QUITE A WHILE BEFORE CHECHNYA IS RESTORED

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QUITE A WHILE BEFORE CHECHNYA IS RESTORED

Izvestia, January 24, 2002, p. 4

The federal minister for the restoration of Chechnya, Vladimir Yelagin, has said that the process of restoring the major manufacturing and social infrastructure of Chechnya might take some three to four years. In his opinion, it would only be possible to say that the federal tasks for the restoration of republic are fulfilled only after the transport network and energy industry, and all authoritative bodies are restored. It will be possible to elect the representative power in Chechnya in a year or a year and a half, whereas elections of the head of the republic would be possible in some five, six, or seven years, Yelagin thinks.

THE URF WANTS TO REDISTRIBUTE TELEVISION

Moskovskii Komsomolets, January 24, 2002, p. 1

“A redivision of the media market is about to occur!” many were saying on Tuesday night. However, not liquidation of TV-6 network was the reason, but Putin’s meeting with leaders of the Duma factions. The statements of Boris Nemtsov, who came out after the meeting were interpreted as follows: supposedly, a project, in accordance to which a single individual or organization will be prohibited to own over a 25% stake of shares of a newspaper, a magazine a TV channel, etc., was born. The president was said to be interested in the idea. Owners of media services and journalists got nervous – almost all of the media services would be redistributed!

We ascertained yesterday exactly what Vladimir Nemtsov meant…

In the view of the URF, anti-monopoly restrictions should only be used against the TV networks which broadcast across a considerable part of Russia. If a TV network occupies over a quarter of the nation’s media market – its owner will have to sell a portion of shares. If controlling interests of a few TV networks are in the ownership of a single proprietor, and their overall share would exceed a quarter of the market – all the same.

It is thought in the URF that such a measure would allow saving Russians from state monopoly on the television. According to calculations of the URF’s members, already at the moment the ORT (its sake of 51% of shares is state-owned) and the RTR (fully state-owned) exceed the proposed framework. Taking into account also that NTV has been under control of Gazprom, which, in its own turn, is controlled by the state, – the picture becomes more outrageous.rnNo text of the anti-mono-monopoly bill exists thus far. It will be possible to implement similar measures immediately after the four laws currently in force are amended: the law on media, the law on natural monopolies, the law on competition and the law on state service, lawyers of the URF think.

The whole problem is whether something aimed (even indirectly) against interests of the executive authorities and the president, can obtain the support of the recent Duma. “If you say that you support the freedom of speech – prove it, order your factions to vote in favor of such a law right now,” Nemtsov supposedly proposed to Putin. However, Putin gave no orders to leaders of People’s Deputy, Unity, Regions of Russia and Fatherland – All Russia, who were sitting in front of him. But he called the idea as such to be genius and proposed to elaborate it, in order to prevent an opportunity for buying in shares through dummies or companies, which would belong to a sole proprietor…

WHAT WOULD YOU NATIONALIZE?

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, January 24, 2002, p. 12

Boris Nemtsov, Duma deputy:

“I would nationalize the power, since quite an extensive part of state-run structures proven to be under considerable influence of oligarchs. When a new president takes office, society has a right to expect that the authorities will serve the interests of the people, rather than those of corporations.”

Vyacheslav Nikonov, the president of Politika (Politics) foundation:

“I would nationalize the state. Over the past years the machinery of state was privatized by various oligarchic structures. Some big entrepreneurs were opening the doors of the Government nearly with their left leg. And some oligarchs even tried to rule themselves. The state is an enterprise, which must not be privatized under no circumstances.”

ABOUT INFLATION FIGURES

Trud, January 24, 2002, p. 7

Last year inflation was 18.6%, or half again as high as initial forecasts. Early this year the situation has been developing over and above the plan as well – the consumer prices over the first two weeks increased 1.2%. In January this figure will reach some 2.4 to 2.6%, experts predicted. Alongside, the volume of money in reserve (cash money sued by the Central Bank, and also the funds of lending agencies in the Central bank and enterprises’ demand deposits) increased 13.6% in December alone, whereas the year’s growth was 28.7%. Are we not beginning to print uncovered paper money? Government’s analysts have food for reflection in this problem.

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, HERO OF RUSSIA

Tribuna, January 24, 2002, p. 1

Vladimir Putin signed a decree appointing Colonel General Vladimir Mikhailov new commander-in-chief of Russia’s Air Force. The newly-appointed commander-in-chief, 58, replaced army general Anatoly Kornukov who, on celebrating his 60th birthday on January 10, asked for a discharge “in connection with the age limit.”

Before being transferred to the post of senior deputy commander-in-chief of the Air Force in 1998, Vladimir Mikhailov had ben commander of the 4th army of Air Force, stationed in Rostov-on-Don. In June 1996 for efficient supervision of the operation of neutralizing a groups of Chechen terrorists, who had captured a scheduled bus and then tried to fly for Chechnya in a Mi-8 helicopter, he was conferred the title of Hero of Russia.

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