BORIS YELTSIN IN BERLIN FOR A MEDICAL CHECKUP
Izvestia, December 18, 2001, p. 1
Roland Hetzer (of the center of cardiology): Examination found Yeltsin in good health. The results of the operation he underwent five years ago remain brilliant.
Yeltsin’s assistant Vladimir Shevchenko says his patron will return to Moscow on Tuesday.
NEW DIAMOND TREATY SIGNED
Izvestia, December 18, 2001, p. 2
The accord will be presented to the European Commission for endorsement in early 2002. The volume of sales of Russian diamonds in the world via De Beers will go down significantly. ALROSA will sell only half of its diamonds using De Beers as a trader (to the tune of $800 million a year). The other half will be sold domestically. The government is of the opinion that Russian jewelers will handle it. ALROSA is not that confident.
ALROSA and the government say that the new accord assures them of a stable buyer in the next five years. Stable buyers mean steady income for the budget.
GAZPROM BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEET
Izvestia, December 18, 2001, p. 5
The old team will be leaving Gazprom shortly, observers say. Rem Vyakhirev’s closest associate Valentin Nikishin has already handed in his resignation. Nikishin was head of the company Mezhregiongaz, a Gazprom subsidiary, and was viewed as Vyakhirev’s successor last summer.
AN UPDATE ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN YAKUTIA
Trud, December 18, 2001, p. 2
Two candidates for presidency in Yakutia, Vasily Kolmogorov and Semen Nazarov, withdrew from the race. Both were favorites of the presidential campaign after incumbent President Mikhail Nikolayev was removed.
Vyacheslav Shtyrov of ALROSA is the prime candidate now.
According to the electronic media, Kolmogorov explains his decision by saying that he is needed at the Prosecutor General’s Office more. Observers say, however, that he has accomplished his mission, which was to “drive away” Nikolayev.