ATOMIC MINISTRY WANTS TO TURN RUSSIA INTO A NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE PIT

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ATOMIC MINISTRY WANTS TO TURN RUSSIA INTO A NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE PIT

Izvestia, August 27, 1999, p.2

At a meeting of the government, the idea proposed by the Atomic Ministry to amend the Law On Environment Protection became the main issue of dispute. The essence of amending it is as follows: Russia should be permitted to receive foreign nuclear waste for storing it, although Russian Atomic Minister Yevgeny Adamov does not mention nuclear fuel among waste. The department has called for the expansion of the list of services. According to calculations of experts from the ministry, by 2050 there will have accumulated so much uranium and plutonium liable to recycling that both of them will require for 30 years of work on the entire energy system. Taking into account the fact that both of the substances may exhaust in a hundred years, Russia has a real chance to become a monopolist of secondary nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants for several scores of years. It will respectively earn profit in the range of billions of dollars. Moreover, the money may be received even immediately, for which Russia needs to receive legal permission to accept nuclear waste for storage.

The ministry was guided by two considerations. Firstly, the financial profit from founding a nuclear waste storage pit. The other variant is of strategic profit: having endured for 30-50 years and storing uranium and plutonium waste, by the middle of the next century Russia could already become a monopolist holder of nuclear fuel. But what will be the cost? As First Deputy Atomic Minister Ivanov said, We will recycle and handle the waste as the technology and geography of Russia allows for us to do.

PASSIONS AROUND THE BUDGET

Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 27, 1999, p.2

On Wednesday evening the Duma received the 2000 budget estimates. This annual financial law always attracted the love of deputies and was discussed throughout many months.

Evidence from the previously received materials in the possession of the deputies indicates that it is obvious that the budget will not be adopted through a simple discussion. Primarily, before the elections it is necessary for every deputy to reveal his lobbying abilities and gain at least crumbles for his constituency and the region. Secondly, as Chair of the Duma Trilateral Budgetary Committee Vitaly Shuba stated in his interview to Moskovsky Komsomolets, strict discrepancies will emanate in connection with distribution of money between the federal center and regions. If last year the agreement that all incomes of the budget will be divided in half was concluded, currently the federal center intends to claim 59%. The government is planning to submit to the Duma a draft of tax laws, which should have been adopted long ago, jointly with the budget. Among them is the critical law of increasing the sum of money levied with minimal turnover tax (currently it is 30,000 of annual income).

ALEXANDER LEBED WAS CAUGHT ON BLACK CASH

Komsomolskaya Pravda, August 27, 1999, p.2

At the press conference which took place on August 26 in Moscow and was dedicated to an interview of Yury Bybin to Literaturnaya Gazeta it was announced that there exists documented evidence that General Lebed illegally spent at least $2.3 million for his electoral campaign.

Lebed in person already hurriedly claimed that the events were a part of the propaganda campaign which was started against him, and for some reason accused Yury Luzhkov of initiating it.

If the information announced on the press conference will be confirmed, one of the minions of the race for the presidency may lose his governor’s post.

Lebed’s position worsened seriously. Boris Berezovsky, who is persistently promoting the idea of appointing Lebed as Yeltsin’s successor in the Kremlin in case the crucial situation emerges, remains the only political prop for the general. The scandal involving the black cash may foil Berezovsky’s plans.

It is not coincidental that last week Berezovsky conducted secret negotiations with Lebed in Krasnoyarsk. The next day after the negotiations the Nazarovsk district prosecutor’s office of the Krasnoyarsk region issued a warrant for arresting Anatoly Bykov, Lebed’s main political rival in the region.

Experts who know the situation in the region perfectly well assume that through such a step Lebed and Berezovsky are trying to kill two birds with one stone. Lebed will at long last get rid of his serious rival, and Berezovsky does his partner, international Aluminum King Lev Cherny a favor (a rather expensive one), who has for long been striving to oust Bykov from Krasnoyarsk aluminum producing enterprise to take it under his own control.

DISTRIBUTION OF PLACES ON THE ELECTORAL LIST OF FATHERLAND – ALL RUSSIA

Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 27, 1999, p.1

Member of the coordination committee of Fatherland – All Russia Andrei Isaev has for a week been collecting complaints from members of the bloc who are not satisfied with their places on the electoral list. By morning of August 28 it is necessary to solve all problems: a constitutive conference of Fatherland – All Russia will open in Moscow.

The main task of the conference is to adopt the electoral list, without which the procedure of registering the bloc in the Central Electoral Committee cannot be started. So far only the first three are known and unanimously agreed upon: Primakov-Luzhkov-Yakovlev. The principle for ranking the rest of the candidates is being kept a secret by the Electoral Headquarters of the bloc.

Almost nobody doubts that the fourth place courteous men will give to Women of Russia, and the fifth to the Agrarian Party. Georgy Boos seemed to have claims to the sixth place, but it turned out to be a joke in fact. Logically, a woman and a farmer should be combined with a worker, or a domestic producer, following the terminology of the bloc. As for Boos, according to the unofficial information he is going to run for the Duma in Khanty-Mansiysk constituency.

As members of the Electoral Headquarters of the bloc admit, the most difficult thing is to form the central part of the list. Some 15 people from this part will undoubtedly become Duma deputies if the bloc overrides the barrier of 5%. Correspondingly, there should not be any accidental constituents, as well as potential rejectors. Most probably, at least several names of members of the coordination committee will be added on the list: Chilingarov, Kokoshin, Vladislavlev, Morozov, Aushev…

However, so far not everything is clear with the governors and the presidents of provinces. As it is known, Mintimer Shaymiev and Murtaza Rakhimov refused to join the electoral list of the bloc, even the preliminary one. Other governors, such as Anatoly Lisitsyn and Yevgeny Nazdratenko announced that they would head regional lists but would not work in the Duma in any case since they had different ambitions.

SITUATION IN DAGESTAN REMAINS PROBLEMATIC

Russian Television, Vesti, August 26, 1999, 20:00

The situation in Dagestan remains difficult in spite of the recently conducted military operation. Still, Commander-in-Chief of North Caucasian Military District Viktor Kazantsev stated that the group of commandos which had crossed the Dagestani border was completely defeated. But there are other problems, such as commandos who retreat to the territory of Chechnya, mined areas, and providing the administrative border with Chechnya with means of defense. Moreover, there is information about the bombing missile attacks to the territory of Chechnya. The military is settling its forces along the Chechen-Dagestani border. Commander-in-Chief of the 58th army Vladimir Shamanov holds that the commandos are unlikely to exhibit any significant activity in the near future.

STEPASHIN BRINGS NEW MEMBERS TO YABLOKO

Russian Television, Vesti, August 26, 1999, 20:00

Sergei Stepashin is going to bring new people to Yabloko, the former Minister of Justice Pavel Krasheninnikov will probably be among them. The electoral list of the party will be publicized at the tomorrow meeting. Stepashin’s name will be the second, but the former premier states that it is not the main question.

NEW DETAILS OF THE SCANDAL INVOLVING AMERICAN BANKS AND RUSSIAN CRIMINALS

Russian Television, Vesti, August 26, 1999, 20:00

The scandal aroused by the “New York Times” which stated that one of American banks was laundering money from Russia received new details. The Congress of the US is to conduct a special session devoted to this case in September. The accounts of the Benex firm owned by the Russian businessman Pyotr Bermen were arrested in New York. American newspapers report that two of these accounts contained $20 billion. The operation was conducted by the special subdivision for fighting against Russian criminal structures formed by the FBI and New York police forces.

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