TO FIND AND TAX

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TO FIND AND TAX

Moskovskaya Pravda, October 31, 2001, p. 1

The Moscow municipal tax administration is looking for 50,000 companies whose whereabouts are unknown.

Staff at the capital’s taxation ministry explain that tens of thousands of “gly-by-night” companies have been registered using false addresses, paying a couple of hundred dollars for the use of someone’s ID papers. Or worse still, using stolen documents. Therefore, tax notification letters sometimes arrive at communal apartments, basements, or attics.

Currently, 50,220 firms don’t pay a kopeck of taxes to the budget. Most often they submit “zero” statements: the firm claims to have made no profit, at least. At the same time, establishing the truth is quite difficult.

Only 103 of these companies have been located over the past six months. Most of them have probably gone bankrupt and ceased to exist.

DID THE AMERICANS CAUSE THE KURSK SUBMARINE DISASTER?

Tribuna, October 31, 2001, p. 1

Yesterday, the statement made by Ilya Klebanov, chairman of the commission for investigation of the Kursk nuclear submarine ruin, about the possibility of colliding with another boat, was cluttered with more detail. Russian journalists were shown huge breaches in the first and second sector. According to experts, such a breach could have been left by a foreign submarine. Still, on the day of the Kursk ruin, planes of the North Sea aviation fixed some submarine slowly moving off from the place. Thus, the first explosion might have been due to a burst torpedo, while in two minutes and half, all ammunition on board exploded.

PUTIN STAKES ON KOZAK

Moskovsky Komsomolets, October 31, 2001, p. 2

According to a number of mass media agencies, Vladimir Putin demanded that the government and his staff finish the court system reform in the near future.

This reform is gaining still more significance for both an ordinary citizen and business. It is an open secret that many commerce structures continue utilizing breaches of today’s legislation as weapons for fight with rivals. Suffice to recall the recent scandals concerning ordinary citizens’ suit against LUKOIL that led to suspension of oil export or Alfa’s utilizing courts in its wars for different structures. By the way, the latter’s activity has considerably reduced since Dmitry Kozak, deputy presidential chief of staff, joined the reform course.

ELECTRONS AGAINST ANTHRAX

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, October 31, 2001, p. 1

According to our sources, the day after it was confirmed that anthrax spores were being distributed by mail in the US, American scientists requested the Russian Academy of Sciences to conduct some urgent experiments with using compact electron accelerators to sterilize letters in post offices.

Gennady Mesyats, deputy president of the Russian Academy of Sciences and director of the Electricity and Physics Institute, has confirmed this information. His institute has already send drafts of the device to the Nuclear Energy Ministry. The United States is asking Russian scientists to hurry. According to Mesyats, US representatives asked about the possibility of urgently producing about 10,000 electron accelerators. Each of these devices would cost around $100,000.

RUSSIAN DEFENSE SECTOR TO BE RENOVATED

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, October 31, 2001, p. 1

Yesterday President Vladimir Putin chaired the first joint meeting of the State Council and the Security Council. Participants discussed the foundations of state policy for development of the defense sector to 2010, and further prospects.

The members of the State Council determined a number of top priority objectives – upgrading infrastructure, developing export potential, and employee conditions. To prevent the concept from “remaining on paper”, it will be necessary for the 2002 federal budget to set out the priority directions for development of the defense industry, providing the latest weapons for the Armed Forces, and upgrading research and development facilities.

WILL THE NEXT TERRORIST ACT TARGET AN ORTHODOX CHURCH?

Moskovsky Komsomolets, October 31, 2001, p. 1

The Moscow authorities intend to pay special attention to the security of churches and cathedrals in the capital.

According to our sources, the city administration has received information from security structures on likely locations for terrorist acts. According to this data, in November and December the Taliban movement plans to carry out terrorist acts in Russia, including Moscow. The attacks are very likely to take place in an Orthodox church, with the assistance of Muslim women.

Besides, it is not ruled out that chemical poisoning or biological weapons will be used for the terrorist act.

Terrorists acts may also target synagogues, Roman Catholic churches, and even mosques. There could also be emergency situations in enterprises and scientific centers working with strong, toxic substances and deadly microorganisms.

The Moscow authorities have instructed law enforcement agencies to tighten security for all the aforementioned facilities.

RUSSIA AND LIBYA TO DEVELOP RELATIONS

Izvestia, October 31, 2001, p. 4

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov met with his Libyan counterpart Abdel Shalkam Yesterday. After the meeting it was announced that President Putin may soon meet with the president of Libya. According to Abdel Shalkam, 2002 is likely to become the year of drastic expansion of trade relations between Russia and Libya.

The relations between the two countries mostly concern economic and military-technical cooperation, which are mutually profitable as Libya is a solvent country. As Foreign Minister Shalkam stressed yesterday, Libya is greatly interested in Russian technologies, especially in the gas, energy, and well-drilling sectors. Russia has agreed to participate in construction of the largest electrical power station in Africa.

SUMMIT OF ASIAN STATES CANCELLED

Izvestia, October 31, 2001, p. 1

A major summit of heads of Asian states, which had been scheduled to take place November 8-10 in Alma-Ata, has been canceled. The Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan suggested that other participants should not hurry, and postponed the summit. Heads of more than a dozen Asian states had planned to discuss measures for strengthening cooperation in the region. The Kazakh Security Council explained that the summit should be postponed because the situation in the region has deteriorated. The heads of fifteen states – including Russia, Israel, and China – were supposed to arrive in Alma-Ata. It was intended to discuss not only fighting terrorism, but also other issues.

It is impossible to hold the summit elsewhere: President Narsultan Nazarbaev of Kazakhstan is an initiator of the conference for cooperation and trust-building measures in Asia. The next possible date for the summit is rather vague: “the first half of 2002”.

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