FROM LIGHT TO SHADOW

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FROM LIGHT TO SHADOW

Segodnya, May 31, 2000, p. 2

On May 30 acting Plenipotentiary of the Government in Chechnya Nikolai Koshman announced the dismissal of his first deputy, Beslan Gantamirov.

Lieutenant-Colonel Beslan Gantamiron, already former Commander of Chechen Police was dismissed “for systematic poor performance”. Actually this happened not on May 30 but a few days before and only on this day Koshman announced the dismissal of his first deputy. The press service of the plenipotentiary rejected that this decision is connected with certain political intrigues and explained the delay by the weekend. The command of the joint group of the federal forces was dissatisfied with Gantamirov’s work. Mainly this concerns that uncontrollability of the detachments of Chechen militia. For a long time Chechen militia enjoyed respect of the command of the joint group. Chechen militia participated in the storm of Grozny. But after the end of the active phase of the counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya, they changed their attitude to their duties. Koshman’s press service stated that Gantamirov was dismissed because he was not coping with his duties. The press service noted: “He did almost no work, but demanded that the government give him a lot of power and rights. But he received everything he wanted, he was first deputy of the presidential plenipotentiary. Only the prime minister and the president can be higher.” An official of the press service noted that Gantamirov’s previous attempts to resign were only blackmail, or a ploy aimed at obtaining more power.

Beslan Gantamirov and his colleagues have not responded to the dismissal yet. In the meantime the Presidential Administration, the Federal Security Service and the Interior Ministry have formed a special commission and sent it to Chechnya. The commission is to consider and check out Gantamirov’s complaints about the financial situation of his militia.

PUTIN PREPARES HIS ADDRESS TO THE FEDERAL ASSEMBLY

Moskovsky Komsomolets, May 31, 2000, p. 2

Boris Yeltsin used to address the Federal Assembly at the beginning of each year with a presidential statement. This year circumstances forced Vladimir Putin to postpone the appeal to the latest possible time.

Some people used to say that the president would make his address only in September. But at the beginning of May the Presidential Administration received an order to create a working group to develop this speech. This group consists of Secretary of the Presidential Administration Vladimir Voloshin, his deputies Pollaeva, Surkov, Medvedev, Minister for Economic Development and Commerce Herman Gref, presidential advisor Illarionov and political analyst Pavlovsky. The Kremlin departments were ordered to prepare their draft in five days, based on the programs of Gref’s Strategic Developments Center. This time the president’s speech will be longer than Yeltsin’s speeches; it will last about 40 minutes. However, the official text will be three times shorter (under Yeltsin it ran to about 100 pages). According to an official of the Presidential Administration, Putin will probably deliver his address to the members of the Federal Assembly on June 10.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: "WE MUST WORK AS A TEAM"

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, May 31, 2000, p. 1

President Vladimir Putin has said that the government, the regional governors and the presidential envoys should work as one team in close cooperation. Putin said at a meeting of the government with the presidential envoys: “We must do our best to reach an optimal solution to the problems that the Federation faces in the regions.” All presidential envoys, except Sergei Kirienko who is abroad on a business trip, attended the meeting.

A SLUMP AFTER THE RISE?

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, May 31, 2000, p. 3

Economic growth in Russia could be followed by another slump. This statement was made on May 30 by Andrei Illarionov, presidential envoy to the G-7, at a press conference in Moscow. According to three independent research centers, in April industrial output in Russia decreased by 2.9% in comparison with March. According to Illarionov, such unfavorable changes are connected with the increase in the proportion of the money taken by the government from the economy, which may reach 40% of the GDP by the end of the year. The resources are allocated through budgets at various levels, and less money remains in the private sector of the economy. High economic growth can be achieved only if the state reduces its expenditure.

PRIMAKOV SUPPORTS PUTIN’S INITIATIVES

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, No. 98 (2160), May 31, 2000, p. 3

Yevgeny Primakov, leader of the Fatherland-All Russia bloc, stated on May 31 that his faction supports Putin’s initiatives and will vote for them on May 31 in the first reading. But Primakov noted that further support depends on whether the amendments proposed by the Fatherland-All Russia bloc pass. In addition Primakov suggested that the powers of the new Federation Council should not remain the same. This concerns the right to appoint supreme court judges and the general prosecutor, the decision to declare war, impeachment of the president or a state of emergency. Primakov also suggested that these powers might be given to the Duma.

ECONOMIC SLUMP DOES NOT AWAIT RUSSIA

Trud, May 31, 2000, p. 1

The economic growth in Russia in the first quarter of 2000 was unbelievable: the GDP has increased by 7.9% in comparison with the first quarter of 1999. This statement was made on May 30 by Andrei Illarionov at a press conference. At the same time he noted that economy is growing in other countries too. For instance in the US economic growth was 7.3% at the end of 1999, in Hong Kong this figure reached 14.3% in the first quarter of 2000.

At the same time in March-April Russia’s economic growth slowed down. But it does not mean that we should expect an economic slump in the near future.

RUSSIAN AND UKRAINIAN SECURITY COUNCILS WILL COOPERATE

Trud, May 31, 2000, p. 1

On May 30 Sergei Ivanov, Secretary of the Russian Security Council held negotiations with Yevgeny Marchuk, Secretary of the Ukrainian National Defense and Security Council who arrived in Moscow. On May 31 they will sign a protocol on mutual cooperation.

Russia has such agreements with many countries: with the CIS member countries and Poland, for example.

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