THE FEDERAL CENTER WILL INTERCEPT EVERYTHING

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THE FEDERAL CENTER WILL INTERCEPT EVERYTHING

Izvestia, February 15, 2000, p. 2

Our sources say that the Federal Agency for Governmental Communication and Information has launched a large-scale operation code named “Experiment’99” in the Caucasus. As of now, the air in Chechnya and in nearby regions will be constantly put under surveillance.

The operation was launched within the framework of the implementation of a governmental resolution on combating crime in the region. That is why control over the sky over Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan and North Ossetia does not contradict the current Constitution.

GEORGIA DEFENDS ITS TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY

Izvestia, February 15, 2000, p. 3

While addressing a session of the provisional commission for the resolution of the Georgian-Abkhazia conflict, Georgian State Minister Vaja Lordkipanidze denied rumors that the sides had allegedly reached an agreement concerning Abkhazia’s confederative status within Georgia. According to Lordkipanidze, the principle of Georgia’s territorial integrity remains paramount, and the establishment of a confederation or a union may split the country.

WILL PUTIN AND CLINTON MEET IN KARELIA?

Trud, February 15, 2000, p. 1

The Karelian capital is reverberating with rumors. Everybody is speculating on whether or not acting president Vladimir Putin and US President Bill Clinton will actually meet in the Shuiskaya Chupa, the Karelian residence of the head of state.

Petrozavodsk is worried but says that the residence is always ready to receive distinguished guests.

CIS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY FLEW TO ASTANA

Trud, February 15, 2000, p. 3

CIS Executive Secretary Yuri Yarov’s blitz visit to Astana is ascribed to the uncompromising stand of the president of Kazakhstan during the CIS summit in Moscow. While his other counterparts were euphoric about Vladimir Putin, Nursultan Nazarbayev made some critical statements concerning CIS standing problems. Many observers attributed this stand to Nazarbayev’s personal outrage over the failures to accept his initiatives (the idea of a Euro-Asian Union, “Ten Simple Steps Towards Becoming Common Folks”, and so on). Some specialists even said that Putin had finally decided to shift attention from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan.

Yarov’s visit to Astana shows that Putin does take into account Nazarbayev’s opinions and plans to bridge the gap between Moscow and Astana both within the framework of the Commonwealth and in the sphere of bilateral relations.

SHOKHIN FEARS FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Moskovsky Komsomolets, February 15, 2000, p. 2

Alexander Shokhin, Chairman of the Duma banking committee, fears that the first round of the presidential election may be wrecked by voters’ failure to show up at their respective polling stations.

Shokhin believes that Vladimir Putin’s voters may fail to turn up because they think that everything will be done without them. This possible turn of event will have negative effects on Putin’s career because in this case the next election will take place only four months later and the Constitution does not allow the acting president to stay in office for more than three months.

Shokhin: If the first round does not take place, everything is possible. Even a coup d’etat.

THE FATHERLAND DOES NOT KNOW YET WHOM IT WILL SUPPORT

Moskovsky Komsomolets, February 15, 2000, p. 2

A decision will be made before March 10, says its leader Yuri Luzhkov.

Yesterday, Luzhkov announced that he intended to hold consultations with all aspirants to the post of president, save Vladimir Zhirinovsky. As for Putin, Luzhkov does not “know his program”. As far as Luzhkov is concerned, Grigori Yavlinsky’s program contains “fewer negative moments” than Gennadi Zyuganov’s and at the same time he “sympathizes” with Stanislav Govorukhin.

THE DUMA WILL DISCUSS A DRAFT RESOLUTION ON INTERFACTIONAL ANTICORRUPTION COMMISSION

Moskovsky Komsomolets, February 15, 2000, p. 2

The commission will be permanent. It will be headed by a Yabloko representative (according to the package agreement). Most probably, the post will be given to Sergei Stepashin. A similar structure worked under Vladimir Semago in the previous Duma, investigating corruption in the top echelons of power.

RUSSIA EARNED $3 BILLION IN 1999 SELLING ARMS

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, February 15, 2000, p. 1

Increased spending on arms will help Russia to increase supply of military hardware to global markets. According to the Economic Ministry, total output has already exceeded last year’s level by 33 percent and by more than 40 percent in the area of ordnance, ship-building, and electronics.

