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Press Review

IZVESTIA (1/12/2004)

The Ukrainian National Salvation Committee on Tuesday announced a withdrawal from the negotiating process. " If authorities do not understand our language, we are resorting back to forceful pressure. "stated Alexander Zinchenko, head of Viktor Yushchenko' s election campaign. "We are declaring the state of mobilization for our supporters, "he added. The story comments on his statement, describing the latest developments in the parliament and on the streets. (1, 5, Kommersant, 1, 9, s10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 7, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 3, 4, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Gazeta, 1, 3, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, 3, Trud, 1, 3, Zhizn, 2, Argumenty i Fakty, No. 48, pp. 2, 4, 5, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 4, Literaturnaya Gazeta, No. 48, pp. 1, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, MK, 1, 4)

Gazpromneft will take part in the auction to sell Yukos' major asset -- Yuganskneftegaz. This was officially declared on Tuesday by Gazpromneft head Sergei Bogdanchikov. The story comments on his statement, saying that Gazprom has already begun to seek money for its project, counting on aid from foreign partners. (1, 12, Kommersant, 1, 13, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 9, Gazeta, 9, Vremya Novostei, 1, 7, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 3, )

Former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov at the trial over Slobodan Milosevic in the International Tribunal on the former Yugoslavia in The Hague on Tuesday testified as a defense witness for 4 hours. The story focuses on several assertions Primakov rejected. (1, 2, Kommersant, 11, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 5, Vremya Novostei, 5)

The privatization of many enterprises may be considered illegal -- such a sensational conclusion is contained in the Audit Chamber' s Analytical Note " The Analysis of the Processes of Privatization of State Property in 1993-2003" . The story examines some of its provisions, saying that the next move can be an abrogation of privatization deals. Several companies (their names are given) might be nationalized. (2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 3)

The most serious reforms since 1945 are awaiting the UN. A special 16-strong commission has drafted large-scale changes aimed at boosting the efficacy of the UN. The story examines the draft, focusing on an alternative variant of reforming the UN. (2)

The State Duma Security Committee on Tuesday considered the draft bill on countering terrorism. This document strongly differs from the existing anti-terrorism law. The story examines the major differences. (2, Kommersant, 1, 2)

The story describes the Dalai Lama' s stay in Elista, focusing on festive events in the republic devoted to this personality. (2, Kommersant, 7)

" The state will continue its fight against the oligarchs" -- such a promise President Putin made at the 6th All-Russian Congress of Judges that opened in the Kremlin on Tuesday. The story describes the event, focusing on the president' s other frank statements. (3, Kommersant, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Gazeta, 1, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Trud, 1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 3, MK, 2)

In an interview Supreme Court Chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev says what is holding back the improvement of the judicial system in Russia. (1, 3 )

Dec. 1 marks the World AIDS Day. The story highlights 24-year-old AIDS patient Captain Vyacheslav Temnikov, who is demanding $1 million from the Defense Ministry. Due to the carelessness of military doctors he was infected with a HIV during a blood transfusion operation. (1, 4)

The story offers several terrible figures when describing an alarming AIDS situation in this country. The Izvestia latest opinion poll with 11, 325 respondents shows that 70, 86 percent of them view the present AIDS situation in Russia as catastrophic. (4)

On the occasion of the World AIDS Day US Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow describes the Extraordinary Plan to help AIDS patients that has been endorsed by the Bush administration. (4)

St. Petersburg police have detained notorious thief Yakov Grigoryev, (better known as Subbota) , who once stole the Stradivari violin, served a prison term for it and now began to rob apartments. The story details his case. (6)

Kamchatka region governor Mikhail Mashkovtsev on Tuesday was summoned to the local Prosecutor' s Office. The story describes his case, saying that he is running for the gubernatorial seat in the elections scheduled for this coming Sunday Dec. 5. (6, Kommersant, 4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 7)

Moscow police have arrested a criminal group that abducted people, killed them and misappropriated their apartments. The group was headed by a married couple. The story describes their grave crimes. (6 )

OSAGO tariffs are different in various regions. Thus, Moscow auto drivers pay to the insurance agencies much more than the average norm for Russia. Such a situation makes top insurance chief Ilya Lomakin-Rumyantsev indignant. On Tuesday he stated that draft amendments to the existing law will improve the situation. The story examines some of them. (9, 12)

