SELEZNEV: THE ETERNAL DILEMMA

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SELEZNEV: THE ETERNAL DILEMMA

Vremya Novostei, April 22, 2002, p. 2

Gennadi Seleznev has once again been forced to choose between membership in the Communist Party and his post of Duma chairman. This time around, he is under pressure from the Bureau of the Moscow Municipal Committee of the CPRF.

According to Chairman Alexander Kuvayev, the Moscow Municipal Committee is calling for the expulsion of Seleznev from the party for “gross violation of party disciplinary rules in the form of refusal to follow the political decision of the plenum of the Central Committee.” The Central Committee of the CPRF convened two plenary meetings (on April 3 and 11) after the Duma’s decision to drive the Communist Party from the commanding heights in the lower house of parliament. On April 3, the Central Committee decided that retaining the posts of chairmen of Duma committees and Duma chairman was “inexpedient” for Communists. Virtually all Central Committee members, however, including Gennadi Zyuganov, gave Seleznev some leeway.

Some party functionaries believed that Seleznev should step down as a true Communist. Others thought he should retain the position to pursue the party’s policy.

The situation being what it is, communist Seleznev is enabled by the party charter to object to the decision of the Moscow Municipal Committee. So far, he has merely said he was sorry about his relations with the structure. Judging by Seleznev’s words, a lot will not depend on his personal relations with the party’s leader. Seleznev says that at his latest meeting with Zyuganov he insisted on a “revision” of the April decision. “It seems that nobody heeds me”, he said.

According to the charter, the future of Seleznev in the Communist Party depends on the plenary meeting of the Central Committee scheduled for June 18.

UNITED RUSSIA PROMISES ASSISTANCE TO BUSINESSES

Gazeta, April 22, 2002, p. 3

The European Union is calling for “effective managers”. The first to respond were Sergei Nosov, General Director of Nizhny Tagil Metallurgical Combine, and general directors of two plants in Rostov and St. Petersburg Oleg Davidenko and Igor Nasikovsky.

In June, directors who would have answered the call will hold a congress of managers. The president is expected to attend. Applications for attendance are being received from young managers, who have been steering their companies successfully since the default of 1998.

Activists of the new movement pledge to offer United Russia Party their help in implementing the theses of the presidential address.

Businessmen who sympathize with United Russia do not want to solve their problems through structures like the Russian Union of Businessmen and Entrepreneurs or Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Nosov: The Chamber of Commerce and Industry deals with general problems. It convenes round-table conferences, etc. The Russian Union of Businessmen and Entrepreneurs is a structure of oligarchs. We are practical men…

“We assemble directors of successful companies who have developed their companies and pay salaries regularly (large or small) thus performing in part the social function of the state”, said Alexander Bespalov, United Russia General Council Chairman. He holds the opinion that men like these should be on the staff reserve for all branches of government, not only the executive one.

MIKHAIL KASIANOV MEETS WITH THE MOST PROMINENT EUROPEAN NEGOTIATOR THIS WEEK

Vedomosti, April 22, 2002, p. A3

Debates with Pascal Lami, EU Commissar for Trade, will become the culmination of Premier Mikhail Kasianov’s visit to Brussels.

Kasianov will demand explanations to why the Europeans would not recognize the Russian economy as that with a free market. As a rule, European Union officials reply that, in theory, in the course of anti-dumping investigation, the free market status may be granted to any Russian company (provided it makes all necessary documents available). In fact, however, Siberian Aluminium is the only company with this status up to date.

Kasianov has every reason in the world now to demand this status for all Russian companies because official Moscow in this respect has the support of Italy and Germany.

Kasianov and Lami will also discuss the Europeans’ positions in the issue of Russia’s membership in the World Trade Organization. Ever so subtle in words, Europe is putting forth demands which the Kremlin has called unacceptable right from the beginning: Russia does not intend in the foreseeable future to nullify import tax on planes or unify export and domestic prices on fuels.

ISLAM KHASUKHANOV, CHIEF-OF-STAFF OF THE OPERATIONAL HEADQUARTERS OF THE ICHKERIAN ARMED FORCES AND ASLAN MASKHADOV’S CLOSEST ASSOCIATE, ARRESTED

Moskovsky Komsomolets, April 23, 2002, p. 3

Islam Khasukhanov was arrested in the house of another gunman, a certain Sahid Abubakarov. The thoroughly planned operation went off without a single shot being fired. Searching the household afterwards, federal forces discovered a radio, computers, and seals of the main command of the Armed Forces of Ichkeria.

In the meantime, the federal forces are bracing themselves in expectation of new terrorist acts and provocation. Mountainous passes are free of snow already, and the criminals are bound to get weapons, medicines and food. Not to mention money. According to some sources, extremists in Chechnya expect a consignment of Strela-2M and Igla SAM portable launchers.

Seventeen federal trucks and armored vehicles were destroyed by land mines in Chechnya within the past week. The united federal group lost 20 men.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY WILL SETTLE IN CALIFORNIA

Izvestia, April 23, 2002, p. 3

Chairman of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Yevgeny Primakov met with his American counterpart Donald Donahue yesterday (his old acquaintance, according to Primakov himself). Primakov and Donahue discussed abolition of the Jackson-Vanick amendment, the necessity of Russia’s membership in the World Trade Organization, and acceptance of Russia as a state with a free market economy.

The Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry intends to open its office on the western coast of America.

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