FEDERAL BORDER GUARD SERVICE WAITS FOR GUERRILLAS TO APPEAR
Izvestia, April 10, 2002, p. 3
Colonel General Konstantin Totskii, Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Border Guard Service, said on April 9 that reinforcements are being brought in to the Russian-Georgian border.
“This is due to the fact that mountain passes in this area are becoming accessible, with the start of spring, and groups of guerrillas might try to cross the border,” Totskii explained. In his words, some groups of Russian border guards assigned to the Russian-Georgian border “have been resting” over the winter. At the same time, Totskii noted that the situation along the Chechnya sector of the Russian-Georgian border remains tense. According to Totskii, the “illegal armed formations in Chechnya are still receiving support from abroad; they are supplied with up-to-date communication systems, the guerrillas demand hard currency from abroad to purchase weapons, ammunition, and firearms.”
TANKS UNDER PERSONAL SUPERVISION
Izvestia, April 10, 2002, p. 4
On April 10, Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes is expected to pay an official visit to Russia. However, the guest from India will not be in Moscow for long. Almost immediately after meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Ivanov, he plans to visit Nizhny Tagil, where he will familiarize himself with the assembly of the second batch of 90 T-90S tanks which should be delivered to India by the end of the year.
Discussion of the contract on India’s purchase of 2,000 Krasnopol-M guided artillery missiles (estimated value $80 million) is considered another significant aspect of the Indian minister’s visit. The decision to sell them to India was made at the end of the latest meeting of the inter-governmental Russian-Indian commission on military-technical cooperation. Besides the missiles, India would also want to acquire a licence to produce them.
A RATE IS MORE THAN A GESTURE
Rossiiskaya Gazeta, April 10, 2002, p. 2
Sergei Ignatiev’s first move as head of the Central Bank has proved to be a step toward a civilized market: from April 9, interest rates have been cut by 2%. However, bankers expected something more: a possible decrease of 20% or more had been discussed.
Many bankers consider the reduction of the rate to be overdue. Already there are banks which grant ruble loans at 18% interest, preferring to compensate for their losses from the difference between rates through rapid turnover of financial resources.
However, bank clients should rejoice: from now on, the banks must lower their interest rates.
Will the new rate be stable for a long time? If this is only a decorative measure, a “presentation” by the new head of the Central Bank, nothing will be changed in the economy. If this is the start of a new policy by the Bank of Russia, it means our banking sector will gradually catch up with its counterparts in established market-economy states.
EXPLOSIVES SOLD TO CRIMINALS
Trud, April 10, 2002, p. 1
Agents of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Pacific Fleet and officers of the military prosecutor’s office of the Zaliv Strelok (Shooter Bay) garrison detained two officers from a unit stationed in Dunai, a town in southern Primorye. The officers were arrested when they were trying to sell another batch of TNT and fuse-type detonators.
This was not the end of the matter. In the shortest time possible, the agents found the main link in this chain – the supplier of the explosives. It was the head of the depot of the Pacific Fleet unit stationed in Dunai. He had over 2,000 detonators and 375 kilograms of TNT in his possession.
This operation has closed the channel of supplying explosives to criminal groups in Vladivostok and Nakhodka, according to the Pacific Fleet FSB department.