GEORGIAN AIRLINE FACES RESTRICTIONS IN MOSCOW

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GEORGIAN AIRLINE FACES RESTRICTIONS IN MOSCOW

Izvestia, August 7, 2002, p. 2

Russian General Prosecutor Vladimir Ustinov yesterday discussed with his Georgian counterpart the terms for extradition of 14 Chechens detained by Georgian border guards. Georgian General Prosecutor Nugzar Gabrichidze stated that the Chechens will be extradited on condition that Russia shows evidence of their crimes committed in Russia. Meanwhile, Russia is not hurrying to extradite a Georgian shepherd who informed Russian border guards about a crossing of the Russian border by Chechen guerrillas. The Federal Border Guard Service says that the shepherd will remain in Russia. The political opposition between Russia and Georgia has affected economic relations. Russian aviation bodies have banned the Airzena airline (Georgia) from scheduling flights from Moscow to Tbilisi in the morning, the most convenient time for passengers. As for Russian planes, they fly according to schedule.

INDIA PREFERS FRESH MILITARY HARDWARE

Izvestia, August 7, 2002, p. 4

Uralvagonzavod implemented yesterday the first part of the contract to deliver 310 T-90S tanks to India. In all, India will receive 124 assembled tanks, and 186 vehicles will be assembled in India under license (units and spare parts will be delivered from Nizhny Tagil).

The Indian Defense Ministry has postponed the upgrade of the T-72 tank and decided to spend $500 million allocated for this purpose on buying the T-90S. However, specialists say that the sale of the up-to-date tank was linked with the upgrade program. India currently has around 2,000 such combat vehicles, and around 70% of these are out of order. India has been failing to venture to upgrade the tanks over five years.

It is evident that Moscow has lost a tool of influence on Delhi in the upgrade contract by meeting its obligations regarding the T-90S tank.

DUMA TO REWRITE THE BANKRUPTCY BILL DUE TO PRESIDENT’S VETO

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, August 7, 2002, p. 3

Yesterday President Vladimir Putin vetoed the new edition of the bankruptcy bill. The Duma will have to revise the bill, over which many state bodies have been battling for a long time.

Rumors that the bill would not come into effect circulated before the lower house passed it. A source in the Duma said that interested structures tried to defend their positions using the Presidential Administration. The major part of amendments was based on a combat between diverse state bodies for extending their rights in bankruptcy procedures. The president has decided that the bill needs substantial improvements.

Victor Pleskachevskii, chair of the Duma committee for property, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta’s correspondent that the bill will come into effect in October 2002. However, this will happen if the Duma agrees to the president’s amendments. Otherwise the passage of another edition of the bankruptcy bill be delayed for an uncertain period of time.

SCIENTISTS TO THINK ABOUT THE ARMY

Rossiiskaya Gazeta, August 7, 2002, p. 2

President Vladimir Putin discussed the main directions of development of science and restructuring of the military-industrial complex, with Ilya Klebanov, the minister for industry, science and technology in the Russian government.

The minister said that his department is preparing a parcel of bills on science, which will make it possible to speed up its development. Judging from the 2003 draft budget, the state plans to spend 39.9 billion rubles on developing priority directions of Russian science. This is by 9 billion rubles more that the government has allocated this year. The money will be divided into nine priority sectors under the control of the cabinet.

At the same time, the minister is sure that the major part of security ministries’ debt to the military-industrial complex will be repaid this year. He also noted that the armament program designed until 2010 will be accomplished.

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