THE DUMA BACKS THE PRESIDENT

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THE DUMA BACKS THE PRESIDENT

Nash Vek, June 28, 2000, p. 2

After a brief debate, the Duma left the draft statement “On political support for the Russian president” on the agenda.

The statement was proposed by LDPR deputy Aleksei Mitrofanov. The Union of Right Forces and Yabloko moved to kill the draft, but the majority disagreed. The draft statement will be debated in the afternoon.

The Duma adopted in the second reading the Code of administrative violations. Misuse of state funds will be penalized by a fine of between 40 and 50 times the minimal monthly wage.

SENATORS DO NOT SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT

Nash Vek, June 28, 2000, p. 2

The Federation Council voted down the presidential bill on reorganization of the upper house of parliament.

It was a secret ballot. Along with that, senators voted in favor of stripping Duma deputies of parliamentary immunity as well.

Senators dislike the president’s proposal that they should focus on local issues, sending their representatives to Moscow to evaluate federal laws from the regions’ point of view.

Many Duma deputies are determined to override the senatorial veto, but not all at once, and certainly not for no return. The president may get the support he needs, but only in return for certain compromises with the left. Agrarians admit it openly. Yabloko has not discussed the matter yet, according to Grigori Yavlinsky’s press secretary Yevgenya Dillendorf.

LAMBERTO DINI ADVOCATES CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE WITH RUSSIA

Trud-7, June 29, 2000, p. 2

Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini, who is also Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, delivered a speech at the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. As predicted and expected, he denounced the scandalous decision of the April PACE session to suspend the voting rights of the Russian delegation, and spoke in favor of restoring them.

To tell the truth, there is nothing exceptional about this. In May, foreign ministers of the Council of Europe advocated constructive cooperation with Russia, in spite of the determination of Euro-parliamentarian hotheads.

Dini said that Russia had made considerable progress on the situation in Chechnya, and that some specific measures had been taken for resolving the crisis.

SHAIMIYEV ADVOCATES A REFERENDUM

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, June 29, 2000, p. 1

Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiyev advocates a referendum on whether or not members of the Duma and Federation Council need immunity.

Shaimiyev: I believe that regional leadership should not be weakened.

Gennadi Raikov, leader of the group Russian Regions, does not doubt that the Duma will be able to override the senatorial veto on the procedure of formation of the Federation Council. Raikov says that as far as he is concerned, the discussions at the Federation Council show that senators put their personal interests and security above the idea itself of fortification of the state power.

MASKHADOV’S EMISSARIES ARE STILL ACTIVE

Komsomolskaya Pravda, June 29, 2000, p. 3

Aslan Maskhadov’s emissaries were very active indeed at the Global Forum for Democracy in Warsaw, Poland. Nobody knows exactly how the Chechen separatists came to be the assembly of nongovernmental organizations, human rights groups, and businesses from 85 countries; but they demanded that “Moscow should be punished for Chechnya.” A tough resolution was adopted, despite protests from Sergei Markov, Russian representative and head of the Political Surveys Institute. The resolution called for suspension of hostilities in the North Caucasus and deployment of international observers. If Moscow objects, the resolution states, it should be expelled from the international democratic community.

COUNCIL OF EUROPE THAWS TOWARD RUSSIA

Komsomolskaya Pravda, June 29, 2000, p. 4

On Tuesday, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe voted down the recommendation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that Russia should be suspended from the Council. Russian Ambassador to Europe Andrei Vdovin says that a special decision was made, prepared after two days of debates among ambassadors at the Committee of Ministers. It was decided to recommend restoring the voting rights of the Russian delegation, and developing relations between Russia and the Council of Europe.

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