CHUBAIS IS HIDING OUR MONEY

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CHUBAIS IS HIDING OUR MONEY

Pravda, February 25-28, 2000, p.1

Commenting on the touchy reaction by the management of Russian Joint Energy Systems to his call for the dismissal of Anatoly Chubais, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov said: “Chubais and the monopolists are concealing money which, if used by the government, could raise the minimum monthly wage and pension to 1,000 rubles, and the wages of teachers, doctors and officers to 3,000 rubles. Putin knows perfectly well where he can find sources of additional money – but he remains silent. He seems to be satisfied with the miserable situation throughout Russia.”

Zyuganov asserts: “The government could get about 130 billion rubles if it established order in RJES, and took control of the financial streams in Chubais’s domain and other natural monopolies. This sum is quite enough to pay each pensioner no less than 1,000 rubles per month, and each teacher no less than 3,000 rubles per month.”

The CPRF leader noted that the government needs to collect an additional 14-15 billion rubles per month in order to raise pensions and wages to this level: “Russia has this money. Chubais and other monopolists are concealing it.”

Zyuganov said: “Russia cannot live and develop normally if natural resources, which bring in 80% of Russia’s revenue, belong to 3% of the population. Each citizen must receive part of the national pie. Everything that God gives us must be owned by society as a whole. I demand that Vladimir Putin answer my enquiry regarding the situation in RJES, and consider the issues raised in the enquiry.”

FATHERLAND PROPOSES A DIALOGUE

Trud, February 25, 2000, p.1

The political council of the Fatherland movement, headed by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, has released a statement concerning the presidential election. Fatherland states: “The main political forces have not proved to be ready for an early election, and are fielding candidates who have already been rejected by the people. The new leaders are not burdened with old mistakes, but they have to solve the most difficult problems. People expect results from them, but we have not known them long enough to support them. In this situation we think it is necessary to express our own point of view on the challenges facing the country and on the ways of meeting them. We are ready to begin a dialogue with the potential president of the Russian Federation on this basis.”

Fatherland urges maintaining and extending the fundamentals of democracy, freedom of speech, and civil rights guarantees, and also speeding up economic reforms, making the welfare of Russian citizens the highest priority.

Fatherland wants to strengthen the role of the state. Increasing the quality and creativity of Russia’s human resources must be the main task of the state.

Fatherland also states: “The Fatherland movement was created in order to consolidate a powerful political center. We have begun to gather constructive and pragmatic forces for this purpose.”

LIFE IS GETTING MORE EXPENSIVE

Izvestia, February 25, 2000, p.3

Inflation in Russia between February 1 and February 21, 2000 was 0.9%. This was announced by the State Statistics Committee. The daily rise of prices in February was 0.041% (0.074% in January 2000). In comparison: in January 1999 inflation was 8.4%. In 1999 as a whole, inflation was 36.5%. The 2000 budget is based on an inflation rate of 18%.

DECONTAMINATION

Izvestia, February 25, 2000, p.3

Professor Vladimir Novikov, Laboratory Director of the Kurchatov Institute, said at a briefing on February 24 that Russia will need hundreds of billions of dollars to clear its territory of existing radioactive waste. According to Novikov, research by Russian and American scientists shows that the Mayak plant in the Chelyabinsk Region poses a threat to the environment. The quantity of radioactive materials in Lake Karachai, located close to the plant, is 2.5 times greater than at Chernobyl, and currently this lake is polluting subterranean waters. Novikov acknowledged that the plant poured out radioactive waste into the lake.

A DIALOGUE IN ST. PETERSBURG

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, February 25, 2000, p.2

Acting President Vladimir Putin and St. Petersburg Governor Vladimir Yakovlev discussed on February 24 the economic problems of the city.

Vladimir Putin “guaranteed that funding will be continued for restoration of the destroyed subway route in the northern part of the city. He also promised to allocated 180 million rubles, needed to complete the Ice Sports Center, from the federal budget.” Earlier the government allocated 220 million rubles to St. Petersburg for this purpose. During the meeting Putin and Yakovlev discussed preparations for the tercentenary of St. Petersburg, in particular the project financing for the restoration of old buildings.

The press secretary of the St. Petersburg governor said that Putin supported Yakovlev’s idea about waiving enrollment requirements in 49 St. Petersburg colleges for soldiers returning from Chechnya. He recommended that Vladimir Putin should discuss this initiative with other regional governors.

ALLIES IN THE PAST, PARTNERS IN THE FUTURE

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, February 25, 2000, p.2

According to British diplomats, the main goal of the visit of British Foreign Minister to Moscow was to become personally aquatinted with the Russian leader and to find an answer to the question which was posed in Davos: “Who are you, Mr. Putin?”

Vladimir Putin seems to have made a favorable impression on the British minister. Putin’s businesslike negotiation style and in-depth knowledge of the issues of bilateral relations played a very important role. All this made the negotiations successful: the sides overcome a certain hiatus in Russian-British relations.

The UK foreign minister said on Defender of the Fatherland Day: “We used to be allies in the past. In the future we have to become strategic partners.”

STEPASHIN MAY RUN FOR ST. PETERSBURG GOVERNOR

Russian Television, Vesti, February 24, 2000, 20:00

On February 24 Sergei Stepashin said that he will probably run for St. Petersburg governor in the gubernatorial elections on May 14. He promised to make his final decision next week.

WE CAN NEGOTIATE WITH CHECHNYA

Russian Television, Vesti, February 24, 2000, 20:00

On February 24 the acting President made a very important statement on the situation in Chechnya during an interview with “Radio Baltika”. He said that there are certain forces in Chechnya with which Russia can start negotiations.

THE OPERATION IN CHECHNYA TO FINISH NEXT WEEK

Russian Television, Vesti, February 24, 2000, 20:00

Defense Minister Igor Sergeev announced the timing of the end of the main phase of the military operation in Chechnya. According to Sergeev, it should happen by the beginning of spring. This means that it will happen next week.

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