IT IS FUN TO SEARCH TOGETHER

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IT IS FUN TO SEARCH TOGETHER

Izvestia, August 30, 2000, p. 2

FBI Director Louis Free intends to visit Moscow on September 12. The main topic of discussion will be cooperation in fighting terrorism.

According to our sources, the Russian special services have given the FBI a detailed plan of the bomb blast site, photos of the suspects and devices which could contain explosives. American experts checked this information in their databases. It is possible that Louis Free intends to inform his Russian counterparts on the results of the check.

The leaders of the Russian Interior Ministry have requested the FBI to provide information on Chechen terrorists. According to Americans, the FBI “considers it possible that there is a link between the Chechen groups and international terrorist Osama bin Laden.” Moscow and Washington are alarmed by the recent statements of the notorious terrorist that he wants to obtain such weapons as a nuclear bomb or toxic gas.

THE DUMA WATCHES TV

Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 30, 2000, p. 2

While ordinary Muscovites are cut off from television, state officials can watch all TV programs. On August 29 TV sets in the Russian White House were showing all programs without any problems. It is possible that a dedicated communication link was activated. A certain Moscow telecommunications provider stated that thanks to its fiber-optic line “all buildings of the Moscow municipal government, the Duma, and the regional administration are receiving TV programs”.

ZYUGANOV BLAMES TV TOWER FIRE ON THE PROFIT MOTIVE

Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 30, 2000, p. 2

Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov intends to demand the annulment of certain presidential decrees and reconsideration of national budget policy in order to prevent disasters similar to the one at the Ostankino TV tower.

According to Zyuganov this incident happened because all TV channels were given over to the control of the private sector. He thinks that these private companies don’t intend to repair or upgrade the equipment. Their main aim is to make a profit.

A DEFICIT-FREE BUDGET

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, August 30, 2000, p. 1

Alexander Zhukov, Chairman of the Duma Budget Committee, stressed in an interview yesterday that the main feature of the draft 2001 budget is that it is deficit-free. In Zhukov’s opinion, its other positive features are maximal consolidation of financial resources in the federal budget, and financial transparency. Besides, the budget envisages more productive tax collection and an easing of the tax burden. According to Zhukov, defense spending, at 2.6% of the GDP, is very high. Budget expenditure on industry, power engineering, and construction has also been considerably increased. At the same time, expenditure on international political activities has been reduced.

Some 4.5 billion rubles are allocated for restoring the economy of Chechnya.

THERE ARE 200 MILLIONAIRES IN KARELIA

Trud, August 30, 2000, p. 1

Only 200 people in Karelia, a north-western region of Russia, have declared their incomes as 1-10 million rubles for 1999. The highest annual income declared in Karelia is 53.4 million rubles, whereas in Russia overall the richest person’s annual income for 1999 was 1.1 billion rubles. In neighboring St. Petersburg there are 2,500 millionaires.

THERE WILL BE ENOUGH SEATS ON THE STATE COUNCIL

Izvestyia, August 30, 2000, p. 3

The presidential decree on setting up the State Council is almost ready, and will be signed by Vladimir Putin at the start of September, after he returns from his trip abroad. The Kremlin has decided not to offend anyone, and will include all regional leaders in the new government body.

Initially it was planned to also offer State Council seats to leaders of Duma factions, political parties, and other public authorities. But later the Kremlin decided this was too much. This measure is generating suspicions that setting up the State Council is the first step toward abolishing the Federation Council. Having assembled the most significant half of the current upper house in the State Council, both the Kremlin and regional elites lose any need for the Federation Council. This conjecture is also supported by the Kremlin’s hints that the State Council may also be entrusted with resolving “key personnel issues.”

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