UDMURTIA WANTS BROADER POWERS

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UDMURTIA WANTS BROADER POWERS

Izvestia, May 27, 1999, p. 2

Republic of Udmurtia intends to strive for a revision of the existing treaty on the split of powers between it and the federal center, according to Alexander Volkov, Chairman of the State Council of Udmurtia who claimed to have President Yeltsin’s “preliminary” support in the matter. On the request of our newspaper, PR department of the State Council explained that Volkov talked development of inter-budget relations, issues concerning property, procedures of appointment of federal executives in Udmurtia, and adoption of republican laws in the spheres neglected by the federal legislation.

AKSENENKO GOES TO KUZBASS

Izvestia, May 27, 1999, p. 2

Kuzbass attaches a great deal of importance to the upcoming visit of Senior Deputy Premier Nikolai Aksenenko. On May 26, plenary sitting of the regional council of people’s deputies even decided not to discuss the issue of the local budget, which was on the agenda. Deputies hope that the visiting VIP will help the region tackle the huge (over 30%) “hole” in the budget, so the matter will be brought up at the next sitting slated to take place right after Aksenenko’s visit.

CHUBAIS AS STEPASHIN’S IMAGE-MAKER

Izvestia, May 27, 1999, p. 2

Anatoly Chubais’ recent trip to Washington was fairly effective despite gloomy predictions. It turns out that the “architect of reforms” did not meekly beg for an audience with representatives of the American financial establishment. On the contrary, he barely had time to respond to numerous proposals to meet and talk: from Secretary of State Madeline Albright, incumbent Secretary of Finances Robert Rubin, future Secretary of Finances Larry Summers, Stanley Fischer of the International Monetary Fund…

Americans wanted to know how they should treat Sergei Stepashin and his government. Chubais explained the reason behind Primakov’s resignation as stagnation in economy and recommended Stepashin as a politician of the new generation capable of implementing reforms the way they should be implemented and of working with International Monetary Fund (IMF) money. It certainly seems that there will be no problems with the latter: IMF is apparently prepared to wink at all conditions save for one (restructuring of six oligarchic banks). Americans are ready to trust Stepashin but they are fairly skeptical about expediency of the institute of special envoy for contacts with financial organizations even though they do not have anything against Pyotr Aven who accompanied Chubais and attended some meetings with him.

UPDATE ON THE CASE AGAINST SKURATOV

Trud, May 27, 1999, p. 2

Investigation of the case against General Prosecutor Yuri Skuratov relieved of his duties continues but all information is kept under the lid. Needless to say, everybody would like to know whether the porno-tape with sexual exploits of a “man resembling Yuri Skuratov” was authentic or a fake. Nobody in the Military General Prosecutor’s Office says anything definite on the score. Not a single official dares announce that it was not Skuratov. Enough time passed for an official expertise but its results are not revealed either. According to an official who insisted on anonymity, the answer on authenticity of the tape will be given only in the courtroom. If the trial ever takes place, the man added.

UZBEK LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES CLAIM TO HAVE SOLVED THE FEBRUARY SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS

Trud, May 27, 1999, p. 2

PR department of the Uzbek Prosecutor’s Office announced that investigators completed their work on the terrorist acts organized in the capital city of Tashkent on February 16, 1999 when 15 died in a series of explosions and several dozens sustained wounds.

According to the press release, 22 suspects are involved in the case. They all charged with organization of the terrorist acts, attempt on the life of the president, and other grave crimes. The case was forwarded to the Supreme Court.

The press release emphasizes that the matter is an indication of a thoroughly thought-out and deliberate political plot staged by enemies of the existing regime in Uzbekistan.

THE PREMIER MEETS WITH POCHINOK, TAXATION AND DUTIES MINISTER

ORT (Russian Public Television), News program, May 26, 1999, 12:00

Composition and structure of the government discussed with and okayed by the president recently, Premier Stepashin began the day with meeting with the ministers. This morning, he met with Alexander Pochinok, Taxation and Duties Minister.

When the audience was over, Pochinok informed reporters that the plan of tax collection in May was being implemented properly and stressed that no changed with regard to taxation would be introduced into the package of urgent laws the government had agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund and forwarded to the Duma.

GUBERNATORIAL ELECTIONS IN BELGOROD SLATED FOR MAY 30

ORT (Russian Public Television), News program, May 26, 1999, 12:00

Presidium of the Supreme Court ruled that gubernatorial elections in the Belgorod region would take place on May 30.

Initially, the elections were supposed to take place in December but were moved forward on the initiative of present Governor Yebgeny Savchenko.

There are five claimants for the office including Governor Savchenko himself, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and Mikhail Bekhmelnitsyn, auditor with the Accounting Chamber.

ST.PETERSBURG: HUNTING SEASON FOR EXECUTIVES IS OPEN AGAIN

ORT (Russian Public Television), News program, May 26, 1999, 12:00

Attempt on the life of Nikolai Aulov, Deputy Director of the Northwestern Directorate for Combating Organized Crime, was made in St.Petersburg, today.

Aulov was driving to his office when a sniper opened fire (according to preliminary reports). Wounded, the man is now at a hospital and doctors appraise his condition as satisfactory.

Law enforcement agencies investigate several avenues mostly related to the would-be victim’s occupation.

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