IGOR SUTYAGIN STILL IN JAIL

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IGOR SUTYAGIN STILL IN JAIL

Izvestia, February 7, 2001, p. 2

The Kaluga Regional Court has refused to invite 74 defense witnesses to court for the trial of Igor Sutyagin, head of military-political research at the US-Canada Institute, who is charged with espionage. On February 7, the Supreme Court is to consider an appeal from Sutyagin’s lawyers.

At a press conference on February 6, Sutyagin’s lawyers Anna Stavitskaya and Boris Kuznetsov said that Sutyagin had drawn his own conclusions about the structure of Russia’s missile defense shield, and about some parts of the Armed Forces, by analyzing official reports from senior military officials. These reports were not secret. Sutyagin forwarded his analyses to Sean Kidd and Nadia Lock at the British consulting firm Alternative Futures, who have been branded foreign spies.

Kuznetsov said that the essence of this case is that the Federal Security Service is a large organization with the stated purpose of catching spies, and it needs to justify its existence. He noted that the charges are based purely on Sutyagin’s own statements, which he made investigators while unaware that they could use his words against him.

SOLACE FOR MAYORS

Izvestia, February 7, 2001, p. 1

Mayors of Russian cities are asking Vladimir Putin for an audience. Khabarovsk Mayor Alexander Sokolov has announced that the president’s regulations regarding local government are not being followed.

Perhaps this desire for an audience is connected with the fact that the Duma intends to consider the bill on local government soon. It is worth noting that in Russia there are two federal commissions on local government: one is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko, and the other by the president. However, neither commission held any meetings in 2000.

NEMTSOV: KIRIENKO WILL NOT JOIN UNITY

Izvestia, February 7, 2001, p. 4

Boris Nemtsov, leader of the Union of Right Forces (URF) Duma faction, said on Echo of Moscow radio on February 6 that he is sure the New Force movement led by Sergei Kirienko will not join Unity.

Nemtsov’s deputy Viktor Pokhmelkin noted that New Force, a component of the URF, has not yet decided to disband. Political movements included in the URF are meant to disband in preparation for forming a political party on the basis of the bloc. However, some members of New Force propose that New Force should become an independent party. Others want to join Unity.

Unity leader Boris Gryzlov says his movement is ready to consider such proposals.

OIL EXPORT BOOST IN FEBRUARY

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, February 7, 2001, p. 1

The government commission on access to oil pipelines has recommended increasing oil export by three million tons in February. It has also decided to deprive tax-evading companies of their access to pipelines.

At February 5 the price of Russian oil was $28 a barrel. Russian oil company analysts consider that by mid-February oil prices may reach $30 a barrel. That is why the government commission has decided to increase oil exports.

RUSSIAN FIGHTER JETS SHOWN IN INDIA

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, February 7, 2001, p. 2

The third international air show Aero-India 2001 opens February 7 at the Yelahanka air base of the Indian Armed Forces near Bangalor. The expo is organized by the Department of Military Industry and Logistics of the Indian Defense Ministry.

One of the largest displays is from Russia. Fifty Russian aerospace companies will exhibit their products.

Attention will certainly focus on the Irkutsk Aviation Production Enterprise (IAPE). Last year, an agreement for licensed production of Su-30MKI fighters was made on the basis of this enterprise.

BILLIONS FOR THE PRESIDENT’S HOMETOWN

Moskovsky Komsomolets, February 7, 2001, p. 2

Viktor Cherkesov, presidential envoy for the North-Western federal district, has announced that at least 1 billion rubles will be required to refurbish the historic center of St. Petersburg in time for the city’s 300th anniversary celebrations in 2003. Restoration work is also planned for the Hermitage and the Mariinsky Theater. A great deal of money will be spent on a ring road and a dam, since there are a number of transport problems in the city and it is still frequently flooded. Overall, about 40 billion rubles will be allocated to the city for these purposes.

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