RUSSIA SUPPORTS WASHINGTON’S MIDEAST PEACE PLAN

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RUSSIA SUPPORTS WASHINGTON’S MIDEAST PEACE PLAN

Izvestia, June 29, 2001, p. 7

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said yesterday that the US and Russia do not have differences concerning resolution of the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel. He noted that Moscow support the Mitchell plan. After that he sent his envoy Andrei Vdovin to the Middle East.

Ivanov has dissociated himself from statement made by former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov who reproached Israel for its policy during the visit by members of the Fatherland-All Russia faction to Arab states.

SENATORS ARGUE OVER POLICE AND PARTIES

Izvestia, June 29, 2001, p. 4

The Federation Council meeting today will be filled with difficult questions. Senators are to discuss several important bills which will restrict regional rights, as well as personnel issues.

The main bill concerns amendments which will cancel the obligatory necessity of discussing candidates for chiefs of police departments with local authorities. The Interior Ministry will be able to appoint regional police chiefs without the approval of regional leaders.

The Federation Council is to consider the bill on political parties according to which federal parties will have a right to nominate candidates in regional elections.

The Federation Council has refused to debate the bills on spent nuclear fuel. Because two weeks have now passed since the bills were submitted to the Federation Council, they are considered approved and will be submitted to the president. However, several senators said that this question must be considered on Friday.

WHO IS THE RICHEST IN RUSSIA?

Komsomolskaya Pravda, June 29, 2001, p. 2

Only in nine subjects of the Russian Federation the purchasing capacity of the population exceeds the average rate. The Rating Agency Interfax experts made this conclusion. Moscow headed the rating, of course, with the purchasing capacity exceeding the average rate 3.3 times. Except the capital, among the richest regions are the Khanty-Mansi and Yamal-Nenets autonomic regions, the Tumen region, the Komi Republic, the Murmansk region, the Sakha Republic, Saint Petersburg and the Kemerovo region. The poorest are inhabitants of the Aginsk and Ust-Ordynsk Buryat autonomic regions, and Ingushetia.

How can it be explained? According to the State Statistics Committee, in the first quarter of 2001 income of an average Muscovite 13 times exceeded income of as average Buryat from the Ust-Ordynsk autonomic region. At that, in March this year Muscovites earned 8,614 rubles each and spent … 9996 rubles. This can be explained in the following way: too many Muscovites conceal the real amount of their salaries to avoid taxes.

In Moscow, where only 6% of the Russian population live, 25 to 30% of head offices of the majority of companies are located, almost half of the Russian wholesale trade. Do you feel the difference?

All the Russian economy has concentrated along the line Tumen-Moscow. On the one end of this line there is oil and gas, on the other – trade companies and banks, which concentrate foreign currency, earned by exporting raw stuff abroad. A bit was given to transit regions, especially those with seaports. The rest has got practically nothing.

BORODIN IS SUMMONED ON HOLIDAYS

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, June 29, 2001, p. 2

Acting secretary of the Russia-Belarus Union Pavel Borodin has been summoned for interrogation to Switzerland.

According to the Geneva canton prosecutor Bernard Bertossa, who is the chief fighter against Russian corruption, the arrival of the Kremlin’s former property manager may put an end to the prolonged case about money-laundering, and finally pass a verdict on the Russian political system.

Besides, during the first meeting with the canton prosecutor Pavel Borodin managed to use his constitutional right, according to which nobody can make a person testify against himself, and he refused to answer the court’s questions. So the subsequent interrogations and optimistic declarations of Bertosse started to resemble bad theater.

Bertossa conceals his disappointment that such a scandalous case is falling to pieces, and he makes small troubles to Borodin. By a strange coincidence, the dates of the interrogation are close to certain holidays in the Russia-Belarus Union. The initial interrogation Bertossa planned to conduct on June 11, exactly on the eve of Russian Independence Day. The second is planned for July 3, Independence Day of the Belarus Republic.

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