INDISPENSABLE AUTHORITY

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INDISPENSABLE AUTHORITY

Moskovsky Komsomolets, May 12, 1999, p. 2

Boris Berezovsky intends of leave his motherland again. In order not to worry investigators, he has promised to come back for the next round of questioning on May 20.

When the warrant for his arrest was issued, Berezovsky was supposed to give a written promise not to leave the country. After this measure was canceled he took to his old habit of traveling all over the world again. His present leave is connected, according to Berezovsky, with the necessity of a certain medical consultation. Meanwhile, Berezovsky’s lawyer, Henry Reznik, is convinced that the proceedings against Berezovsky will be discontinued very soon. He has said that, if his arguments prove to be reasonable enough, the Prosecutor’s Office will listen to them and stop the proceedings.

Berezovsky was considered indispensable as the CIS executive secretary. Although we now know that there are no indispensable officials in Russia, there are some unsinkable oligarchs here.

CARLA DEL PONTE IS WORRIED

Moskovsky Komsomolets, May 12, 1999, p. 2

Swiss Federal Prosecutor Carla del Ponte is worried about the decline in cooperation between the Russian and Swiss prosecutors on the investigation of a number of scandalous cases.

Russian General Prosecutor Yury Skuratov has announced that his Swiss counterpart is dissatisfied with the way Russia fulfills international legal tasks of the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office concerning the criminal connections between citizens of the two countries.

During a telephone conversation Carla del Ponte expressed her anxiety about the withdrawal of Deputy General Prosecutor Mikhail Katyshev from investigation activities. Carla del Ponte holds that changes in the personnel of the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office may negatively influence relations between the two offices.

THE RUNAWAY IS BACK

Moskovsky Komsomolets, May 12, 1999, p. 2

Alexander Smolensky, head of the Soyuz group, has come to Moscow from Austria.

According to a representative of SBS-Agro bank (a branch of the Soyuz group), Smolensky visited Austria for two months to convalesce, and now that he is well he has started to work.

On April 6, the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation issued an order to search for Smolensky and arrest him. He was suspected of financial machinations. At the end of April the Interior Ministry canceled the order, and the Russia bureau of Interpol was told to discontinue the search.

PROSPECTS FOR COOPERATION BETWEEN RUSSIA AND IRAN IN THE NUCLEAR SPHERE

Izvestia, May 12, 1999, p. 1

The opposition between Moscow and Washington caused by Russia’s cooperation with Iran in the field of nuclear power engineering will intensify in the near future. At the beginning of the week, the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry confirmed the fact that Teheran had asked Moscow to participate in the construction of the second energy block of the Iranian nuclear power plant at Busher.

A representative of the Atomic Energy Ministry has announced that Russian specialists are already involved with the elaboration of projects connected with the energy block. At the same time, he did not discount the possibility that Iran, after considering Russia’s proposal, may give the contract to some other country. A number of countries of the European Union have already offered to resume cooperation in the nuclear sphere with Iran if it consents to having direct inspections of its nuclear objects.

According to independent experts, Russian nuclear specialists have a chance to get the contract for the construction of the second energy block at Busher. It was Russia that helped Iran break out of its international isolation and re-launch its nuclear program. Moreover, Russian nuclear technologies do not lag behind their Western equivalents.

HONESTY AND WISDOM ARE PRIORITIES

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, May 12, 1999, p. 1

On May 16, the second round of the election of the head of the republic will be held in Karachaevo-Cherkessia, a North Caucasian republic.

The preparations for the election are being held against the background of the complication of the ethnic and political situation in the republic.

Russian Ethnic Affairs Minister Ramazan Abdulatipov has announced that “it is inadmissible that certain political and nationalistic forces which are trying to gain power are trying to instigate national discord in their fight, thus turning the electoral competition of the two candidates into an opposition between the two peoples of the republic.”

Abdulatipov is sure that the citizens of Karachaevo-Cherkessia are faithful to the traditions of their forefathers, who considered honesty and wisdom to be priorities in all deeds. He thinks that citizens of the republic will elect the most worthy leader based on these principles.

PRIMAKOV IRONS A WHITE SUIT FOR THE DUMA

Moskovsky Komsomolets, May 12, 1999, p. 3

The Kremlin propaganda machine was switched on yesterday. Some were saying that Roads and Transportation Minister Nikolai Axenenko will substitute for Primakov, while others said that there are no politicians who have agreed to occupy the premier’s seat. There are also those who hold that the sense of the Kremlin’s game is a psychological war. The White House has been torn into three parts. Some officials have already started packing their suitcases, and others are saying that all the rumors regarding Primakov’s dismissal are bosh. Meanwhile, Primakov is behaving as if nothing were going on. At press time, the results of the premier’s meeting with Duma authorities were not known yet. But it was already obvious that he will express his disapproval of the impeachment proceedings and then list the reasons why he does not like the impeachment. The reasons are as follows: the plight of the Russian economy is still lamentable and the apparent political stability may come to an end very soon, since if the economic laws promoted by the government are not adopted by the beginning of June Russia will have to bid farewell to the IMF credit.

Of course, this sounds naive. Russian politicians are aware of the consequences of such a large-scale political battle as impeachment. In reality, Primakov wants to let the Duma not impeach the president and at the same time retain its reputation. If Primakov is successful in this, the deputies will be able to say that they wanted to impeach the “criminal of a president”, but that Primakov persuaded them not to for the time being for the sake of national security.

OUR HOME IS RUSSIA IS AGAINST IMPEACHMENT

Russian Public Television (ORT), Novosti, May 11, 1999, 15:00

The Our Home is Russia (NDR) Duma faction is still against impeachment. Representatives of the faction are of the opinion that it is more important now to vote on economic bills. In particular, NDR faction Chairman Vladimir Ryzhkov has said that impeachment will inevitably be followed by dissolution of the government, a large-scale governmental crisis, etc., and that the country will have to forget about economic reforms until after 2000.

PRIMAKOV MEETS WITH DUMA LEADERS

Russian Public Television (ORT), Novosti, May 11, 1999, 15:00

Prime Minister Primakov has met with Duma authorities and faction leaders. The main topic of discussion during the meeting was naturally the upcoming vote on the impeachment of Boris Yeltsin. The participants also touched on the problem of IMF credits. Primakov said that, if Yeltsin is impeached, it will be nearly impossible for Russia to obtain IMF credits in the future.

CHERNOMYRDIN IS RECEIVED IN CHINA

Russian Public Television (ORT), Novosti, May 11, 1999, 15:00

On May 11, Viktor Chernomyrdin visited Beijing. He held negotiations with Vice Premier of the Chinese State Council Tian Tichen and met with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji. He was also received by Chinese President Jiang Zemin. The negotiators stated the coincidence of their evaluations of the events in Yugoslavia. Chernomyrdin stressed that both Russia and China have supported resolution of the conflict by diplomatic means from the very beginning of the conflict. The special representative of the Russian president gave his condolences to China regarding the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.

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