WEAPONS FOR EXPORT, MONEY FOR DEFENSE

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WEAPONS FOR EXPORT, MONEY FOR DEFENSE

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, July 7, 1999, p.1

Russia has great potential for weapons export, which will strengthen Russian national defense, stated Russian Premier Sergei Stepashin while opening the first meeting of the Government Committee for Military-Industrial Questions on July 5.

The premier noted that the Russian defense industry is currently experiencing hardships and that funding is scarce. In this connection, military-technical cooperation with foreign states is an important way to strengthen Russia’s defense capacity and should be used effectively. Stepashin assumes that it is extremely important to set up an entire system of military-technical cooperation between Russia and foreign states which is regulated and supported by state.

In addition to improving the system of military-technical cooperation with foreign states, the question of establishing Russian agencies for defense industries and the plan for the work of the committee for the third quarter of the year were considered on the meeting. Stepashin spoke in favor of giving these agencies broad powers and strictly determining their functions. The main task is to increase the influence of the state on the development of military industries and form an effective system to govern the military-industrial complex.

WHAT PEOPLE WRITE TO THE WHITE HOUSE ABOUT

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, July 7, 1999, p.1

The Russian government has summed up the results of the written and oral requests which it received in June 1999, stated FAGLI.

As of July 1, 1999, a total of 8,424 written requests from citizens were received by the Russian government, including 496 letters (7.7%) which were sent immediately to various departments of the government for consideration. The rest of the requests were considered directly by the government Department for Work with Requests of Citizens.

The written requests received by the government concerned mainly social benefits and the social protection of the population, housing resources and their use, the work of law enforcement agencies, the activities of religious organizations, relations between church and state, banking activities, monetary circulation, and the activities of bodies of the government and administration.

THE LAW "ON BANNING THE SALE OF LAND TO FOREIGN CITIZENS" IS UNDERWAY

Izvestia, July 7, 1999, p.1

On July 6, Russian Premier Sergei Stepashin asked the justice minister and the minister for national policy to prepare by the autumn session of the Duma a law banning the sale of land in Russia to foreign citizens. This task was given at a meeting dedicated to the problems of border regions.

MIKHAIL GORBACHEV NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Izvestia, July 7, 1999, p.1

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev does not intend to participate in the 2000 presidential elections. As he said on July 6 in an interview to Interfax agency, “I made such a proposal but was rejected by the Russian people. And now I will not participate in the elections.”

PREPARATIONS FOR THE VISIT HAVE BEGUN

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, July 7, 1999, p.1

Russian President Boris Yeltsin will pay a visit to China “tentatively in October”, stated Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov immediately following a meeting with Yeltsin.

BUDGET REVENUES ARE APPROVED

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, July 7, 1999, p.1

On July 6, a draft of the revenues of the 2000 federal budget was approved at a meeting of the Government Committee for Improving Taxation and Securing the Revenues of the Federal Budget, which is headed by First Vice Premier Victor Khristenko.

RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPERS FLY TO KOSOVO

RTR, Vesti, July 6, 1999, 20:00

The first Russian airplane bound for Kosovo took off at 8 a.m. on July 6 from Pskov and landed in Pristina at noon. That afternoon another airplane took off in Pskov, and two airplanes set out for Pristina in Ryazan. Another two planes were to set out from Ivanovo, but later it was decided that they should first be transported to Ryazan for customs examination. Overall, 200 Russian servicemen are being transported by these planes. They will carry out peacekeeping duties in Kosovo.

A NEW MINISTRY IN THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT

RTR, Vesti, July 6, 1999, 20:00

A new ministry has been established in the Russian government. It comprises two structures: the State Press Committee and the Federal Service for TV and Radio Transmission. Mikhail Lesin, the former Vice President of the RTR TV company, has been appointed minister of the press, TV and radio transmission, and the mass media.

KAZAKHSTAN PROHIBITS SPACE LAUNCHING FROM THE BAIKONUR COSMODROME

RTR, Vesti, July 6, 1999, 20:00

On July 6, the Kazakh government prohibited space launchings from the Baikonur cosmodrome. The reason for this step was the explosion of a Russian Proton rocket carrying a satellite right after launch. A government commission has been established to investigate the causes of the accident.

According to the Kazakh government, pieces of the rocket fell in the Karaganda Region, in the center of the country. A 200-kilogram piece of metal fell into the yard of a private house. Fortunately, the accident did not cause the destruction of any houses or claim any victims. However, it promises unpleasant consequences for Russia. Proton, the strongest Russian rocket, has always been reputed to be reliable and was popular with foreign customers. The cost of one launch of this kind is $50-60 million.

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