REPORTS FROM THE KIROV REGION INDICATE THAT…

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REPORTS FROM THE KIROV REGION INDICATE THAT…

Izvestia, April 11, 2000, p. 2

…the general public in the Kirov region is concerned about the construction of a mechanism for destroying shells on the territory of Maradykov chemical warfare arsenal. The regional administration convened an emergency session during which the officer in charge of the arsenal explained that the shells themselves did not have anything to do with the procedure, and that only their fuses were to be destroyed.

A source in the PR department of the regional administration says that the work had to be suspended until the arrival of Lieutenant General Valery Kapashin, Director of the Federal Program for Destruction of Chemical Warfare.

THE MEDIA IS IN TROUBLE

Moskovsky Komsomolets, April 11, 2000, pp. 1-2

The Ministry of Taxes and Duties is out to impose tax on the Internet.

This was made known by Karen Oganesyan, an executive from the Ministry of Taxes and Duties. Soon, newspapers, magazines, and news agencies with Internet versions will have to be registered, “licensed”, and consequently, be taxed.

Pen-pushers are particularly proud – Russia is the first country to come up with this kind of idea.

It is common knowledge that our fiscal structures frequently serve as instruments of harassment of too outspoken publications. In other words, the authorities have invented a new watering hole.

TITOV WANTS GOVERNORSHIP AGAIN

Moskovsky Komsomolets, April 11, 2000, p. 2

His resignation itself looked fairly awkward. It was said to have been prompted by the fact that as a governor of a prosperous region, he felt offended because residents of the region did not trust him with the presidency. So he decided to step down eight months before the end of his term in office.

Now that the regional legislature has accepted his resignation (and therefore an early election), it turns out, thanks to Titov’s electoral headquarters, that 77 percent of voters in the region have always been for Titov. That means that he has to run for governorship. Why bother the people in the first place? Everything could have been done considerably cheaper otherwise.

SKURATOV: EVERYTHING WILL BE DECIDED ON APRIL 19

Komsomolskaya Pravda, April 11, 2000, p. 4

This is the opinion of Sergei Sobyanin, Chairman of the Committee for Constitutional Legislation of the Federation Council. If Putin approaches the Federation Council, Senators will probably accept Skuratov’s resignation at their sitting on April 19.

HUMANITARIAN REPORTS FROM GROZNY

Trud, April 11, 2000, p. 2

By April 10 federal officials discovered 208 addresses in Grozny where the civilian population needed help desperately. Medical assistance was rendered to 1,342 people and 2,840 food parcels were delivered there.

PUTIN DISCUSSES CURRENT PROBLEMS WITH DEPUTY PREMIERS

ORT (Russian Public Television), News program, April 10, 2000, 15:00

President Vladimir Putin’s working day began in the Kremlin today with a regular meeting with deputy premiers and security ministers. The executive officials present at the conference discussed operational problems related to the state of affairs in the fuel and energy complex and specifically the feud between Gazprom and the Unified Energy Systems (RAO EES).

Deputy Premier Viktor Khristenko has to smooth things out between the sides. He has two days to find a solution acceptable both to Anatoly Chubais and Rem Vyakhirev.

Dmitry Kozak, Director of Cabinet Affairs: Khristenko was instructed to convene a series of working conferences so as to do away with the discord between Gazprom and the RAO EES.

Everybody expected the meeting to come up with new decisions concerning the personnel composition of the government but Kozak says that the issue was not discussed. The conference was dedicated solely to outstanding problems.

Right after the conference Putin summoned all Cabinet ministers dealing with economic matters – Senior Deputy Premier Mikhail Kasianov, Deputy Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin, and Chairman of the Pensions Fund Mikhail Zurabov. Issues of pensions were discussed. A decision was taken to raise pensions and Zurabov was instructed to make all necessary calculations.

Kasianov: No, we did not discuss details. The president elect instructed the chairman of the fund to come up with all necessary calculations.

VALENTINA MATVIENKO IS BACK IN THE GOVERNMENT

ORT (Russian Public Television), News program, April 10, 2000, 12:00

This morning Deputy Premier Valentina Matvienko chaired a meeting of ministers in the social sector. Matvienko does not think that the makeup of social-related offices in the Cabinet will be greatly affected by the upcoming personnel changes. She believes that all Cabinet members in charge of social issues should concentrate their efforts on urgent problems.

Matvienko instructed participants of the conference to monitor the work with the Duma related to social laws.

FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV MEETS WITH FOREIGN BUSINESSMEN AND DEPARTS FOR LUXEMBOURG

ORT (Russian Public Television), News program, April 10, 2000, 15:00

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has left Luxembourg to take part in a conference of the European Union Cooperation Council. Earlier this morning, he met with Western businessmen (mostly from the United States).

In the year of presidential election in the United States the policy of the Clinton administration with regard to Russia is one of the issues drawing criticism from the Republicans. The question of which road Russia will take in the wake of the election is a matter of security for the millions of dollars invested in the Russian economy. Ivanov did his best to alleviate the investor’s anxiety.

Ivanov: We want an open market-based and reasonably socially-oriented economic in Russia.

Ivanov also mentioned issues affecting Russian-American relations – the Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Treaty and ratification of START-2. The minister holds the opinion that the future of Russian-American relations directly depends on how this problems are handled.

Ivanov: There can be no doubts whatsoever that subversion of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Treaty may throw the world back into a period of confrontation. It goes without saying that facilitation of commercial and economic relations during a period of confrontation is always more complicated.

The leadership of the country and the State Duma are now discussing the ratification of START-2. We want the level of nuclear arms reduced considerably.

All these issues will be at the center of Ivanov’s negotiations in Washington in late April.

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