STATEMENT FROM THE RUSSIAN PEN-CENTER

0
9

STATEMENT FROM THE RUSSIAN PEN-CENTER

Izvestia, December 7, 2000, p. 1

This is not the first time that writers of the Russian PEN-Center have expressed their indignation at the fact that despite all public protests, the music of the Soviet national anthem, the anthem of the Bolsheviks, is being forced on Russia.

Another attempt is being made to present us with a fait accompli. We are left with the impression that the president is a hostage of those who were behind two coups attempts in this country, and are still dreaming of “the good old days”.

Adopting the music of the Soviet national anthem will mean burning all bridges; society will be split, and the regime will lose all public respect.

PRIME MINISTER KASIANOV MEETS WITH BUSINESS LEADERS

Izvestia, December 7, 2000, p. 2

The second meeting of the government’s Entrepreneurs Council, dubbed the Oligarch Club, was held yesterday.

Those present discussed the draft of Article 25 of the Tax Code, which covers business revenue.

According to Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov, Duma deputies have developed two bills. Before finalizing its own conclusions, the Cabinet resolved to discuss this issue with business leaders. The Council set up a working group and gave it two weeks to formulate its conclusions on key issues in the bills (tax breaks for investors, and profit tax).

The Council includes 24 business leaders, including Oleg Deripaska (Russian Aluminum), Dmitry Zimin (Vympelkom), Pyotr Aven (Alpha-Bank), Anatoly Daursky (Red October confectionery).

ORT STRIKES BACK

Izvestia, December 7, 2000, p. 2

Georgy Tsabria, senior investigator of the Moscow Transport Prosecutor’s Office, was relieved of his duties yesterday on Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov’s personal orders. It was Tsabria who led the search at the head office of the ORT television network, where financial records were confiscated.

Tsabria is refusing to comment on the latest developments.

Ustinov made a statement to the effect that “the use of force in this particular case was not warranted.”

The search and confiscation of documents lasted over twelve hours.

WILL REGIONAL LEADERS BE ELECTED OR APPOINTED?

Izvestia, December 7, 2000, p. 3

A new bill was submitted to the Duma Council yesterday. If and when it is passed, this law will expand the president’s powers, making it possible for him to appoint regional leaders.

The initiative came from Vitaly Lednik of the Unity faction. It would mean that regional leaders who wish to retain their posts would have to prove their competence to the president rather than to the electorate. If the bill is passed, Putin will have the right to appoint regional leaders.

The Duma will only be able to debate the bill in February or March 2001; unless the Kremlin decides it needs this law earlier than that.

RUSSIANS APPEAL TO THE EUROPEAN COURT

Izvestia, December 7, 2000, p. 3

The European Court of Human Rights has received almost 3,000 appeals from Russians. According to Vladimir Kartashkin, Chairman of the Presidential Human Rights Commission, almost 1,000 of them were returned because of a failure to comply with required procedures.

Kartashkin: Most of them concern human rights abuses by police, improper methods of investigation, and other such matters.

STROYEV DOES NOT WANT GOVERNORS APPOINTED

Izvestia, December 7, 2000, p. 3

Federation Council Speaker Yegor Stroyev is convinced that the federal regime should withstand the temptation to change the electoral system in the regions.

Stroyev: All these calls and initiatives for the appointment of regional leaders are unconstitutional. Amending the principle of electing regional leaders requires amendment of the constitution.

REGIONAL ELECTIONS: AN UPDATE FROM CHUKOTKA

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, December 7, 2000, EV

The election commission of the Chukotka Autonomous District has considered an appeal from Svetlana Troitskaya, the only woman running for governor, who has chosen to withdraw from the race. Troitskaya believes that voters are being bought in Chukotka, and there is no level playing field.

Alexander Popov, another candidate, also wants out. Popov appeared on Chukotka regional radio and television, saying that the Pole of Hope Foundation, set up by Roman Abramovich, was buying votes. Only four other candidates for governor remain: Abramovich, Vladimir Yetylin, Alexander Nazarov, and Sergei Tsyplakov.

According to rumors that can be heard in Chukotka, if Abramovich becomes the governor, Tatiana Diachenko (Yeltsin’s daughter) will then run for parliament from Chukotka (the Duma seat currently held by Abramovich).

The election on the Chukotka Peninsula is scheduled for December 24.

LEAVE A REPLY