SHOIGU BELIEVES THAT CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT SHOULD BE NOMINATED BY PARTIES AND MOVEMENTS
Izvestia, June 20, 2000, p. 3
Sergei Shoigu, Emergency Minister and leader of the Unity Movement, believes that candidates for president in the next election will be nominated by parties and movements. Shoigu said so on June 19.
Shoigu: We have passed the time when Russian presidents were not party members.
Shoigu does not rule out the possibility that Vladimir Putin may become the leader of Unity.
Shoigu: On the other hand, he may decide to become the leader of another movement, like the Union of Right Forces or Yabloko.
DUMA DEPUTIES TEACH LUKASHENKO
Izvestia, June 20, 2000, p. 3
Leaders of Yabloko, Fatherland-All Russia, and Union of Right Forces, Grigori Yavlinsky, Yevgeny Primakov, and Boris Nemtsov respectively, intend to urge Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko to ensure a democratic conduction of the parliamentary election scheduled in the country for October.
Nemtsov was quoted as saying on Monday that the appeal was ascribed “to the necessity to make the election democratic.”
Nemtsov: The left are welcome to sign the appeal too because they also want the Belarussian election to be free and fair.
On Monday, Sergei Ivanenko of Yabloko faction met with representatives of the opposition.
PREPARATIONS TO ELECTION IN CHECHNYA
Izvestia, June 20, 2000, p. 3
The process of creating territorial electoral commissions in Chechnya is about to be completed. This is another phase in the preparation for election of Duma deputies slated for August 20.
A correspondent of INTERFAX news agency was told at the Chechen electoral commission that this particular phase is to be completed on June 20 as planned. Eighteen territorial commissions, six more than on the eve of the presidential election, will begin their work on Tuesday.
Abdul-Kerim Arsakhanov, Chairman of the Chechen Electoral Commission: In view of the tense condition on the ground, there are no guarantees that election will be held in all districts.
Arsakhanov also says that the next phase of the preparation will end at 6 p.m. on June 25 when the electoral commission will stop accepting documents for registration of candidates.
For the time being, twenty Chechens have announced their intention to run for the Duma.
DUMA DEPUTIES ABOUT GUSINSKY’S RELEASE
Trud, June 20, 2000, p. 2
Duma Chairman Gennadi Seleznev appraises Vladimir Gusinsky’s release from jail as “a gift from the Prosecutor General’s Office to Vladimir Putin on his return to Moscow.”
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Duma Deputy Chairman and leader of the LDPR faction, told a correspondent of INTERFAX news agency that he considered the decision to release Gusinsky a shame.
Zhirinovsky: This release shows that Russia is ruled by international organizations and not by the government and security structures.
Oleg Morozov, leader of the Russian Regions parliamentary group, believes that the decision to release the media tycoon was “correct”. He said that he has not seen any “legal or political reasons” to jail Gusinsky in the first place.
Morozov: In fact, we’ve just put ourselves at a disadvantage both in the country and in the eyes of the international community.
Nikolai Ryzhkov, an independent deputy and a former premier of the Soviet government, does not see any logic in the way the security structures handled Gusinsky’s case.
Ryzhkov: They are some convulsions, if I may use the term, that defy explanations.
RUSSIAN-KAZAKH SUMMIT BEGINS
Parlamentskaya Gazeta, June 20, 2000, p. 1
An official visit of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Moscow began on June 19. Vladimir Putin received the visitor at his out-of-town working residence Barvikha-3.
The agenda included discussion of problems of trade and economic cooperation, the fuel and energy complex, and transport issues.
Russia still retains the status of the only large transit exporter of the Caspian oil. Unfortunately, it may lose the status soon. Kazakhstan began transporting oil by tankers to Azerbaijan in June. Given access to Kazakh oil, Azerbaijan and Turkey may confidently expect Western credits for the Baku – Dzheikhan pipeline construction project. Moreover, Tehran proposes faster implementation of an alternative project involving oil transportation via Iran.
The construction of the Caspian pipeline system for oil transportation from the Tengiz wells to Novorossiisk will be finished in 2001. The system will allow Kazakhstan to almost double its oil export.
Today, Nazarbayev will meet with chairmen of houses of parliament Yegor Stroyev and Gennadi Seleznev and with Patriarch Alexi II.
GUSINSKY BELIEVES THAT SOME MORE BUSINESS TYCOONS WILL BE JAILED SOON
Komsomolskaya Pravda, June 20, 2000, p. 4
Vladimir Gusinsky, owner of Media-Most Holdings, was released from Butyrka prison almost as unexpectedly as he had been jailed. On Friday, he pledged not to leave Moscow, left his fridge and TV set in the cell, and departed the Butyrka.
Sources in the General Prosecutor’s Office say that Gusinsky was released because he had the order of Friendship of Peoples. Gusinsky’s lawyers are of the opinion that the General Prosecutor’s Office took President Putin’s words that the restrictive measure taken with regards to Gusinsky was “too much” of a hint. Gusinsky himself believes that the president must have been informed on the businessman’s upcoming detention.
Gusinsky said in his interview with Newsweek that the support of journalists, Russian businessmen, the US Administration, and the All-World Jewish Community had helped him greatly.
According to Gusinsky, the Kremlin is out to establish total control and “is contemplating arrests of some other oligarchs”. When asked to specify, Gusinsky named Vagit Alekperov, head of LUKOIL oil corporation, and some leaders of YUKOS oil company.
THE JUSTICE MINISTRY REGISTERED UNITY PARTY
Rossiiskaya Gazeta, June 20, 2000, p. 3
Fortification of the Unity’s positions has provided an impetus for the unification of the right. Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces have finally announced that “there is nothing impossible in the world” meaning that their unification was not impossible after all.
The parties and movements that used to play on common field with the Unity have also felt vibrations in their positions. Among them are Fatherland, All Russia, Our Home is Russia, the forgotten Ivan Rybkin’s Bloc, PRES, and some others.
Do we have a political center in the spectrum now? Can the Unity be sure of its stability and vitality?
Boris Gryzlov: No more extremes. The Unity is supported by those who are fed up with the ideological battle of the right versus the left and who are interested in making progress. Fighting each other, the right and the left “mutually destroy each other”. A kind of vacuum appears in the existing correlation of forces, and nature does not tolerate vacuum. These days, the Unity is filling it.