DECREE COMES INTO EFFECT ON JULY 3

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DECREE COMES INTO EFFECT ON JULY 3

Izvestia, July 4, 2000, p. 2

The decree of the Russian president “On the state commission for facilitating political resolution on the Trans-Dniester problem” comes into effect on July 3. Yevgeny Primakov of the Fatherland-All Russia is chairman.

Actually, this is the first time since his resignation that this political heavyweight will be receiving something specific to do. On the other hand, Primakov has already acted in the capacity of a peacekeeper in all sorts of conflicts, local and otherwise. It is not as if he were always successful. His trip to “pal Saddam” in 1991 did not prevent the Desert Storm. His bringing of Vladislav Ardzinba to the negotiations in Tbilisi did not result in peace between Georgia and Abkhazia…

It stands to reason to assume that Primakov’s audience with President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin was not restricted to the Trans-Dniester region and its problems. They must have discussed something else. Like the fortification of vertical power flow, for example.

RUSSIA AND INFLATION

Izvestia, July 4, 2000, p. 3

Quite unexpectedly, Russia is encountering a problem nobody expected. It is the problem of inflation. It grew by 6.8 percent in the first five months of the year. President Vladimir Putin told the Cabinet that it amounted to 2.5 percent in June, bringing up the total in six months to 9.33 percent.

This inflation is different from all previous ones. Prices go up while the ruble remains in place.

Putin: The money the government offers exceeds what the economy can consume.

He is correct. It is bad when money is scarce. It is also bad when it is in excess. But this is only when there is nothing to invest it in. On the contrary, when excess money is used by the production sector it results in true economic growth.

How can this problem be solved?

Vladimir Mau, Director of the Economic Reforms Working Center: The strategic solution is in the attraction of investors. As for the tactic, we have to “sterilize” the abundant money through state treasury bills and by regulating the interest rates. Essentially, whether money goes into servicing of inflation or economic growth depends on investors.

Again, everything depends on how conducive the atmosphere is for investment, and the readiness of economic structures.

SOME STATISTICAL DATA

Izvestia, July 4, 2000, p. 2

The State Statistics Committee has produced an abstract of the growth of the Russian economy and society in the first quarter of the year and discovered that the economic gap between the strata of society remained quite significant. Ten percent of the wealthiest citizens possess over one-third of all monetary income of the population while 10 percent of the poorest own 2.4 percent. On the other hand, both the wealthy and the poor have become poorer. In the first quarter of 1999, 110 percent of the wealthiest had over 40 percent of all monetary income. During the same period in 2000 the percentage has fallen to 33.7. As for the poorest citizens, they had 2.7 percent of all money income in 1999. This year the figure is 2.4 percent.

VLADIMIR PUTIN MEETS WITH DUMA LEADERS

Moskovsky Komsomolets, July 4, 2000, p. 1

On Monday morning the president received Yevgeny Primakov, in the evening he intended to meet with Boris Nemtsov. Today he plans to meet with Grigori Yavlinsky of Yabloko. As for Gennadi Zyuganov, he is currently on a vacation in Mineralnye Vody, but the president will probably meet with some other communist leaders. It goes without saying that all consultations will be centered around the possibility of reaching a compromise with senators on the law “On formation of the Federation Council”.

KONSTANTIN TITOV REELECTED AS SAMARA GOVERNOR

Moskovsky Komsomolets, July 4, 2000, p. 2

To win the gubernatorial election, a candidate has to poll over 50 percent. Titov polled more than 53 percent. His major rival, Victor Tarkhov, president of the Samara Public Development Fund, polled only about 30 percent.

AUSHEV CALLS IT A PROVOCATION

Moskovsky Komsomolets, July 4, 2000, p. 2

Ingush President Ruslan Aushev says that the failure of the parliamentary election in Ingushetia was a “planned action”.

The Ingush president’s PR department released a statement in this regard, saying that “the republican Supreme Court was also involved in the action”. Because of the “plotters”, “the Ingush people were deprived of their right to choose their representative in the supreme legislative body. That is why most citizens of the republic refused to partake in a non-democratic election, and members of district and territorial commissions resigned.”

WILL SENATORS REACH AN AGREEMENT WITH THE DUMA?

Trud, July 4, 2000, p. 1

A political scandal became a grim possibility last week when the Federation Council vetoed the draft law on the new procedure for forming the upper house of the parliament. What will happen now?

Political Scientist Georgy Satarov: Restoring order in such a complicated matter is impossible when force is the only method employed. Here is an example. If you want to fight corruption by means of force alone, you will merely be replacing one set of corrupt officials with another. A solution is possible only when the interests of all involved parties are taken into account. And the interests of every single governor, minister, or deputy are not restricted to personal enrichment only. He or she does not wake up with the though of where he or she can get another bribe, you know.

These interests are multiple. That is why we should be looking for common interests.

What is the meaning of the attack? Why do the governors have to defend themselves? It means the following: you have become czars, you do what you want, that is why you are responsible for everything. That is all.

As a matter of fact, all branches of the government are compromised. I think that everybody in the corridors of power are aware of that. In other words, a compromise will be reached.

ON RUSSIA’S FOREIGN DEBT

Trud, July 4, 2000, p. 3

In 1999, Russia’s foreign debt increased by 0.8 per cent, from $156.6 billion to 157.81 billion.

GERASCHENKO: THE POLICY OF THE CENTRAL BANK IS OPTIMAL

Trud, July 4, 2000, p. 3

Central Bank Chairman Viktor Geraschenko says that the ruble exchange rate should be floating to make export effective and to prevent import from being ineffective.

Geraschenko does not think that the International Monetary Fund will make the loans promised to Russia available.

THE SCANDAL OVER NORILSK NICKEL: AN UPDATE

Komsomolskaya Pravda, July 4, 2000, p. 3

Yesterday, the Prosecutor General’s Office requested from the Moscow prosecutor’s office the materials on the sale of 38 percent of the company.

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