THE CAUCASUS IS A SLIPPERY ISSUE

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THE CAUCASUS IS A SLIPPERY ISSUE

Moskovskii Komsomolets, January 23, 2002, p. 2

Senior deputy mayor of Makhachkala was assassinated on morning of January 22 in the capital of Dagestan. Akhmed Aliyev and his wife were shot to death in the yard of their house in a prestigious district of the city.

Yesterday the funeral of Akhmed Aliyev took place. He was the right hand of Makhachkala mayor Said Amirov and among the few members of his old team. Akhmed Iziyevich was in charge of housing and trade issues. Never before assassination attempts on him were committed. A scandalous story of the bulk market is considered to be the only dark spot on his reputation. Aliyev actively participated in ousting the largest bulk market outside the city from its center. Then, in the summer of 2001 an opposition between the traders and the authorities lasted for a few days. Some 22 people were arrested on accusation of refusal to execute an order of the city administration and causing heinous physical injuries to police officers. On January 21 the trial on the case of “bulk traders” opened in the Sovetsky court of Makhachkala. Nobody dares to link Akhmed Aliyev’s assassination with the court trial, but it is not ruled out that these two events were a links of the same chain.

Moreover, there is an opinion that assassination of the vice speaker of the Dagestani parliament Kammayev, a recent assassination attempt on mayor Amirov and a meeting on the main square of Makhachkala, where the people demanded to dismiss Interior Minister of Dagestan Magomedtagirov, commemorated the outset of the latent war between Amirov and Magomedtagirov. It is not ruled out that explosion of a truck with soldiers was an episode of this war. Nadirshakh Khachilaev was detained immediately after the act of terrorism on the suspicion of organizing it. The following few days Makhachkala was expecting a reply. Judging from the events of yesterday, it did not took much time…

THEORY AND PRACTICE

Izvestia, January 23, 2002, p. 4

An assembly of the command of the Collective Rapid Deployment Force opened on Tuesday in the Headquarters for coordination of the military cooperation of CIS states.

The fact that preparation for deploying U.S. military bases in some Central Asian states was the background for the assembly is its main distinction (Izvestia reported about it within days). Moscow perceived this fact as a serious political defeat of Russia’s policy in Central Asia. Military cooperation within the framework of the CIS states and the Collective Security Treaty remains among the last instruments which can mend the situation in favor of Russia.

In the course of the current task assembly the military propose to hold a business game on modeling the prediction of developing the military cooperation between CIS states in the 21st century and also plan the operational deployment of the Collective Rapid Deployment Force in the republics of Central Asia. Officers from CIS states will have to do this work theoretically, since U.S. servicemen are doing it in practice.

DIVIDE AND LOOK FOR THE RESULTS

Izvestia, January 23, 2002, p. 4

On evening of January 22 Vladimir Putin received Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznev and Speaker of the Federation Council Sergei Mironov, and after that he met with leaders of deputy factions. For a few hours the president and the members of parliament discussed the issue of dividing authority between the two houses of parliament.

Apparently, it was the speaker of the Federation Council who asked for trouble and possible redistribution of the authority between the houses became a topic for discussion at his initiative: the new Senate, operating on the permanent basis, merely has nothing to do. Unlike Duma deputies, senators hold their meetings once a month, and can do whatever they want for the rest of the time (by the way, they are paid as much as the deputies – 16,200 rubles). Mironov decided to familiarize Putin with his plan of engaging the colleagues in work; in particular, the senators must join the consideration of the bills at the stage when they are submitted into the Duma, Izvestia sources reported.

The Duma deputies regarded this initiative rather zealously.

Leader of the Regions of Russia group Oleg Morozov proposed a compromising plan of relations: so that at their meetings the senators would be able to consider bills related to the sphere of joint jurisdiction without amending the Constitution and the regulations (before they are considered by the Duma, of course), and the deputies would allow for their opinion. The pro-presidential four of factions also supports this idea.

Anyway, indefatigable Mironov now becomes the main source of danger for Duma deputies. They admit that the relationship between the two houses need to be changed to some extent, but are afraid that the senators would “suppress” the Duma deputies with a new burden.

TV-6 FOR TWO

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, January 23, 2002, p. 2

General Director of TV-6 Yevgeny Kiselev and his deputy Pavel Korchagin have an alternative plan of resolving the scandal surrounding the interruption of broadcasting of the channel.

According to documents presented by the Moscow Registration Chamber, on December 24, they registered the close stock company TV-6. Kiselev and Korchagin equally divided shares of this company between each other. Since the foundation of this stock company was kept a secret, it seems that Kiselev and Korchagin have a serious reason for that. For instance, it is not ruled out that the authorities of the company may want their own stock company but not the limited liability company TV-6 set up by TV-6 journalists to get the license to broadcasting on this frequency.

WE ARE TO DROWN IN A SEA OF OIL

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, January 23, 2002, p. 1

On January 22, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov met with executives from Russia’s largest oil companies. Their meeting was aimed at finding out how the companies are implementing the agreement on cutting oil exports and what to do with the surplus of oil on the domestic market.

Participants in the meeting suggested increasing oil exports to CIS countries at $12-14 a barrel, since OPEC permits it. In fact, oil exports to CIS countries at this price are increasing already.

However, among the participants there were some who were not pessimistic even in the prime minister’s office. First, they stated that in the second quarter of the year the restrictions for oil export may be eliminated. Second, the reduction of export duties on oil keeps bringing in mega-profits to the companies. All in all, they get up to $190 million a month.

MALFUNCTION AT LENINGRAD NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

Tribuna, January 23, 2002, p. 1

A serious malfunction of systems of the Leningrad nuclear power plant has taken place in the town of Sosnovy Bor. As a result, one of the power-generating units of the nuclear power plant was urgently stopped.

We have been reported at the plant that the system of automatic protection worked. The disconnection of the power unit did not lead to any deviations in the work of other aggregates. The radiation background has not exceeded the natural level. It has not been found out so far why the automatic protection system worked. According to experts’ assumptions, it could be put in action by a “false alarm” of one of the systems.

Currently, two power units are working at the Leningrad power plant. Each of them bears 1,000 megawatts. One more power unit is being overhauled. According to the regulations of the work of nuclear power plants, after the reaction of the automatic protection system the power unit should be restarted only after performance of the necessary pre-start procedures.

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