INDUSTRIAL GROWTH IN CIS COUNTRIES
Nezavisimaya Gazeta, July 4, 2001, p. 5
The CIS Interstate Statistics Committee has released data on the rate of industrial growth in CIS countries. According to this document, the highest growth rate over the first five months of 2001 was in Ukraine (18.8%). Ukraine is followed by Tajikistan (13.5%), Kazakhstan (11.6%), Moldova (9.9%), Kyrgyzstan (6.8%), Russia (5.9%), Azerbaijan (5.5%), Armenia (4.2%), and Belarus (3.4%). In Georgia industrial output fell by 6.2%. The CIS Interstate Statistics Committee dopes not have any information about Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
For the first five months industrial output in CIS countries grew by 8.5% on average. On the whole, the economic situation is favorable in most CIS countries. For instance, the GDP of Kazakhstan in January-May 2001 grew by 11.0% compared to the corresponding period of 2000. In Ukraine the GDP grew by 9.0%, in Tajikistan by 8.3%, in Azerbaijan by 8.3%, in Armenia by 6.7%, in Russia by 5.5%, in Uzbekistan by 4.0%, in Kyrgyzstan by 4.3%, in Belarus by 2.5%, and in Georgia and Moldova by 1.9%.
BADRO PATARKATSISHVILI FLEES
Moskovsky Komsomolets, July 4, 2001, p. 2
According to Georgian journalists, chairman of the board of the TV channel TV-6 Badri Patarkatsishvili, wanted by the Russian government, has gone to Turkey.
The General Prosecutor’s Office has issued a letter of caution of the closest associate of Boris Berezovsky. Certainly, he does not want to be put in jail, and therefore, according to the Georgian press, he arrived in Tbilisi on June 29 to visit his relatives, and on July 3 he flew to Turkey in his own plane.
Perhaps he will join Boris Berezovsky soon.
UNION OF RIGHT FORCES REGISTERED
Rossiiskaya Gazeta, July 4, 2001, p. 2
On July 3, Justice Minister Yury Chaika handed a certificate of the official registration of the political party called the Union of Right Forces (URF) to its leader Boris Nemtsov.
The URF was transformed into a party on May 26, 2001. Smaller parties and movements had to disband themselves in order to transform their bloc into a new political party. Only the most radical members of the URF left the movement in order to start their own party-building.
Leaders of the new party are sure that the URF will meet all requirements of the new law on political parties. By the end of the year the URF intends to issue membership cards to over 30,000 of its members. The URF will have branches in practically all regions. Boris Nemtsov has announced that the number of supporters of the new party may reach 13 million.
Currently, the URF Duma faction consists of 38 people. In 2003, the right will try to get 100 seats in the lower house. The authorities of the URF are counting on material support from Russian citizens and have refused to accept money from Boris Berezovsky, who suggests that all liberals unite to set up an opposition to the current president. Boris Nemtsov thinks Berezovsky’s idea is harmful.
RUSSIA DOES NOT ASPIRE TO BECOME A WTO MEMBER
Izvestia, July 4, 2001, p. 5
The result of Russia’s negotiations with member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has not been quite successful. Russia is unlikely to join this organization earlier than 2004.
However, Maxim Medvedkov, head of the Russian delegation at these talks, did not look too sad. Many Russian enterprises are only glad about this postponement.
In January 2002, Russia will deliver a new report on trade regulations in Russia. In other words, Russia’s membership of the WTO has been put off indefinitely.
Thus, Russian enterprises have gained their aim: they will be able to operate without foreign competition for several years longer.
BAGHDAD IS NOT BELGRADE
Izvestia, July 4, 2001, p. 4
A delegation of 18 Duma deputies headed by Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky spent two days in Baghdad. On July 3, he reported on his views on problems of Iraq and the Balkans.
The trip of the Russian delegation coincided with the vote of the UN Security Council on intensifying sanctions against Iraq. Under Russia’s pressure the Anglo-American proposal was not supported, and the regime of the sanctions will remain the same. Zhirinovsky noted at the Duma meeting that Russia threatened the Security Council with its right of veto for the first time over the past ten years. According to Zhirinovsky, the current regime of sanctions does not appeal to Iraq either. Although the restrictions on oil trading do not hinder Iraq from exporting oil, the country lacks food and medicine that it has to import from foreign countries. “Every day 400 children die in Iraq because of the lack of food and medicines.”
The money the Iraqi government gets for oil is deposited in bank accounts controlled by the US. One-third of the money is spent on compensation to Kuwait. A lot of money is spent on maintenance of officials of the UN Security Council: “They are paid for watching Iraq.” According to Zhirinovsky, Iraq has been thoroughly inspected many over the past ten years, “up to Saddam Husein’s bedroom.”
The protector of Iraq also disclosed the plans of the US. According to him, America is aspiring to divide Iraq into a number of small parts. Zhirinovsky believes that “Americans want to introduce the same regime to Baghdad as the have introduced to Belgrade.” However, their plans will fail, since “Iraq will not have a Kostunica of its own, and the Kurds will not dare set up a state of their own on Iraqi territory.”
As for the Balkan problem, Zhirinovsky considers that the Albanians are sure to become a problem for all Europe. Thus, Europe has generated a problem for itself. Albanian communities in all European countries will allegedly intimidate the local population and trade in drugs.