BANDITS THREATEN

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BANDITS THREATEN

Trud, December 31, 1999, p.2

According to the federal forces, detachments of Chechen guerrillas intend to organize several terrorist acts during the New Year celebrations in the settlements controlled by the federal forces: in particular, Gudermes and Argun.

In connection with guerrilla threats, detachments of the Internal Forces and mobile police detachments were ordered to take additional measures to ensure their own security and the protection of main buildings.

AN IMPENETRABLE CIRCLE

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, December 31, 1999, p.2

The command of the federal forces in the North Caucasus continues to keep secret its plans for the operation in Grozny.

During the past day the troops continued to strengthen their positions around Grozny, avoiding direct skirmishes with guerrillas.

According to the military there are about 3,000 guerrillas in Grozny, including mercenaries (Arabs, Ukrainian citizens, and citizens of the Baltic states). During the past day guerrillas tried several times to break through, but were stopped by the federal troops.

A BANKING UNION

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, December 31, 1999, p.2

A united banking sector has been created between Russia and Uzbekistan. Henceforth it is possible to carry out rapid payments on the territory of Russia through a wide network of correspondent banks and also through an inter-regional system of electronic payments.

REFERENCE POINT

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, December 31, 1999, p.2

The people of Russia will see in the New Year eleven times. When the chimes on the Kremlin tower strike midnight, it will still be December 31 in the western regions of the country, while in the east it will already be January 1.

SHATOY DISTRICT AGAIST THE WAR

ORT, Novosti, December 30, 1999, 15:00

Spiritual leaders and civilians of the Shatoy District of Chechnya demand that Aslan Maskhadov discontinue combat activities against the federal forces. Their joint address was adopted during the congress of clergy, parishioners, and other civilians of the Shatoy District of the Chechen Republic. The authors of the address stress that the international community has connived at Chechnya’s becoming a paradise for criminals of all kinds from around the world. The address states that the Shatoy District should become a zone of security, where there is no place for bandits and terrorists. “We are sure that our place is among the fraternal peoples of the Russian Federation,” the address states.

NINE JOURNALISTS BANISHED FROM CHECHNYA

ORT, Novosti, December 30, 1999, 15:00

Major Platonov, Director of the Temporary Press Center of the Russian Interior Ministry in the Chechen Republic, has announced that three Russian and six foreign journalists have been directed to leave Chechnya. The three Russian journalists were detained in the settlement of Ken-Yurt because they did not have passports and permission from the Defense Ministry. Simultaneously in the northern outskirts of Grozny six foreign correspondents were detained by federal servicemen. All the journalists were taken to the base of the federal forces. Later it turned out that the foreign journalists did not have permission from the press center of the Joint Group; and a Chilean citizen employed by a Spanish newspaper did not even have an entrance visa. The Russian Foreign Ministry has announced that the foreign journalists broke Russian laws, and the actions of the Russian authorities toward them were appropriate.

AKSENENKO ON INDUSTRIAL GROWTH

REN, Novosti, December 30, 1999, 09:30

Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Aksenenko has said that it is thanks to oil and gas dealers that the 1999 federal budget has met its targets. And now the government connects its future successes with a favorable situation on world markets of natural resources. Aksenenko stressed that despite all shocks, Russia does have a rich supply of natural resources. Oil and gas extraction has increased since summer. Industrial output growth has been achieved not only thanks to the devaluation of the ruble, but also thanks to the government’s control of prices for electricity and transportation. However, the state’s intensive protection of the fuel and energy sector goes against the requirements of Western creditors. It is the market that should regulate prices and charges. At the same time, Aksenenko said that he is against establishment of a state oil company, and this is not because of the IMF. The point is that the government is not eager to quarrel with the oil barons, only six months before the presidential election. All structural and personnel decisions have been postponed until fall 2000.

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