MEDVEDKOV ADVISES AGAINST TOO MUCH OPTIMISM IN THE MATTER OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION

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MEDVEDKOV ADVISES AGAINST TOO MUCH OPTIMISM IN THE MATTER OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION

Vedomosti, January 28, 2002, p. A3

Maxim Medvedkov, head of the Russian delegation at negotiations over membership in the World Trade Organization and Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Commerce, says that believing that Russia will join the World Trade Organization in May-June 2003 is “overly optimistic”. Prime-TASS news agency quoted WTO General Director Michael Moore as saying that Russia might become a member of this organization in spring or early summer 2003. “I’d call it overly optimistic,” Medvedkov said. According to the executive, Russia is prepared to sign bilateral treaties on joining the World Trade Organization with 10-12 states whose “demands are not too much and that are interested in restricted import.” At the same time, Medvedkov said Russia would never agree to meet any additional demands not mandatory for other members.

ON HELICOPTER RASH IN CHECHNYA

Izvestia, January 29, 2002, p. 2

Far East energy companies say that their consumers owe them almost 13 billion rubles. They “attacked” the military and began turning off energy supply to military units all over the region.

Energy companies refuse to comment, and Governor Mikhail Mashkovtsev is said by officials of his administration to have backed up energy companies. “I support the actions of the company Dalenergo,” he said.

THE CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION WARNS

Izvestia, January 29, 2002, p. 3

According to Veshnyakov, candidates should be careful about their declarations.

In late February or early March the Duma is going to adopt in the second reading the new edition of the law on main guarantees of electoral rights. There are over 3,000 amendments to the law. When the law is adopted, the rules of elections will be much stiffer.

AN THE HELICOPTER CRASH IN CHECHNYA

Moskovsky Komsomolets, January 29, 2002, p. 3

The investigation does not rule out the “technical” reasons behind the crash. On the other hand, there is also the hypothesis of a terrorist act. Most probably, the MI-8 was hit with a SAM, something like the IGLA or STRELA-M portable SAM launcher.

BEREZOVSKY’S TRACE IN CHECHNYA

Trud, January 9, 2002, p. 2

Director of the Federal Security Service Nikolai Patrushev says prominent businessman Boris Berezovsky is connected with financial channels sponsoring Chechen gunmen. Patrushev said his subordinates had evidence.

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