RUSSIAN AIRPLANES ILLEGALLY CROSS THE ICELANDIC AIR FRONTIER

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RUSSIAN AIRPLANES ILLEGALLY CROSS THE ICELANDIC AIR FRONTIER

Komsomolskaya Pravda, July 2, 1999, p. 2

On Thursday, the newspaper “The Washington Post” announced that during the recent West ’99 military exercises Russian airplanes trespassed the air borders of Iceland and approached the territory of the US too closely. An Orion patrol airplane and four Of-11 pursuit planes immediately took off, and two Norwegian airplanes followed them. However, the Russian planes managed to freely fulfill their task and come back.

The Russian Defense and Foreign Ministries refuse to say whether a note of protest has been received from the Foreign Ministry of Iceland, although, according to our sources in Rejkjavik, this document has already been sent to Moscow through diplomatic channels.

Russia has seldom violated the air frontiers of other countries, unlike NATO countries, which illegally crossed the Russian air borders nearly 100 times in 1998 alone.

THE PRESIDENT INTENDS TO REAPPOINT VYACHESLAV LEBEDEV CHAIRMAN OF THE SUPREME COURT

Izvestia, July 2, 1999, p. 1

The meeting of the Federation Council scheduled for July 2 will begin with consideration of candidates for chairman of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. On June 28, the ten-year term of Vyacheslav Lebedev expired, and the Russian president immediately proposed his candidacy again to the Federation Council. Boris Yeltsin wants not only to prolong Lebedev’s powers as a judge but also reappoint him chairman of the Supreme Court. Inasmuch as the Constitution does not stipulate an exact term for this post, Lebedev may occupy it for the rest of his life.

FUEL AND ENERGY MINISTER PUNISHES THE MOST STUBBORN COMPANIES

Izvestia, July 2, 1999, p. 1

According to our sources, Fuel and Energy Minister Viktor Kalyuzhny has signed a regulation depriving the companies Megionneftegaz (a branch enterprise of Slavneft), Tomskneft (a branch enterprise of YUKOS), and Surgutneftegaz of access to the export oil pipeline. Representatives of these companies had protested Kalyuzhny’s idea of establishing a reserve fund of the Fuel and Energy Ministry of six million tons of oil. The company Transneft will have to fulfill the unprecedented regulation of the fuel and energy minister, since it is an operator of oil pipelines.

FOOD WILL BE MORE EXPENSIVE, BUT THE IMF IS PLEASED

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, July 2, 1999, p. 2

The government has managed to meet the IMF’s requirements only at the expense of canceling tax privileges for food producers.

On July 1, the IMF mission left Moscow satisfied with the recent measures of the Russian government. This visit has given Russia hope that at the next meeting of the board of directors of the IMF the decision to allocate the first tranche of the Fund’s $4.7 billion credit will be made.

Duma deputies left no choice for the government. On the eve of their vacation they seconded almost the whole package of bills submitted by the government. However, the bill on additional taxes on gas stations fell through. As a result of this, a gap of four million rubles appeared in Russia’s obligations to the IMF.

And then the government resorted to its last trick: it canceled the discounted 10% VAT for food. This means that food will become 10% more expensive. The government acted legally, since the executive branch is entitled to change VAT rates on definite kinds of goods.

Another revenue of the state treasury is oil export. It is supposed that raising customs duties will allow the government to get an additional five billion rubles in the second half of the year. Taking into account the fact that oil companies have undertaken the obligation to pay back debts of five billion rubles to the government, one can see that the total yield from oil companies in the second half of 1999 will be 10 billion rubles.

The law on restructuring credit organizations also satisfies international financial organizations. Foreign banks are interested in reformation of the Russian banking system, not its bankruptcy.

BORIS YELTSIN MEETS WITH MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT

ORT, Novosti, July 1, 1999, 15:00

Russian President Boris Yeltsin recently met in the Kremlin with Vice Premier Ilya Klebanov and then with Chairman of the Supreme Arbitration Court Veniamin Yakovlev.

Ilya Klebanov manages the affairs of the military-industrial complex in the government, and therefore the president’s meeting with him was dedicated to the problems of this branch of industry.

At the meeting with Veniamin Yakovlev the president expressed his satisfaction with the work of Russian arbitration courts. The number of judges in arbitration courts will probably be increased in the near future.

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC FORUM OPENS IN SALZBURG

ORT, Novosti, July 1, 1999, 15:00

Sixteen heads of state and government of countries of central and eastern Europe attended the opening of the International Economic Forum in Salzburg. Russian Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin is leading the Russian delegation at this forum. At one of the first meetings of the forum, the problem of the upcoming elections in Russia was discussed.

AKSENENKO VISITS PRIMORYE

ORT, Novosti, July 1, 1999, 09:00

Senior Vice Premier Nikolai Aksenenko has arrived in the Primorye Territory. He is to visit large industrial enterprises in Vladivostok and hold regional conferences dedicated to the problems of the fuel and energy complex.

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