Russia has prohibited the import of all flowers and plants from the Netherlands. The brief explains the measure. (9)

According to the State Statistics Committee, the number of homes with computers in Moscow in 2004 amounted to almost 42 percent, which is more than the figure on France, Spain and Japan. Brief. (9)

Economic Development Minister German Gref in the State Duma today will deliver a report on Russia' s economic development and trade. The emphasis will be made on measures to boost economic growth. Brief. (9)

The ceiling rate of the oil export duty today will rise up to $101 per ton. The present oil export duty is $87. 9 per ton. Brief. (9)

The story examines the origin of the notion " the social responsibility of business" , saying how it is interpreted in various regions. Along with this, St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko has managed to make local businessmen perceive this notion in the best possible way. (1, 10)

The Moscow city gvt in a couple of days is to endorse the city budget-2005. In an interview Marina Ogloblina, head of the City Economic Policy Department, reveals the budget' s main parameters. (13)

KOMMERSANT (1/12/2004)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov on Tuesday completed his visit to Egypt, and today will be received by President Putin. It' s not excluded that the president may ask his the question that on Monday was left without answer -- What is happening to economic growth? (2)

Representatives from several regions (they are named) in the Federation Council on Tuesday told deputies about how their regions are ready to replace social benefits with cash payments. The story reveals the seriousness of the problem. (2)

Central Election Commission head Alexander Veshnyakov in Khabarovsk on Tuesday fiercely criticized State Duma deputies' proposals to amend the presidential draft bill on a new procedure of electing the regional governors. Brief. (3)

Rodina leader Dmitry Rogozin on Tuesday announced an upcoming merger of his organization with the Narodnaya Volya (People' s Will) party headed by State Duma Vice-Speaker Sergei Baburin. The story comments on Rogozin' s statement. (3)

The Election Commission in the Bryansk region on Tuesday refused to follow the instruction of the regional court on removing governor Yury Lodkin from the race of the gubernatorial elections scheduled for Dec. 5. The story comments on the commission' s decision. (3)

The extraordinary session of the People' s Assembly in Karachayevo-Cherkessia on Tuesday appointed a new prosecutor of the republic--Mikhail Bakulin, who before was Deputy Prosecutor of the Krasnodar region. The story describes the new prosecutor. (4)

The missing helicopter Mi-8 in the Far East was found in Kamchatka on Tuesday on the slope of the Gorely Volcano. Rescuers found four perished people. Besides that, another helicopter that suffered an accident in the Khabarovsk region on Monday was also found on Tuesday, and its seven people were evacuated The story describes both cases. (6)

Moscow police on Tuesday detained Dmitry Ulyanitsky, Deputy Director-General of the Department Store " Moskva" . The story details his case. (6)

According to Mayor Yury Luzhkov' s instruction, big lorries, starting today, will not be allowed to enter the city center. The story reveals the essence of the mayor' s instruction. (8)

Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Chekalin and Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Kolesnikov on Tuesday arrived in Sukhumi to discuss the law and order situation in Abkhazia after the presidential elections there on Oct. 3. Georgian officials, however, have already assessed the arrival of the Russian siloviki as an interference in Georgia' s internal affairs. The story comments on Georgia' s reaction. (11)

EU Highs Commissioner on Foreign Policy and Security Javier Solana today is expected to arrive in Moscow on a short visit, during which he will attend the opening ceremony of the New Eurasia Fund. The latter has been created at the initiative of the Russian, American and European partners with the aim of boosting the civil society in Russia. Brief (photo caption) . (12)

The Yukos shareholders on Tuesday received materials for the extraordinary meeting of the company' s co-owners that is scheduled for Dec. 20. The meeting is expected to make a decision on the liquidation or bankruptcy of the company. The story examines which of the two variants --liquidation or bankruptcy-- is better for Yukos and its shareholders. (13)

Sovkomflot Deputy Director-General Alexander Krasnenkov stated on Tuesday that by 2010 his company will obtain 8 gas-carriers for transporting liquefied natural gas for $180 million each. Brief. (13)

An auction to sell 100 percent of shares of Bashkir state-run Polief will take place in January 2005. Such a decision was made on Tuesday by a working session presided over by Economic Development Minister German Gref. Brief. (13)

