POLITICAL NEWS AGENCY COMES UP WITH ANOTHER SENSATION

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POLITICAL NEWS AGENCY COMES UP WITH ANOTHER SENSATION

Komsomolskaya Pravda, August 3, 1999, p. 2

According to the theory of the Political News Agency, Israeli Prime Minister Yehud Barak did not only come to Moscow to meet Boris Yeltsin and discuss the prospects of Russian-Israeli relations with him. Allegedly, the visiting VIP also wanted to promote the case of Vladimir Gusinsky, owner of the Media-Most group. According to a source in the presidential structures, Gusinsky took an active part in organizing the visit. The media tycoon allegedly expects the visitor to persuade Yeltsin to write off the group’s debts and to call off the attack against his holding launched by the Presidential Administration and its Director Alexander Voloshin.

Gusinsky put a lot of financial resources ($7-12 million) and intellectual effort into ensuring Barak’s victory over his opponent, Benjamin Netanyahu, in the May elections in Israel. Specifically, the NTV (Independent Television) network did its utmost to present Barak in the best possible light (this network is particularly popular among Russian-speaking voters in Israel).

According to the Political News Agency, Yeltsin may meet with Gusinsky in mid-August. And Gusinsky intends to promise Yeltsin his support on the eve of the parliamentary and presidential elections.

RUSSIAN AND AMERICAN DEFENSE MINISTERS WERE SUPPOSED TO MEET YESTERDAY

Komsomolskaya Pravda, August 3, 1999, p. 2

According to official reports, however, the meeting was postponed by “mutual consent”.

A day before his intended visit to Sochi, US Defense Secretary William Cohen completed his visit to Tbilisi, Georgia, during which he had private negotiations with President Eduard Shevardnadze. According to our sources, Cohen and Shevardnadze discussed a NATO peacekeeping operation to resolve the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict…

THE RUSSIAN ARMY GETS THE BEST TANKS IN THE WORLD

Izvestia, August 3, 1999, p. 2

The Uralvagonzavod factory in the city of Nizhny Tagil has received the first state order for T-90 tanks for the Russian Armed Forces. For the moment, only five tanks have been ordered. Local specialists and Rosvooruzhenie, however, expect a contract for delivery of the tanks to India. Three T-90C tanks have already been tested in the desert…

HUNGER STRIKE IN KAZAN IS OVER…

Izvestia, August 3, 1999, p. 2

… but protest actions continue.

The twelve-day hunger strike by leaders of 15 opposition movements (from the extreme left to the ultra-right) has ended in the city of Kazan, Tatarstan. The protesters demanded that local electoral laws be brought into line with federal legislation.

The opposition also plans protest rallies and pickets in Moscow. It will appel to the Russian Constitutional Court.

PRESIDENT YELTSIN RECEIVES FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV

NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, August 2, 1999, 12:00

This morning, President Yeltsin received Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in the Kremlin. According to ITAR-TASS news agency, the president praised Ivanov for successes of the Russian diplomacy in the settlement of the Kosovo crisis. The president said Ivanov was alert and displayed in the Yugoslavian crisis his competence and professionalism as a diplomat, for which he was decorated with the Order “For Service to the Fatherland”, second class.

Today, Yeltsin and Ivanov mostly discussed the Yugoslavian problem and Russian-American relations, although some attention was also paid to other issues.

Ivanov: The president wanted to be briefed on the state of affairs in the major directions of our foreign policy. I also informed Boris Yeltsin about our efforts in the CIS, and on our renewed efforts – we are acting as a go-between here – in the Middle East.

ISRAELI PREMIER COMES TO MOSCOW

NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, August 2, 1999, 14:00

The plane of Yehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel, landed in Sheremetievo at 4 a.m. Perhaps this ungodly hour can be attributed to the fact that Barak intends to spend only a day in Moscow. By now, his negotiations with Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin are supposed to be over, and several minutes from now Stepashin and Barak are scheduled to meet with reporters. Their joint press conference is planned for 2:15 p.m.

Shortly before that, Barak was received by President Yeltsin and met with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.

During the negotiations, the visiting VIP raised the issue of Russia’s nuclear cooperation with Iran and Iraq. Barak also dwelt on the recent wave of anti-semitism in Russia.

In any case, all these unpleasant issues did not darken the atmosphere of the Yeltsin-Barak meeting. The two leaders had a nice chat which even extended the protocol timetable.

Yeltsin: We do not mean to say that our relations were bad or insufficient. Our positions on Middle East resolution have always been close…

As for the anti-semitism in Russia, Yeltsin announced that those who incite ethnic hatred in this country should not expect any mercy.

Sergei Prikhodko, Deputy Director of the Presidential Administration: Literally, the president said that this is our state approach. A resolute condemnation of anti-semitism and fighting the phenomenon. Those who are guilty will be found and punished in accordance with the law….

PRESIDENT OF MONTENEGRO IN MOSCOW

Russian Television (RTR), “Vesti” program, August 2, 1999, 14:01

Milo Dzukanovic, President of Montenegro, is on a working visit to Moscow. Today he is scheduled to meet with Premier Stepashin, Foreign Minister Ivanov, and Moscow Mayor Luzhkov. The main topic of discussion will be the political situation in post-war Yugoslavia.

Dzukanovic is a major opponent of Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic. His visit to Moscow is another indication that Montenegro may quit Yugoslavia if Serbia turns away from democratic and economic reforms.

The Montenegrin leader is of the opinion that the changes taking place in his republic now should become a political model for the Balkans.

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