FINANCE MINISTRY REVIVES GKO SHORT-TERM TREASURY BONDS

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FINANCE MINISTRY REVIVES GKO SHORT-TERM TREASURY BONDS

Izvestia, February 16, 2000, p.2

In February 2000, the Finance Ministry is issuing three-month bonds to the value of $2.5 billion. On February 15, Senior Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mikhail Kasianov informed the Federal News Agency about this.

TICKET NOT USED BY BABITSKY

Izvestia, February 16, 2000, p.2

Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo told the NTV network on February 14 that “reliable sources” had learned of a plane ticket being bought in Istanbul, in the name of Andrei Babitsky, for travel to Minsk via Warsaw. However, according to the minister, the ticket has not been used.

Having read the report of the interior minister, one can draw a conclusion that Russian special services are able to follow Babitsky not only in Russia, but also in neighboring territories. .

This gives rise to the question: why have the special services not yet been able to (or have not wanted to) locate Andrei Babitsky? He was supposedly detained on enemy territory on the outskirts of Grozny, and consequently is allegedly a criminal (although he can be called so only by the court). After all, one of the main tasks of law enforcement agencies is searches, disclosure, and detention of a criminal or a suspect, which very often is one and the same.

NATO GENERAL SECRETARY IN MOSCOW

Tribuna, February 16, 2000, p.1

NATO Secretary-General George Robertson has come to Moscow. He will meet with Foreign Affairs Minister Ivanov and Defense Minister Sergeev. The possibility of an informal meeting with the acting president is not ruled out.

This is the first official meeting at such a level between Russian and NATO officials since March 24, 1999, when Russia suspended its relationship with the alliance because of NATO aggression in Yugoslavia.

In NATO George Robertson’s visit is regarded as a good opportunity to get information from the horse’s mouth about how ready Russia really is to resume cooperation with NATO on basic issues: control over the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, and implementation of the Partnership for Peace program.

CHECHEN GUERRILLAS TREATED IN UKRAINE

Tribuna, February 16, 2000, p.1

“The Ukraine National Assembly (UNA) helps treat soldiers of the Chechen army,” as the leader of this radical nationalistic organization Andrei Shkil has stated. “It takes place in the western part of the republic.” According to the leader, wounded “Chechen patriots return to their own troops and protect their motherland from the Russian aggressors after the recovery.”

Answering the question if the soldiers of the UNA organization fight on the side of Chechens, Shkil said diplomatically “Since the past war more than ten members of our organization have been in Ichkeria.”

FIRST ATTACK OF NEW DUMA AGAINST CENTRAL BANK

Izvestia, February 16, 2000, p.6

Chairman of the Duma Committee for the Economic Policy Sergei Glaziev supported the introduction of the amendments to the law on the Bank of Russia, stipulating the total allocation of its profit to the federal budget. He said about it at the round-table discussion called “Economics: Questions of the Business Society.” According to him,it is necessary to consider the possibility of allocating the rent from exploitation of natural resources to the state. In the opinion of the chairman of the committee, the enterprises’ super-profits during the export of energy resources and metals should be eliminated. It is necessary to strengthen the state control over the export of this production, including a possible introduction of the total state monopoly on gas export. In Sergei Glaziev’s opinion, all these measures will increase the budget profits by 50% without the attraction of extra sources.

NO ONE WANTS TO JUDGE KILLERS

Moskovsky Komsomolets, February 16, 2000, p.3

On February 14, court sittings were held in Moscow against the most notorious gang of killers of the past ten years called Kurganskaya. Judge Victor Konanenkov decided that this case should be sent to the Moscow Regional Court.

The Kurganskaya gang is suspected of assassinating over fifty criminal authorities and petty criminals in Moscow and near it while dividing the spheres of influence.

The investigation of their crimes was finished by Moscow Prosecutor’s Office almost one year ago. However, for a long time this case was not considered in the court, for the officials could not decide on the question which region had suffered more and, consequently, which court should take this case. One of the reasons of their hesitation was apparently the fact that the regional court could offer jury, which is more merciful as practice shows. Only in summer 1999 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation decided to send all the materials to the Moscow Municipal Court. And again everything has returned to the former position.

RUSSIA NEVER OWES ANYTHING TO ANYONE

ORT, Novosti, February 15, 2000, 15:00

On February 15 Putin’s schedule included several meetings, including one with Finance Minister Mikhail Kasianov. It is officially reported that Putin congratulated the Finance Ministry, and Kasianov personally, on their work which resulted in a contract with the London Club of commercial creditors on restructuring Soviet debts.

On February 15 Putin departed from his usual practice and answered media questions before, instead of after, his meeting with Kasianov. Putin stated that only 52% of the Soviet foreign debt had been written off.

Putin: “We will never allow anyone to interfere in our affairs, but neither will we owe any favors to anyone.”

According to Putin, Russia could have taken the stand that it had nothing to do with this debt, which is formally the debt of Vneshekonombank. However, the head of state is firmly confident that evasive tricks will never lead to success.

Putin: “If we start dissembling, both our internal administrative system and our contacts with foreign partners will be ruined.”

PUTIN REGISTERED AS A CANDIDATE

ORT, Novosti, February 15, 2000, 15:00

Registered by the Central Election Commission, on February 15 Vladimir Putin became an official candidate for the presidency. Following a half-hour break the commission considered Aman Tuleev’s candidacy. All data Tuleev had submitted were acknowledged valid, and he was registered as the fourth candidate. Tuleeve, Zyuganov’s partner in the last presidential campaign, is now running independently and relying only on his own funds.

AN INTERVIEW WITH GENNADY ZYUGANOV

NTV, Segodnya, February 15, 2000, 09:00

Q: It is well known that you are optimistic about the upcoming presidential elections, and even name approximate figures with which you intend to win – 55% of the vote. What is the basis for such forecasts?

Leader of CPRF Gennady Zyuganov: We have a real program, a concrete plan for overcoming the crisis, rendering assistance to citizens, support of national manufacturers. We have a very strong team, which has shown its ability to work efficiently. Moreover, the Duma elections in which we received a third of the votes have just finished. Last time, when the parliamentary elections were followed by the presidential election, we doubled our results.

Q: In one of your interviews you said that you are open to cooperation with all political forces, and mentioned particularly Fatherland-All Russia and Unity. Does it mean that either you or your representatives are holding negotiations with representatives, say, of Fatherland-All Russia?

Zyuganov: We are negotiating with all Duma factions. Fatherland-All Russia, Unity, and regional deputies enjoy significant public support. Therefore, in order to implement a package of laws I have proposed in my program, it is important to gain support of two-thirds of deputies.

Q: Who do you see as your potential allies?

Zyuganov: The entire national-patriotic movement has actively supported me. Recently the left parties have gathered and made a corresponding decision.

I also hope that many people who were supporting Primakov will vote for us. At least they understand that dictatorship is suitable for no one, while we have already proposed a program, which would be quite satisfactory for many citizens. First of all, it provides an increase in people’s living standards, a guaranteed pension and wages scale of 1,000 rubles per month, while for teachers, doctors, and the military the wage scale will be 3,000 rubles per month. We have proposed a whole range of measures, from tax cuts to measures for suppressing capital flight, which are now actively supported by business circles.

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