In 1999, Russia sold over $3 billion worth of arms.

MATTER RESOLVED

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, February 15, 2000, p. 1

The fate of used nuclear fuel and solid and liquid radioactive wastes accumulated by the Navy (including the ones from dismantled nuclear submarines and nuclear-powered surface combat ships) is sealed.

The government released a resolution according to which state unitary enterprises of the Nuclear Energy Ministry (the Severnoye and the Dalnevostochnoye) would be put under some Defense Ministry units to handle radioactive wastes. The activities of these enterprises will facilitate ecological rehabilitation of hazardous objects in the Murmansk region, Kamchatka and Primorie.

NO MORE APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, February 15, 2000, pp. 1-2

An important part of the presidential campaign is over. On February 13 the Central Electoral Commission stopped accepting applications for registration.

Gennadi Zyuganov was the first to submit the necessary signatures and to be registered as a candidate. It happened on February 8. Aleksei Podberezkin, leader of the Spiritual Legacy Movement, was registered the following day.

At 11 a.m. today the Central Electoral Commission will consider the registration of acting president Vladimir Putin and Governor Aman Tuleyev. Both submitted the required signatures on February 7.

Tomorrow, the Central Electoral Commission will handle Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the LDPR.

Duma deputy Stanislav Govorukhin and Samara Governor Konstantin Titov will be the next. After them, it will be the turn of Herman Khrustalev (assistant of a deputy of the Moscow municipal legislature), Grigori Yavlinsky (of Yabloko), Ella Pamfilova (currently without a job), Yuri Skuratov, Yevgeny Savostianov (chairman of the board of the Moscow Foundation of Presidential Programs), Anzori-Aksentiev-Kikalashvili (chairman of the All-Russian Peoples’ Political Party), Umar Dzhabrailov (adviser to the general director of the Intourist joint venture – Radamer Gostinitsa i Delovoi Tsentr), and Ismail Tagi-zade (General Director of Tiskino company).

COMMUNISTS CRITICIZE PUTIN

NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, February 14, 2000, 14:00

Gennadi Zyuganov, CPRF leader and aspirant for the presidential post, criticized Vladimir Putin today. Essentially, the communists’ grudges against the acting president remain unchanged – they do not like the fact that he does not have a program.

Zyuganov: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin recently commented on my program and my appeal to the Russian populace. Nevertheless, I have not seen his program yet. He promised to present it so that I, an election rival of his, could get acquainted with it. Apparently, he does not have one.

We take the issue of pulling the country out of the crisis seriously. We insist on seeing the government’s proposals on how the country should be led out of the crisis.

RUSSIAN AND JAPANESE NAVIES COOPERATE AGAIN

ORT (Russian Public Television), News program, February 14, 2000, 12:00

Cooperation between Russian and Japanese navies was restored in Moscow today. The last meeting of the naval commanders of the two countries took place in 1888, that is almost 122 years ago. Since then relations between our countries have been quite tense.

Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov met with Admiral K. Fujita, Chief-of-Staff of the Japanese Naval Forces. The visiting commander expressed his satisfaction with the progress made so far in restoring contacts between the Russian and Japanese navies, and pledged to facilitate friendly relations further.

SCIENTIST COLLECTS. PARTIALLY

NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, February 14, 2000, 10:00

It took the Vladivostok district court several hours to give its ruling on the lawsuit filed by Vladimir Soifer, a scientist from Primorie who had been accused by the secret services of giving out state secrets. Representatives of the Federal Security Service apologized to Soifer afterwards but that did not stop him from filing a lawsuit to claim damages.

The scientist is in Moscow now. His interests in Vladivostok are represented by human rights activist Ernst Chyorny.

Soifer is a world-renowned scientist. His laboratory at the Pacific Oceanographic Institute studies problems of radiation. Soifer works in association with international environmental organizations. The local branch of the Federal Security Service is therefore confident that the scientist has revealed some classified documents.

Yuri Belin, Director of the Legal Department of the Primorie Directorate of the Federal Security Service: He did reveal certain aspects. By the way, he does not deny that fact.

The court resolved the issue to Soifer’s partial satisfaction. He is supposed to be given back his foreign passport and part of the documents confiscated during a police search. Observers do not rule out the possibility that the matter will not rest there, because neither the prosecution nor defense is satisfied with the verdict.

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