot- Russian Airlines shareholders' extraordinary meeting scheduled for Sept. 19 may be put off until the situation with the exploitation of Il-96-300 becomes clear. Brief. (B1)

The International Financial Corporation (IFC) and the syndicate of European banks in late September will allocate the first tranche of credits to the ship-building company " Volga-Flot" and to the North-Western steamship-line. Brief. (B1)

Group Kaskol in November will try to make Alexei Isaikin, President of the Volga-Dnepr company, resign. The story examines reasons behind such a plan. (B2)

The state-run Rosneft oil company has opened its first gas filling station in Moscow. This station before worked under the trade mark " Yukos" . Rosneft intends to consolidate its position on the Moscow fuel market. (B3 )


The little-known National Strategy Council has again made public theses for a future report warning that Russia is in danger, and that oligarch' s conspiracy is posing serious threat to the country. This threat was widely discussed two years ago by spin doctors Stanislav Belkovsky and Iosif Diskin. This time the thesis on oligarchic threat has been formulated by Sergei Markov, Director of the Institute of Political Studies, Valery Khomyakov, head of the National Strategy Council, and maxim Dianov, Director of the Regional Problems Institute. The story reveals the essence of the thesis. (1, 3)

Though President Putin has promised higher wages for the budget workers next year, experts do not exclude that inflation will easily " swallow the difference between the present and upcoming levels of their salaries" . BFI Consulting Group Director-General Alexander Khandruyev examines how it will happen. (1, 3)

Financial experts in St. Petersburg recommend that public opinion not to be in a hurry with conclusions and emotions concerning mass media information saying that St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko' s son Sergei, Vneshtorgbank Vice-President, has bought 37. 5 percent of shares of the " Sankt Peterburg" bank. The story examines how an aide to the Chairman of one of the leading banks in the city (he wanted to be anonymous) commented on this case. (1, 4)

NG Deputy Editor-in-Chief Anton Trofimov comments on the recent secret interview of former Nuclear Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov to Ekho Moskvy from a Swiss prison that Trofimov calls " desperate" . (2)

Official United Russia on Wednesday tried to change the subject of a mounting scandal that was caused by party leader Boris Gryzlov' s statement saying that his party members are willing to implement a program-maximum and receive the one party parliament of Moscow. The story comments on his statement, saying who tried to oppose it. (2)

The story offers an in-depth analysis of the situation on the domestic fuel market, focusing on continuing soaring petrol prices. The conclusion is that the situation will most probably stabilize in January 2006. (3)

The story describes a new terrorist act in Dagestan on Wednesday that was targeted against servicemen from the Interior Ministry. One officer was killed. This is the second act this week against police. (4)

Mikhail Kamynin has been appointed Director of the Information and Press Department of the Interior Ministry In his article he shares his view on the fate of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) . His conclusion is that it' s premature to speak about the twilight of this union. (5)


The State Duma on Friday will consider an explosive draft bill: if it is passed the state monopoly on making ammunition for the rifled fire-arms will be eliminated. Opponents of this initiative are sure that the legalization of uncontrolled underground production of ammunition will lead to an outburst of street crime, and in case of the destabilization of the political situation -- to the civil war. The story examines the draft. (1, 2)

In an interview 13th world chess champion Garry Kasparov, a leader of the democratic opposition, who travels a lot about the country, talks about how he and his colleagues are received in regions. He also talks about the disturbing situation there. (1, 2)

Farmers in the Krasnodar region on Tuesday staged a protest against federal authorities' grain policy. The story describes their protest, saying that frightened local siloviki detained several organizers. (1, 3)

Hurricane Katrina has inflicted a crushing blow not only to the economy of the USA. Its consequences will be experienced by practically all countries. The growth rates of the world economy will begin to fall, as a result of which the volume of the " all-planet" gross domestic product will go down by 1 percent. This forecast was given on Wednesday by Alexander Shokhin, President of the Higher School of Economics. . The story comments on his statement. (3)

The single European currency will be put into circulation in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in January 2007. This forecast has been made on Wednesday by the Fitch international rating agency. Tourism market experts are sure that the transfer of the Baltic states to the euro and an inevitable increase in the cost of tourist vouchers to these countries will not frighten Russian travelers. The story looks at the experience of other countries that shows the opposite. (3)


Moscow police have detained four telephone swindlers (their names and photos are given) , who have defrauded many Muscovites, and who, with the help of a cellular telephone, used to earn $10, 000 a day. The story describes how they managed to do it. (3)

Have you ever been defrauded and if yes then how? Nine politicians, State Duma deputies, businessmen and writers answer these questions. (3)

The story describes in detail a project of building Moscow' s Zvenigorodsky Prospekt, a stretch of which will pass under Serebryany Bor, the construction of which will begin in October. (4)

The movie-theater " Ashkhabad" on 17-A Chertanovskaya Ulitsa that was opened on Wednesday was specially designed for disabled people. It is the first such movie-theater for such people in Moscow. The story describes this place putting only one question -- Why is it located in the outskirt of the city ?

The feature story describes former American President Bill Clinton' s recent visit to Kazakhstan, which he wanted to visit long ago. President Nursultan Nazarbayev accorded him a hearty welcome. (5)

The flights of the long-distance jet Il-96 have been banned due to serious defects of its brake system. The story describes these defects, comparing this system with the one of the Boeing jets. (6, 7)

Fourteen answers to 14 questions are devoted to Chechnya, saying that the FSB has promised $10 million for the head of Shamil Basayev. (8)