STAFF CHANGES IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION

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STAFF CHANGES IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION

Trud-7, June 22, 2000, p. 4

Alexander Voloshin, Director of the Presidential Administration, has signed a directive on a new distribution of functions among deputy directors, the InterFAX news agency reports. Senior Deputy Director Dmitry Medvedev is now responsible for composition and monitoring of the president’s work schedule, until now the responsibility of Igor Sechin. Medvedev will also stand in for Voloshin in the latter’s absence, and coordinate work with the government staff. Sechin is head of the presidential chancellery now, keeping track of documents, and preparing decrees and other documents for signing.

Vladislav Surkov will monitor the strategically important Main Directorate of Domestic Policy (headed by Andrei Popov) and cooperation with the Duma, Federation Council, Central Election Commission, and the Constitutional Court. Surkov will also handle ideological aspects of the work of the presidential administration.

Recently promoted to deputy director, Dmitry Kozak is responsible for coordinating the process of bringing local laws into line with federal legislation. He is head of the Main State Legal Directorate.

GAZPROM-MEDIA EXECUTIVES HOLD A PRESS CONFERENCE

Trud-7, June 22, 2000, p. 4

The press conference was held by General Director Alfred Kokh, CEO Alexander Kazakov, and Alexander Akopov, a member of the Board.

Kazakov: Gazprom-Media was established in January 1998 to boost our effectiveness in the media business, drawing up and implementing investment projects in media administration and operations.

The company lasted until late 1998. It is getting a kind of second chance now.

Kokh: Gazprom has announced a large-scale program of support and development of the domestic media…

The corporate strategy of Gazprom-Media will include efficient use of available resources and creation of new forces for the highest possible cost-effectiveness.

The company will pursue commercial rather than political interests, according to its leaders.

TOPOL-M IN THE DARK

Trud-7, June 22, 2000, p. 4

Servicemen of the Strategic Missile Forces unit stationed in the Altai Region have taken over some power plants of the Altaienergo company. Armed men took over four power plants and expelled their civilian employees.

When electricity debts of units equipped with Topol-M missile systems reached 4.9 million rubles, Altaienergo warned them that it was going to cut off electricity supplies. The unit commanders objected, citing national strategic security.

This is the third such incident in the last twelve months.

WHICH POLITICIANS DO RUSSIANS TRUST?


The Public Opinion Foundation does weekly polls, and the questions on trust/distrust ratings are the most revealing.

A month ago respondents named twelve names in such ratings, but this month the list is reduced to nine – the same names, minus the mayor of Moscow, Duma chairman, and interior minister.

Komsomolskaya Pravda, June 22, 2000, p. 3

Vladimir Putin 45

Gennadi Zyuganov 17

Aman Tuleev 10

Grigori Yavlinsky 8

Mikhail Kasianov 6

Yevgeny Primakov 6

Vladimir Zhirinovsky 6

Sergei Shoigu 5

Sergei Kirienko4

UPDATE ON THE NATIONAL STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Izvestia, June 22, 2000, p. 1

The government will discuss the national strategic development program on June 28. This program was written by Herman Gref’s Strategic Developments Center. Persistent rumors from the Cabinet imply that Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov is strongly dissatisfied with the program.

This is an interview with Arkady Dvorkovich, one of the authors of the program and head of the Finance Ministry’s Expert Group, who says that the situation with the program is considerably less dramatic.

Question: How radical are the changes made to the program over the last few days?

Answer: The latest amendments have not fundamentally changed the program. Yes, it is now half the length of the initial version, mostly because of cuts in the part dedicated to analysis of the situation. We have not abandoned a single liberal principle which the initial draft included.

Question: Is there a chance that the discussion of the program may be delayed? It was already postponed from June 23 to 28, after all.

Answer: The postponement was purely technical, you know. What with their tough schedules, it is difficult for ministers to study a 230-page document thoroughly. Hence the decision to prepare for Cabinet members a summary of 15-20 pages, outlining priorities for the next eighteen months. This document will be adopted together with the program.

Question: Do you think the program will be adopted?

Answer: I don’t see why not, because some serious work has been done with all ministries.

Question: If the program is adopted, will Kasianov control its implementation?

Answer: Sure he will.

AMENDMENT TO THE LAW ON POLICE

Izvestia, June 22, 2000, p. 1

On June 21, the Duma adopted in the second and the third readings an amendment to the law “On Police”, giving the interior minister the power to dismiss heads of regional police directorates without local authorities’ consent.

UNION OF RIGHT FORCES AND YABLOKO WILL UNITE

Izvestia, June 22, 2000, p. 3

According to an agreement signed on June 21, the coalition of Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces will take shape next year.

The event was a success in PR terms. As for the contents of the document, the signatories emphasize its “specific and not abstract nature.” Judging by the prologue, this is not the case. The prologue states that the agreement is signed “because of the need to consolidate democratic liberal forces in Russia and pool our efforts to reinforce the basic values – civil society, market economy, and a state based on the rule of law.”

The prologue precedes seven clauses. Their implementation is supposed to merge Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces into an alliance. The first two clauses are so far-reaching, however, that we cannot take the whole document seriously. Both signatories see it as necessary to “unify into a single coalition, in the next year or two, all political groups that uphold democratic liberal values.”

The Union of Right Forces and Yabloko “will come up with a single list of candidates for the federal district and a common list of candidates for single-mandate districts at the next election.”

ON THE UPCOMING URAL ARMS 2000 EXPO

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, June 22, 2000, p. 1

The arms expo will be organized in the city of Nizhny Tagil between July 11 and 15. Recently declassified weapons systems will be displayed.

One hundred and thirty-five enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex plan to participate in the exhibition, 65 of them for the first time.

MEDIA IS RUMORED TO BE IN TROUBLE

Tribuna, June 22, 2000, p. 2

Rumors in the corridors of power indicate that the Federal Security Service is about to crack down on the media. A department for monitoring information sources will be formed in the Federal Security Service.

This body will have to oversee all media; prevent leaks from the Kremlin, the Russian White House, and ministries; and infiltrate the media and related structures.

ILYA KLEBANOV RESISTS

Tribuna, June 22, 2000, p. 2

With Grigori Rapota appointed first deputy minister of industry, science, and technology (he will be in charge of arms sales), Deputy Prime Minister Klebanov seems to have defeated Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov, who planned to give this post to Alexander Kotelkin, ex-director of the Rosvooruzhenie arms export company.

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