ZHIRINOVSKY DENIED ENTRY TO THE UNITED STATES

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ZHIRINOVSKY DENIED ENTRY TO THE UNITED STATES

Tribuna, July 17, 2002, p. 1

On July 16 the US authorities denied an entrance visa to Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia.

The denial was expressed in circumspect terms: “We cannot provide economic capacity for passage…” That is strange, since Zhirinovsky didn’t ask anyone else to pay for the tickets.

In Zhirinovsky’s words, “The officials are merely afraid that I might persuade my compatriots to depart for Russia. The US today is like the USSR of the late 1980s. Skilled politicians cannot fail to understand that the US economy living on credit is now maintained by the wealth of migrants. America is so concerned for safety of Russian millions in US bank accounts.”

There’s another theory as well. Zhirinovsky’s scandalous statements have annoyed the State Department, and it decided to make an example of him.

FIFTH PLACARD WITH ANTI-SEMITIC SLOGAN FOUND

Izvestia, July 17, 2002, p. 3

The fifth placard with an anti-Semitic slogan over the past 45 days has been found in the Kemerovo region, the Interior Ministry said yesterday, according to ITAR-TASS. On Monday passers-by saw a suspicious placard with an object resembling an explosive device attached to it, lying on the roadside along the Yaisky highway; they reported it to police. The police arrived and destroyed the “bomb” – a simple fake made up of a metal can and wires. The prosecutor’s office instigated criminal proceedings for the case, on the grounds of inciting ethnic hatred. The Interior Ministry has called on citizens not to take any action by themselves if they find any suspicious placards with anti-Semitic slogans and obscenities, but to call the police immediately.

RELATIONS BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE EUROPEAN UNION

Izvestia, July 17, 2002, p. 4

“Russia’s fears connected with the impending EU expansion are unfounded,” Peter Huvlic, chief economist of the Russian-European Center for Economic Policy (RECEP) said on July 16.

Neither is Russia threatened with a decrease in trade with the EU member states. All indications are that trade will increase. Moreover, the states joining the EU will have to introduce lower import duties adopted in the EU.

Experts admit that the Kaliningrad problem is still the only cloud in the sky of mutual relations between Russia and the expanding EU. In Huvlic’s opinion, in this connection it is important not to permit a new “iron curtain” to be formed, and to prevent any negative impact of EU expansion on the borderline regions, Kaliningrad included.

In Huvlic’s opinion, the EU’s policy on cooperation with Russia in the energy industry could have a huge impact on the establishment of constructive Russian-Ukrainian relations, since 90% of energy resources exported to Europe are transported across Ukrainian territory. Recent reports about illicit tapping of Russian oil from the pipeline in Ukraine, and Russia’s plans to launch a new pipeline bypassing Ukraine, which are still on the agenda, are most likely to give Russia additional leverage.

PUTIN CONCERNED ABOUT RUSSIA’S ASSETS ABROAD

Izvestia, July 17, 2002, p. 4

On July 16 President Putin discussed the situation with Russian assets located abroad with presidential chief-of-staff Vladimir Kozhin. “October 2000, when the president issued his decree leaving two players in this legal sphere – the Foreign Ministry and the Presidential Affairs Office, became the reference point in the issue,” Kozhin said. Russia’s assets abroad, controlled by the Presidential Affairs Office, are valued at an estimated $1.5 billion, made up of about 1,000 items in 70 states. The valuation commission operated in each state, Kozhin said. “There couldn’t be a united approach to this issue, since, for instance, the value in Germany or Vietnam varies,” he said. In his words, alterations of the legal structure of managing assets abroad caused the Russian budget “to profit considerably, since many expenses related to finance maintenance and use of the foreign property have been removed from the budget.”

UNION OF RIGHT FORCES PREPARING FOR ELECTIONS IN ST. PETERSBURG

Izvestia, July 17, 2002, p. 4

The St. Petersburg regional branch of the URF intends to nominate around 15 candidates in the elections to the city’s Legislative Assembly, due to be held in December 2002. Stanislav Yeremeyev, chairman of the branch’s political council, said yesterday that this decision was made on July 15 at the meeting of the party’s political council. The conclusive list of nominees will be approved at the URF’s conference planned to be held after the exact date of the elections is set, Interfax reported. At the moment, the URF is negotiating with the Yabloko and United Russia parties; between the URF and Yabloko there’s an agreement that the candidates of both parties will not be rivals in the districts.

BEREZOVSKY’S ASSOCIATES TURN TO THE EUROPEAN COURT

Izvestia, July 17, 2002, p. 4

On July 16 leaders of Liberal Russia said they are prepeared to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights against the Justice Ministry’s refusal to register their party; but only if Russian courts don’t uphold their complaint against the Justice Ministry.

Sergei Yushenkov, one of the leaders of Liberal Russia: “The documents are being prepared and in the near future we shall lodge an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Justice Ministry’s refusal to register the party. If the Russian courts rule against us, we shall appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.”

Yushenkov attributed the denial of registration to “Liberal Russia’s firm opposition to the current regime, and Boris Berezovsky’s membership of the party”.

Deputy Justice Minister Yevgeny Sidorenko said yesterday that Liberal Russia had been denied registration due to “legal formalities, rather than political reasons”.

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