THE TAX OFFICE THWARTS THE SALE OF LUKOIL
Izvestia, July 12, 2000, p. 2
On July 11, the Information Department of the Federal Service of Tax Police circulated a report that it had instigated criminal proceedings against the directors of LUKOIL regarding the concealment of large sums from taxation offices.
This report has caused the price of the shares of the company to decline. Despite the efforts of LUKOIL aimed at supporting the stock prices, the slump has not been stopped. The blow on the market was delivered on the eve of placing American Depositary Receipts (ADR) for a 4.5% stake of LUKOIL. It was predicted that the profit of this placing would amount to about $50 million and the money would be transferred to the state treasury. The company intends to sue the Information Department.
The directors of the oil company are accused of hiding a few hundreds million dollars from taxation offices in 1998-1999. Currently, this story is rather vague.
Izvestia, July 12, 2000, p. 3
On July 11, officials of the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Security Service appeared in the central office of Media-MOST again. According to Pavel Astakhov, a lawyer of Media-MOST, the investigators confiscated all the financial documents of the holding and personal files of high-ranking employees. According to the officials of the General Prosecutor’s Office, the confiscation of documents was carried out within the framework of the criminal proceeding into the violations in the course of the privatization of the Russian Video company.
Rumors are circulating that a search, connected with the case of Media-MOST, was conducted in Gazprom. The investigators were interested in the terms of the credits given by Gazprom to Media-MOST. Later, reports were confirmed that officials of the General Prosecutor’s Office had visited the central office of Gazprom, where they reached an agreement with representatives of the holding, according to which they will receive all documents regarding Gusinsky’s case.
On July 11, Deputy General Prosecutor Vasily Kolmogortsev confirmed that the confiscation of documents in Gazprom and Media-MOST was carried out within the framework of Gusinsky’s case. He noted: “It was not a search. This is an ordinary activity within the framework of the instigated criminal proceeding. These activities are necessary in order to obtain the documents, which are connected with the financial relations between Media-MOST and Gazprom.”
WHO IS MAKING HOLES IN THE NUCLEAR SHIELD?
Komsomolskaya Pravda, July 12, 2000, p. 6
A few days ago, a group of generals (veterans of the Strategic Missile Force), headed by Yury Maksimov, former Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Missile Force, sent Russian President Vladimir Putin an open letter, in which they criticized the plans of the Russian General Staff to reduce the potential of the Strategic Missile Force by six times. The veterans believe that this will lead “to an inevitable loss of the potential of nuclear containment.”
MOSCOW IS ALARMED
Moskovsky Komsomolets, July 12, 2000, p. 2
Yury Luzhkov is alarmed about the situation in the North Caucasus. He stated that “terrorist acts could spread into other regions.”
He noted that last year, the situation had developed according to a similar scenario. Currently, this situation could be repeated. In the meantime, the Federal Security Service and police are preparing to avert terrorist acts in Moscow.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE – 3
Moskovsky Komsomolets, July 12, 2000, p. 2
On July 11, a mission of the International Monetary Fund arrived in Moscow in order to establish a new credit agreement. The mission will surely be interested in the payments of debts.
The mission will work in Moscow until the end of the week. Experts state that the fact that the mission will spend only a week in Moscow is a good sign, because it means that the sides have already reached an agreement regarding their principal misunderstandings.
THE GENERAL PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE ASKED POTANIN TO PAY FOR NORILSKY NIKEL
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, July 12, 2000, p. 4
The General Prosecutor’s Office demanded that Vladimir Potanin, Director of the Interros financial-industrial group, compensate the losses of the state that resulted from the privatization of Norilsky Nikel and return $140 million.
The General Prosecutor’s Office suggested that in 1995, UNEXIMbank, headed by Potanin, bought a 38% stake of Norilsky Nikel at a price understated by $140 million. According to the General Prosecutor’s Office, UNEXIMbank paid only $170 million, instead of $310 million.
Potanin answered the General Prosecutor’s Office in his letter: “I consider the results of the privatization of Norilsky Nikel to be legal. But if the Prosecutor’s Office has a different point of view. I suggest that this issue be considered in the Arbitration Court.”
BANDITS ATTACKED FROM THE REAR
Trud, July 12, 2000, p.2
The chief of the Stavropol Department of the Interior Ministry announced: one more terrorist act of Wahhabist terrorism was averted in Karachevo-Cherkessia.
The arsenal of bandits, which was confiscated by policemen a few days ago near the Vorolesskaya settlement (the border of Stavropol and Karachevo-Cherkessia), made an impression on observers.
Judging by the arsenal, Wahhabis from Karachevo-Cherkessia were preparing for a very serious terrorist act. It is possible that they received an order from their “spiritual teachers” to encircle the federal forces in the Chechen mountains.