CAPITALIZATION OF GAZPROM TO BE INCREASED

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CAPITALIZATION OF GAZPROM TO BE INCREASED

Trud, September 7, 2001, p. 1

Dmitry Medvedev, senior deputy director of the Kremlin administration, said at a news conference yesterday that a report from the working group dealing with liberalization of trading in Gazprom shares has been submitted to the president, who favors “step-by-step and compact transition to less restricted trading”.

Medvedev noted that this task would be accomplished quite quickly, and result in merging the foreign and domestic market of Gazprom shares.

As Medvedev explained, some regulations related to foreign ownership of Gazprom shares require “legalization” on the basis of Russian civil law. At the same time, he supported ending restrictions on the size of foreign-owned stakes in a number of Russian enterprises. He also said, “As long as the foreign capital is legal, it shouldn’t be selected according to its nation of origin.”

Speaking of the need to increase capitalization of Gazprom, Medvedev stated: “It would be preferable if the investors appear at the most favorable time for the company.”

ECHO OF MOSCOW ESTABLISHES A NEW RADIO STATION

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 7, 2001, p. 2

Echo of Moscow radio has applied to acquire a new frequency, for broadcasting Radio Arsenal. According to Echo of Moscow chief editor Alexei Venediktov, this decision is connected with the fact that Gazprom-Media is failing to abide by its agreement to sell some Echo of Moscow shares to former economy minister Yevgeny Yasin.

At the same time, Vendiktov emphasized that if Gazprom-Media does not sell the 9.5% stake to Yasin, Echo of Moscow would be able to establish a second radio stations. “Otherwise, the majority of the Echo of Moscow’s team would leave for the new radio station. We would not work at a nationalized radio station,” said Venediktov.

CITIES TO BE "SHAKEN UP"

Moskovskii Komsomolets, September 7, 2001, p. 2

On September 6 Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov said it’s time to establish order in the municipal authorities.

According to Kasianov, serious problems have accumulated in this sphere. Of Russia’s 12,000 municipal institutions, over 95% are subsidized, and only half of their employees have a higher education… So the Cabinet will consider what changes should be made to the relevant laws, and what kind of assistance the federal government and the regions can offer to municipal institutions. It seems that the hierarchy of relations with the regions will be pushed into the background, and municipal authorities across the country should expect some innovations.

CARELESS CITIZENS

Izvestia, September 7, 2001, p. 4

People have become accustomed to Vladimir Putin’s activities and publicity. However, a poll by the Public Opinion Foundation shows that in late August, only 17% of respondents could say that any of Putin’s statements or actions have stuck in their memories. Polls have been indicating this for a long time, since the beginning of this year. In spring last year, when Putin was elected president, attention toward his actions was around 30%.

Politically savvy Muscovites pay the least attention to Putin – only 10% of Moscow residents said they remembered and liked any of his actions. At the same time, as shown by regular polls done by the Public Opinion Foundation, 90% of respondents confidently say that their attitudes toward the president have not changed recently. Is the “credit of trust” turning into a credit of assurance, which enables people not to pay attention to the actions of the authorities?

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