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanovs on Tuesday arrived in India to take part in today' s session of the Russian-Indian Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation. The minister plans to discuss the final details of several agreements on India' s purchases of Russian arms. (15)

VEDOMOSTI (1/12/2004)

he Audit Chamber on Tuesday shared its view on results of the privatization of 1993-2003 Auditors believe that many privatization deals of the past decade can be contested in court, but experts and bureaucrats do not believe that the Audit Chamber is preparing new troubles for businessmen. (A1)

The story looks at the dollar' s weakening positions on the domestic inter-banking market. Experts expects it to cost 27 rubles by the New Year and do not exclude the shortage of ruble in exchange centers. (A1 )

Gazpromneft Director -General Sergei Bogdanchikov stated in public on Tuesday that his company will take part in the auction to purchase Yuganskneftegaz. (A1)

The database on revenues of Muscovite and residents in the Moscow region for 1999-2002 that has appeared on sale in CD on Moscow radio markets is not a copy of the database of the Pension Fund PF. This was stated in Krasnodar by PF Management Board head Gennady Batanov. Brief. (A1)

The upcoming reform of the judicial system in Russia will limit the judges' independence. The story comments on President Putin' s speech at the Congress of Judges on Tuesday. (A2)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov' s visit to Egypt can hardly be called effective. He has failed to sign an agreement on tariff preferences after Russia' s accession to the World Trade Organization and to sign agreements on cooperation in the nuclear energy and cosmic spheres. Egypt has sonly recognized the market status of Russia. (A3)

During President Putin' s visit to India scheduled for Dec. 3-5, contracts can be signed on the delivery of Russian submarines and planes for no less than $2 billion. Details of possible deals will be discussed in Delhi by Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, who has already arrived in Delhi. (A3)

State Duma deputy Sergei Glazyev examines the political reform being put into effect in Russia. The author tries to answer the following question -- Does it not contradict the existing Constitution ? (A4)

French-Spanish tobacco Group Altadis that was founded 5 years ago obtained its production facility in Russia later than its rivals. In an interview its co-President Jeane Dominique Comolly (Sp. ?) talks about his company' s profit-making business on the Russian market, focusing on its successful recent deals and future plans. (A5)

VEDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENT

A search of money for buying Yganskneftegaz has made Gazprom to strongly cut its investments in production. Bureaucrats and experts are beware of the state of the infrastructure of the monopoly that has already asked the gvt to raise tariffs. (B1)

Sibneft intends to apply to Gazprom with a proposal on a joint development of the company' s gas deposits -- Muravlenkovsky and Novogodny. This was stated by Sibneft top official Alexander Berezikov. Brief. (B1)

Yukos has lost its financial stability, and its performance wholly depends on loan sources-- such is the result of an analysis of the financial state of the company not long before its shareholders extraordinary meeting that will consider the issues on the company' s liquidation or bankruptcy. Brief. (B1)

Ukraine' s National Bank has resorted to unprecedented measures: before the end of this year the Ukrainian banks have been forbidden to release bank deposits ahead of schedule. The story looks at some other measures. (B1)

The story examines how analysts explain the increased cost of marine transportations ver the past several decades. (B2)

The state before the sale of 17. 8 percent of shares of the Magnitogorsk Metals Combine (or Magnitka for short) decided to get its share of the enterprise' s profit. Thus, the Federal Property Committee has sent its demand to Magnitka for convening the shareholders' extraordinary meeting to assert intermediate dividends in the 9 months of this year. (B2)

South African Gold Fields has announced changes in the parameters of its deal with Canadian Iamgold. Now the merger of assets will cost the company by $200 million less. The Gold Fields Management Board is sure that the company' s shareholders without doubt will approve the deal with Iamgold. (B2)

The Association of Russian Banks has proposed to institute a professional holiday--Dec. 2 -- the Day of the Banker. Brief. (B6)

State Duma deputy this week is expected to submit to the State Duma amendments to the law concerning the securities market. The brief mentions one of the major amendments. (B6)

ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA (1/12/2004)

The State Duma today is expected to pass (in a second reading) the draft bill that cancels the direct gubernatorial elections. The story examines major amendments that were introduced to the bill after the first reading. (1, 3)

