FEDERATION COUNCIL PASSES THE TAX CODE

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FEDERATION COUNCIL PASSES THE TAX CODE

Izvestia, July 27, 2000, p. 3

At its plenary session on Wednesday, the Federation Council passed four items of the second part of the Tax Code. One hundred and fifteen senators voted in favor, five voted against, with 22 abstentions.

ENVIRONMENTALISTS WANT A REFERENDUM

Izvestia, July 27, 2000, p. 3

The Moscow election commission has registered an initiative group which advocates a nationwide referendum on ecological issues, according to Chairman of the Central Election Commission Alexander Veshnyakov.

Veshnyakov says that the group plans to offer three questions: “Do you object to importing radioactive materials from abroad for storage, processing, and burial on the territory of the Russian Federation?” “Do you support the idea of a federal government agency for environmental protection in Russia, independent of the existing structures, for the use and management of natural resources?” and “Do you support the idea of a legally independent forestry service in Russia?”

Veshnyakov says that numerous attempts to organize nationwide referendums in Russia have failed because their organizers never managed to collect the necessary number of signatures on petitions, or the signatures already collected were suspect and therefore invalidated.

INVESTIGATION IMPEDED

Izvestia, July 27, 2000, p. 3

Alexander Veshnyakov, Chairman of the Central Election Commission, is concerned “about the overt obstruction of investigations and criminal proceedings instigated due to the unsuccessful election in Ingushetia.” Veshnyakov emphasizes that “response to such brazen cases should be instantaneous.”

Veshnyakov says that he “does not have any information on preliminary conclusions of the prosecutor’s office.”

The parliamentary election in Ingushetia on July 2 was disrupted when the Ingushetian Supreme Court annulled the registration of candidate Alikhan Amirkhanov several hours before voting was due to begin.

TAX CODE ADOPTED DESPITE RESERVATIONS

Moskovsky Komsomolets, July 27, 2000, p. 1

The Cabinet did not expect the Tax Code to pass the upper house of parliament yesterday. Neither did the Kremlin, the Duma, or the Russian White House. Prime Minister Kasianov then took the matter into his own hands. He summoned “regional oligarchs” and asked them to support the Tax Code. As a result, 115 Federation Council members voted in favor, and only five voted against.

EMIGRATION IS FALLING

Moskovsky Komsomolets, July 27, 2000, p. 3

Many fewer Russians opted to leave Russia permanently in the first five months of 200 than in the analogous period of 1999: 58,300 against 80,700.

According to the federal State Statistics Committee, 143,500 people settled in Russia between January and May 2000: 9,500 more than in the same period of 1999.

CHECHNYA WILL HAVE ITS RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, July 27, 2000, p. 1

Nine branches of the office of Vladimir Kalamanov, special envoy of the Russian president for human rights and civil liberties in Chechnya, will begin operation in Chechnya from next week, according to a decision made at a conference in the village of Znamenskoye.

Two branches will be established in Grozny (the Staropromyslovsky and Lenin districts), and one each in the settlements of Urus-Martan, Gudermes, Argun, Shali, and Naur, Shelkovsk, and Grozny-Selsky districts.

TARIQ AZIZ MEETS WITH STATE OFFICIALS IN MOSCOW

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, July 27, 2000, p. 2

Specifically, Tariq Aziz of Iraq met with President Putin, to whom he gave a personal message from Saddam Hussein. Aziz and Putin discussed the possibility of lifting UN sanctions, and prospects for Russian-Iraqi relations.

Putin assured Aziz that Russia was going to “steadfastly hold its position of protecting Iraq at the UN.”

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