ON PREMIER’S KASIANOV TOUR ABROAD

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ON PREMIER’S KASIANOV TOUR ABROAD

Vremya Novostei, April 23, 2001, p. 2

Premier Mikhail Kasianov’s Western tour will take him to Hannover to Berlin to Stockholm. The tour is going to be hard. The matter concerns Germany’s inflexibility on the subject of Russian foreign debts. German state officials and financiers in particular all but denounce the position of their own chancellor who backed up the Kremlin’s idea of converting debts into investments. A joint statement recognizing this solution as mutual acceptable was to be signed during the meeting of Vladimir Putin and Gerhard Schroeder in St. Petersburg. Germans played back and demanded return of the debt to the tune of 6.4 billion converted rubles (this is the sum they claim Germany had sent goods to the Soviet Union for). Moscow refuses to take it face value and says it is not sure that the sum is correct or that the goods were really delivered. A high ranking state executive in Moscow told this correspondent that “If Germany persists in its demands concerning the converted rubles, we will abandon the idea of debts-to-investments conversion in Germany’s case. I hope large German companies having and promoting their interests in the Russian market will sort it out with their officials.” During their meeting, Kasianov and Schroeder will discuss agenda of the Russian – European Union summit slated for May 17 in Moscow. Problems of energy and development of Kaliningrad will be in the focus of attention at the summit.

The German part of Kasianov’s tour began with the opening of an international industrial fair in Hannover. This is Russia’s first fair since the 1998 collapse. 7,500 companies from 60 countries participate. Seventy percent of Russia’s exposition are products of the military-industrial complex, and high technologies account for the remaining 30%. Eighty-two Russian companies, mostly from Moscow and St. Petersburg, participate in the fair. Experts in the Russian delegation say thee German leadership has all but agreed to reactivate the joint commission for military-technical cooperation. Germans have the idea of joint modernization of the MIG-70.

Kasianov will fly over to Stockholm this evening.

FOUR DEPUTIES TO QUIT THE UNITY FACTION

Vremya Novostei, April 23, 2001, p. 2

Deputies Vladimir Koptev-Dvornikov, Vladimir Semenov, Alexander Barannikov and Andrei Vulf of the movement Generation of Freedom (one of the founders of the electoral bloc Bear) plan to quit the Unity faction because of its upcoming unification with the Fatherland.

To tell the truth, their position in the faction has never been very solid. Talking about the necessity of a purge six months ago, Unity leader Sergei Shoigu mentioned Koptev-Dvornikov.

Deputies themselves ascribe it to refusal of the Generation of Freedom to self-disband for the sake of swelling the Unity’s ranks.

As a party, the Unity is unlikely to be affected by the loss of the Generation of Freedom. As a faction, it faces the risk of failure to become the largest faction of the lower house of the parliament. According to what information we have compiled, the four deputies may end up in the Union of Right Forces.

THE GOVERNMENT AND THE CENTRAL BANK SIGN A JOINT STATEMENT ON ECONOMIC POLICY

Rossiya, April 23, 2001, p. 4

Premier Mikhail Kasianov and Central Bank Chairman Viktor Geraschenko signed a joint statement on the economic policy in 2001 and some aspects of the future strategy. The documents outlines some key measures specified by the Cabinet’s long-term economic program and plans of the reforms. Specifically, they include measures aimed to up collection of taxes and perfection of the budget policy.

The document states that the economic policy of the government and the Central Bank aims to ensure a stable economic growth, lower down inflation rates, and diminish economy’s dependance on export prices. A considerable increase of the population’s income, decrease of the level of impoverishment, and reduction of differentiation of income are strategic tasks of the socioeconomic development.

CHUBAIS AND PULIKOVSKY ARE A TEAM

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, April 24, 2001, p. 2

Konstantin Pulikovsky, presidential plenipotentiary representative in the Far East federal region, and Anatoly Chubais of the Russia’s Joint Energy Systems formed a team to handle energy problems of Primorie together. Both are in Vladivostok now, convening a conference on the problems of central heating and electricity on all territories comprising the Far East federal region. According to Pulikovsky, the fact itself of the conference shows that the president is aware of the problem…

VLADIMIR PEKHTIN: 16 IS BETTER THAN 12

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, April 24, 2001, p. 3

This is how Pekhtin commented on the initiative of Gennadi Raikov of the People’s Deputy who proposed a reduction of the number of Duma committees from 28 to 12.

Pekhtin: I’d have redistributed the functions differently and left 16 committees.

DRAFT AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW "ON THE GOVERNMENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION" PREPARED

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, April 24, 2001, p. 3

The document drafted by deputy Andrei Klimov proposes that Article 7 of the law specify that chairman of the government may become a Russian citizen after 35 who has lived in Russia for no less than a decade.

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