THE SECOND OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY CONGRESS…

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THE SECOND OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY CONGRESS…

Izvestia, April 25, 2000, p. 2

… has commenced in the city of Ufa, Bashkortostan. Among its organizers are republican structures, the federal Fuel and Energy Ministry and the Russian Oil and Gas Union. Members of the organizing committee say that the conflicts between the Russian Unified Energy Systems and Gazprom will not affect the list of participants of the congress because this is a respectable function and, lastly but not the least important, Russia is in for an economic growth and a chance like that should not be missed.

The 8th international Gas Oil ‘2000 exhibition has began as well. Over 300 companies from all over the world have confirmed their participation.

KAZAKHSTAN WILL ASK MOSCOW NOT TO MAKE ANY NEW LAUNCHES FROM THE ASHULUK TESTING SITE

Izvestia, April 25, 2000, p. 2

The news was broken yesterday by Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov. The decision is attributed to the incident that occurred last Friday: a training target called Strizh-3 that was launched from the Ashuluk testing site blew up two kilometers from the settlement of Primorie (Kurmangazin district, Atyraus region in the western Kazakhstan) on April 21 in the afternoon. The missile left a crater 2.5 meters deep and 4-5 meters wide.

When the target reached an altitude of 17 kilometers, the testing site commanders ordered it to self-destroy because the missile had failed to follow the chartered flight path.

Idrisov says that investigation of the incident by joint commissions is underway.

THE UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY ADMITS…

Izvestia, April 25, 2000, p. 2

… that block of flats in the town of Brovary (a satellite town of Kiev) was destroyed by a training missile launched from a testing site of the Antiaircraft Forces.

In the evening of April 20, an object hit the block of flats and pierced through nine stories down to the cellar. Three residents died in the explosion and five sustained wounds and traumas of varying severity. The local media immediately came up with a hypothesis explaining the origin of the “unidentified object”, but the Defense Ministry admitted that it had been its blunder only on April 24. Vladimir Tereschenko, Commander of the Ukrainian Missile Troops and Artillery, said the delay was due to “too many unknown factors and doubts.”

Tereschenko does not rule out the possibility of “malfunction of the control system which in turn affected the drive.”

Investigation is underway.

ANATOLY BYKOV IS BACK IN RUSSIA

Izvestia, April 25, 2000, p. 4

Anatoly Bykov, former director of Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Works and deputy of the territorial legislature, was transported from the Matrosskaya Tishina detention cell in Moscow on Monday night.

Bykov’s lawyers were allowed to visit him in the detention cell. His lawyer Genrikh Padva says that he will fly to Krasnoyarsk a day or two from now. For the time being, his assistant Vladimir Sergeev is there alone.

Bykov is charged with money laundering (reportedly involving billions of non-denominated rubles, Article 174 of the new Criminal Code) and involvement in manslaughter (Article 105 of the old Criminal Code) of businessman Oleg Gubin. Bykov’s cottage in Krasnoyarsk and six out-of-town cottages have been arrested.

Sources in the prosecutor’s office do not rule out the possibility that some new charges may be pressed against Bykov. If this happens, the duration of the investigation will be extended. According to acting territorial prosecutor Yu. Antipov, one Vladimir Tatarinov nicknamed Tatarin is supposed to be convoyed to Krasnoyarsk. It is Tatarin who once blamed Bykov of the murders of some kingpins. Tatarin says that he himself was contracted to carry out the killings. He is currently in Greece, in prison for charges of organizing a gang.

THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL FORUM OF HIGH-TECH OF THE DEFENSE COMPLEX TOOK PLACE IN MOSCOW

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, April 25, 2000, p. 3

The Rosvooruzhenie presented a catching display. The famous arms dealer found non-military inventions at defense enterprises and offered them to potential buyers, saying the products lack of analogs anywhere in the world. Even the Japanese appeared impressed particularly by the news that a new generation of batteries had been invented in Russia. Portable Russian radios leave even the most advanced Western analogs behind.