The gvt on Tuesday endorsed a document that has finalized the types and sizes of free medical services. The story examines the document. (1, 15)

The federal hotline has been put into operation today. Its aim is to help people find out all their social benefits that, starting new year, will be replaced with money. The story describes the service. (1)

NOVIYE IZVESTIA (1/12/2004)

Abkhazia' s President Vladislav Ardzinba over the recent years, due to his grave illness, has avoided contacts with mass media. But recently he broke up this tradition and gave an exclusive interview, in which he assesses the current complicated situation in his republic. (1, 4)

Patriarch Alexy II, State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov and Mayor Yury Luzhkov in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral on Tuesday discussed successes, problems and future plans of the " Orthodox Encyclopaedia" . The festive presentation of its Volume 8 took place after the discussion. The story describes the edition, the presentation ceremony s and its new volume. (1, 7)

A successor of the notoriously known Union of the Russian People has appeared in Moscow. This Union 100 years ago committed Jewish pogroms. The story describes this successor, saying that several other " Black Hundred" reactionary brands (neo-fascists) have become active in Russia of late. (2)

ARGUMENTY I FAKTY #48

A scenario of seizing political power is being played out on the streets of Kiev : power agencies have been blockaded and President Leonid Kuchma has been neutralized. All this has already taken place both in Yugoslavia and in Georgia. The story reflects on who needs this " chestnut revolution" in Ukraine. (4)

Political analyst Mikhail Leontyev examines the essence of the political crisis in Ukraine, saying that to call the current developments a political crisis would be not correct, since what in reality is taking place is a tough division -- with Russia or against it. (4)

Authoritative spin doctor Stanislav Belkovsky analyses several hidden reasons behind the current political crisis in Ukraine. The author predicts what might happen further. (5)

AIF names 10 wealthiest Russians (according to the magazine Forbes) and 10 poorest people. (12, 13)

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA (1/12/2004)

The newspaper gives 5 versions reflecting on Ukrainian opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko' s possible disease that has made his face ugly. (2 )

American specialists with the help of their experiments are trying to prove that humans have soul. The story describes their interesting experiments. (3)

Influential spin doctor Alexander Dugin believes that Russia has already been drawn into " war on the Dnieper " (Ukraine) , and that it has only one way out -- to win it. The author offers his conclusions on the basis of his analysis. (4)

In an interview Kemerovo governor Aman Tuleyev comments on several preliminary lessons of the unfinished political crisis in Ukraine. (5)

The newspaper looks at foods, commodities and services that in December will go up in price. (8)

The political crisis in Abkhazia most likely is coming to an end. In any case the inauguration of Sergei Bagapsh to the post of president of the republic is scheduled for Dec. 6. In an interview he talks about himself and about his plans for the near future, focusing on good relationships with Russia. (9)

MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS (1/12/2004)

A big scandal has erupted in Ufa (Bashkiria) after 18-year-old army draftee Dinar Mukhametshin, who deserted his army unit, decided to give himself up and came to a local top military official, who turned out to be a sexual maniac. The story describes Dinar' s visit to him. (1, 5)

About 30 famed show business stars and workers in culture have signed a letter to President Putin asking him not to demolish the Concert Hall together with the remaining part of Hotel " Rossiya" . The story examines the problem saying how specialists regard it. (1, 2)

MK political observer Alexander Minkin in his letter to President Putin notes that the aim of his (Putin' s) visits to Ukraine before the presidential elections there was clear to everybody, and unfortunately, he supported the wrong figure. (1, 3)

Chechen OMON officers during a special military operation in Vedeno have liquidated 20 rebels, who were involved in the killing of Chechen President Akhmat Kadyrov. Brief. (2)

Moscow authorities, starting Dec. 1, have prohibited to big trucks and long vehicles to enter the city center. The story reflects on how this circumstance may cause food and consumer prices to soar by the New Year holidays. (1, 2)

The current developments in Russia' s westernmost the Kaliningrad region can result in declaring it a bankrupt, which will adversely affect the investment image of not only this region but of the whole of Russia. The fact is that early this fall the London Arbitration Court after considering a suit filed by the Cyprian Duke Investment Limited company ruled that the Kaliningrad region' s debt is $20. 2 million. The region does not have this money? What' s to be done? (5)