GAZPROM MAY BE SPLIT

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GAZPROM MAY BE SPLIT

Trud, February 1, 2000, p. 1

On a trip to West Siberia, Rem Vyakhirev of Gazprom revealed some of the plans of reorganization of the largest gas company in the world. Meeting with employees of the company Surgutgazprom, Vyakhirev was quoted as saying that Gazprom might be split into two parts.

Gazprom PR department comments on the statement laconically – there is nothing sensational about the split and Vyakhirev’s should not be taken interpreted literally. Actually, it was in late December that Vyakhirev announced that completion of the structural reorganization was the major task facing the company in 2000.

The matter of Gazprom structure will be discussed with the leadership of the country.

RELEASE OF BABITSKY DEMANDED

Trud, February 1, 2000, p. 1

Human rights organizations comprising the initiative group Common Action demand “immediate release of reporter Andrei Babitsky detained in Chechnya on the orders of the Russian prosecutor’s office.”

Their communique states that “We are convinced that Babitsky is harassed for implementation of his professional duty and that his detention is supposed to be a message to other reporters working in Chechnya.”

MINSK WANTS A CREDIT FROM MOSCOW

Izvestia, February 1, 2000, p. 2

A source in the Belarussian National Bank confirms that the Belarussian government initiated negotiations with official Moscow over a credit to stabilize the national monetary unit. The sum of the credit is not revealed, and the National Bank itself is ready to join the negotiations as soon as Russia agrees to come up with the money.

ADMINISTRATIVE RESOURCES ARE BEING USED

Tribuna, February 1, 2000, p. 1

There are reasons not to believe the words of the Director of the Presidential Administration Alexander Voloshin concerning the necessity to “exclude administrative resources from the electoral process”.

The Tyumen region received instructions from the Kremlin to collect no less than 20,000 signatures in support of acting president Vladimir Putin over five days. Afterwards, almost 60 percent o the signatures were found invalid.

1.6 MILLION SIGNATURES FOR ZYUGANOV COLLECTED

Sovetskaya Rossiya, February 1, 2000, p. 1

1.6 million signatures were collected in support of Gennadi Zyuganov, candidate for president. 674,000 signatures were forwarded to the Central Electoral Commission.

PUTIN ATTENDED SITTING OF THE BOARD OF THE JUSTICE MINISTRY

ORT (Russian Public Television), News program, January 31, 2000, 15:00

According to acting president Vladimir Putin, the Justice Ministry should be more resolute in the establishment of a common legal field. Now, almost 20 percent of documents adopted in the regions do not conform with the federal legislation and encroach on human rights but the Justice Ministry has not appealed to the Constitutional Court even once to have such documents nullified.

SERGEI MIKHAILOV APPEALS TO THE SUPREME COURT

NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, January 31, 2000, 12:00

Sergei Mikhailov, dubbed by the media as a kingpin of the Solntsevo gang, complained to the Supreme Court about the decision of the Central Electoral Commission which had banned his registration as a candidate for the Duma. The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Central Electoral Commission.

TWO SUBMARINERS DIED

NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, January 31, 2000, 10:00

A submarine of the Northern Fleet surfaced in the Barents Sea because of some minor malfunctioning and two officers (submarine second-in-command Andrei Guminichenko and commander of the torpedo section Vladimir Gartsev) were washed away.

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