Foreign companies launched negotiations with the Rosvooruzhenie on the purchase of the new items displayed at the exhibition. Sweden is out to buy simulators for crews of patrol ships (the simulators are assembled by a certain St. Petersburg company).

GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN IN ST. PETERSBURG IS GETTING INTO HIGH GEAR

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, April 25, 2000, p. 1

Some candidates have withdrawn from the gubernatorial race voluntarily, others like Vyacheslav Marychev were disqualified by the municipal electoral commission (even a casual inspection branded 35 percent of signatures in his support as forged).

Pyotr Shelisch, Duma deputy and an activist of Yabloko, decided to withdraw from the race. Apparently, he is giving way to Igor Artemiev, also a candidate representing Yabloko. Yury Rybakov, another Duma deputy, is busy attending consultations with other democratic candidates. He is out to make sure that the second round of the election will become necessary.

There are seven candidates for the post now. Vladimir Yakovlev is the unquestionable leader. He sees restoration of order in the city as his major task.

Unfortunately, some dirty tricks have been tried as well. Last week, a candidate’s car was wired. Fortunately, the device was discovered and disconnected. Investigation is underway.

PALS BORIS AND RYU MEET AGAIN

Komsomolskaya Pravda, April 25, 2000, p. 4

The meeting of Yeltsin and Hasimoto, Russian ex-president and Japanese ex-premier, lasted six hours.

The Hasimotos came to Russia on Boris Yeltsin’s personal invitation and spend almost twenty-four hours in this country.

Actually, Hasimoto (he is the new premier’s foreign political advisor) did not come just to see his old “friend”. It was a kind of reconnaissance mission as well. It is not a coincidence that the visit took place precisely now. Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Iosiro Mori is scheduled for April 29. It will take place in St. Petersburg. According to Vladimir Shevchenko who is in charge of Yeltsin’s protocol, Hasimoto came to make sure that Moscow’s political course with regard to Tokyo remained unchanged.

IMF EXPERTS VISIT THE STRATEGIC STUDIES CENTER

Komsomolskaya Pravda, April 25, 2000, p. 4

International Monetary Fund experts under Gerard Belange are to attend some consultations at Herman Gref’s Center for Strategic Studies today. Officially, the consultations are needed to acquaint the International Monetary Fund with the specialists who drafted Vladimir Putin’s economic program. In fact, the meetings are needed to prepare official negotiations on new credits to Russia.

According to Senior Deputy Premier Mikhail Kasianov, “smoothing out” possible discords is very important at this stage. If our foreign partners are satisfied with the economic program drawn for the new Russian president, Russia may get new loans from the International Monetary Fund in the second half of the year. Specific sums will depend on how the foreign experts find the Russian economy now.

Kasianov says that the state of affairs is OK now. Russia can do without financial assistance from abroad in 2000, but it will find just a billion of dollars handy. If the money is available, it will manage to channel more into the social sphere.

MAZUT FROM THE AKADEMIK PUSTOVOIT WILL BE PUMPED OUT

Trud, April 25, 2000, p. 2

According to Anatoly Timchenko of the Novorossiisk Steamship Company, the 79,000 tons of mazut from the tanker Akademik Pustovoit may be pumped into a Panaman ship this morning. On Monday the tanker left the Jabel Ali habor in the United Arab Emirates for the Ormuz Strait. The whole operation is planned to take place on international waters. American servicemen are still aboard the ship. They say that they will leave when the mazut has been pumped out (the process may take forty-eight hours).

SOROS PLANS TO RETURN TO RUSSIA

Trud, April 25, 2000, p. 2

Not so long ago the Russian media reported the intention of the famous financier George Soros to return to Russia. Soros plans to launch a new charity program called Hot Spots in Russia. Eminent businessman Lev Chyorny also plans to go in for the media. He has sold out his aluminum business already.

It seems that Soros and Chyorny both believe that the social industry and intellectual services will soon become profitable spheres in this country.

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