WILL ROKHLINA BE RELEASED FROM CUSTODY?

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WILL ROKHLINA BE RELEASED FROM CUSTODY?

Trud, March 2, 2001, p. 1

The Supreme Court has challenged the conviction of Tamara Rokhlina (convicted of murdering her husband), thus upholding the appeal from Rokhlina’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who says the verdict was flawed – because her guilt was not proven in court.

The Supreme Court decision shows that there is no convincing evidence that the general’s widow is guilty. Kucherena told us he is glad that the Supreme Court agreed with his arguments.

ZYUGANOV WANTS TO IMPROVE HIS PARTY’S IMAGE

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, March 2, 2001, p. 3

Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov says he has completed collecting signatures required to move a vote of no confidence in the Cabinet.

How many signatures has he collected? Zyuganov said at a press conference at Interfax that he has collected 111 signatures. However, when we contacted the Communist Party, representatives said the signatures have not been counted yet.

The Communists have launched this action (vote of no confidence) to improve their own ratings. Judging by a poll done by the Public Opinion Foundation, most Russian citizens have confidence in President Vladimir Putin. Only 13% of respondents have confidence in the Cabinet. The Duma is supported by 7%.

OIL IS CHEAPER, GASOLINE IS MORE EXPENSIVE

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, March 2, 2001, p. 3

An unprecedented drop in world oil prices has forced the government to halve export tariffs. In the second half of January, oil prices fell to $26 a barrel. If export tariffs are not cut, the budget will lose up to $200 million within two or three months. According to the commission on protection in foreign trade, the fuel surplus on global markets carries the risk of another drop in oil prices. What effect will this have on Russian consumers?

Sergei Borisov, President of the Russian Fuel Union, thinks that the tariffs depend on demand in the West, not the domestic market. The reduction of export tariffs will increase oil exports. As a consequence, “fuel crises” in Russia are inevitable. According to Borisov, tariffs should be set on a week-by-week basis.

The Russian Fuel Agency considers that as a result of export tariffs being reduced, gasoline prices in Russia will rise.

GUSINSKY IS NOT THE PRESIDENT

Izvestia, March 2, 2001, p. 2

Vladimir Gusinsky, under house arrest in Spain, has resigned as president of the Russian Jewish Congress. Leonid Nevzlin, deputy chairman of YUKOS, has been appointed acting president of the Congress.

Mr. Gusinsky commented on his resignation as follows: “Owing to well-known circumstances, I cannot visit Russia. That’s why I cannot run the Congress.”

NOTARY’S DEATH

Izvestia, March 2, 2001, p. 2

Anatoly Tikhenko, President of the Federal Notarial Service, was killed in Moscow on Wednesday. Tikhenko played a very important role in the Russian judicial system. He became the first independent notary in post-Soviet Russia in 1993, when President Boris Yeltsin gave him license No. 1.

According to investigators, Anatoly Tikhenko’s death is “a classic example of a contract killing”. According to analysts, the notary died as a result of five gunshot wounds. Police have found two guns (TT and PM) with silencers left behind by the murderer.

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