PRESIDIUM OF THE GOVERNMENT ENDORSED SCENARIO OF SOCIOECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY FOR 2000 – 2002

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PRESIDIUM OF THE GOVERNMENT ENDORSED SCENARIO OF SOCIOECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY FOR 2000 – 2002

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, April 22, 1999, p. 1

Senior Deputy Premier Yuri Maslyukov revealed the news after the sitting of the presidium. The executive emphasized that it was precisely with these documents that the governmental delegation might depart for negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington.

When the scenario of the socioeconomic development of the country has been agreed upon at negotiations with the international financial organizations, the government will probably discuss a mid-term program of the socioeconomic development.

According to Maslyukov, governmental experts are of the opinion that the rate of industrial growth will be 1.5% of the GDP in 2000 and 4.5% in 2002.

Speaking of prospects of the Russian monetary unit, Maslyukov announced that very much depended on exactly what help the International Monetary Fund and World Bank decided to make available to Russia, on how Russia’s debts would be restructured, on how much money would be channeled into support of the real sector of economy.

ORTHODOX PRIESTS ARE NOT WELCOME IN THE CAUCASUS

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, April 22, 1999, p. 1

North Ossetian Interior Ministry sent an official letter to the Stavropol Eparchial Directorate warning men of cloth not to dispatch Orthodox priests to Ingushetia and Chechnya.

The police attribute it to the tips they got that criminals may soon abduct priests of the Orthodox Christian church in the Mozdok district of the Republic of South Ossetia, Alaniya, for ransom.

Chancellery of Metroplitan of Stavropolie and Vladikavkaz Gedeon heeds the warning. Its officials claim that on the Easter eve priests Pyotr Makarov, Pyotr Sukhonosov, and Sergii Potapov were abducted from Ingush-populated settlements of Assinovskaya, Troitskaya, and Ordzhonikidzevskaya. Law enforcement agencies have reasons to believe that the hostages were secretly moved to Chechnya.

SMOLENSKY WILL NOT BE ARRESTED

Komsomolskaya Pravda, April 22, 1999, p. 2

Charges against the banker were not dropped, but the Investigation Committee of the Interior Ministry did revise its previous decision to arrest Smolensky on sight.

According to our sources at the Committee, the same investigator who was handling the case for the last seven years already nullified the arrest warrant.

A source: Our assumption that Smolensky was merely hiding in Austria was disproved by official documents the man’s lawyers presented. It turns out that the banker is recovering. Apparently, he is ready to come to Russia within the next two weeks and testify.

Berezovsky is still at the Central Clinical Hospital. This is probably where he will meet with investigator Volkov…

THE NUMBER OF VIOLATIONS OF THE TAX LEGISLATION GROWS FAST

Trud, April 22, 1999, p. 1

The Tax Police Federal Service uncovered 3,908 violations of the acting tax legislation over the first three months of the year. 1,896 of them were rated as particularly serious; the figure is twice that registered in the same period of 1997, according to Director Vyascheslav Soltaganov.

The official admits however that this is but a top of the iceberg, and that the actual number of breaches is several times that of the uprooted ones.

PRESIDENT YELTSIN MEETS WITH JAPANESE EX-PREMIER HASIMOTO

Russian Television (RTR), “Vesti” program, April 21, 1999, 14:00

Ryutaro Hasimoto came to Moscow on his old friend Boris Yeltsin’s personal invitation, so the atmosphere of the meeting was fairly informal. The Hasimoto were greeted by the Yeltsins. Right afterwards they had a dinner.

All conversations will be conducted behind closed doors but it stands to reason that Yeltsin and Hasimoto will discuss the prospects of the signing of the Russian-Japanese peace treaty and development of the official dialogue between Moscow and Tokyo.

SELEZNEV ABOUT THE IMPEACHMENT AND THE YUGOSLAVIAN CRISIS

ORT (Russian Public Television), News program, April 21, 1999, 12:00

Gennadi Seleznev, Chairman of the Duma, is confident that the impeachment procedure slated for May will be fairly smooth.

Seleznev: It is not a political procedure. You all know that there are no political accusations here. All five clauses on the bill of indictment are backed up by articles of the acting Criminal Code, so it’s up to every deputy to vote the way his conscience and constituency demand.

We do not know what our president discussed with Clinton but we all noticed that after this conversation he became considerably less decisive on the matter of the trilateral union of Russia, Belarus, and Yugoslavia. His phrase to the effect that we should not be too hasty with the statement means that stalling for time is bound to follow. It’s the same thing with the statements against the air raids. We repeat that we object but so what? The weight of these objectives is evident: The air raids are becoming more and more resolute. Russia has been too passive on the matter.

Again, we do not insist anymore on an emergency sitting of the UN General Assembly that I believe would have been very important today. I earnestly do not think that we are sufficiently active in our efforts to put an end to the war in Yugoslavia. Men are dying, and we merely parrot our objections. What’s the use of repeating it if the West does not care?

CHERNOMYRDIN: OUR POSITIONS COINCIDE

Russian Television (RTR), “Vesti” program, April 21, 1999, 14:00

Presidential envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin was quoted as saying on his return to Moscow that positions of Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine on the Balkans situation coincided.

Chernomyrdin: I’m satisfied with results of the consultations in Tbilisi, Baku, and Kiev.

Today, the ex-premier will brief President Yeltsin on his blitz tour of the countries of the Commonwealth.

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