UNPRECEDENTED MANEUVERS IN CASPIAN REGION
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, August 10, 2002, p. 2
Another successive stage of the large-scale maneuvers took place in the Caspian region yesterday. In accordance with the plans of the organizers, they should be over on August 15. Maneuvers of this kind have been carried out neither by the Soviet armed forces nor by the Russian ones. Armed elements of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan take part in these maneuvers. Turkmenistan doesn’t participate in them and as for Iran, it is represented by the military observers. International type of these maneuvers is the result of political and economical situational change in the Caspian region. In the last decades some new security threats for Russia and Caspian countries have appeared here. The struggle against terrorism takes on special significance, and, according to Sergey Ivanov, “this demanded cardinal reassessment of the national security conception and, that is why, in addition to Caspian fleet, elements of the North Caucasus region, the fourth army of the air force and air defense, border guard troops, Federal Security Service, internal forces and forces of the Emergencies Ministry take part in the Caspian maneuvers”. It became also known that the practical purpose of the maneuvers was the search of possible gangster weapon caches on islands.
MURDER OF A RUSSIAN OFFICER BEING INVESTIGATED IN GEORGIA
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, August 10, 2002, p. 2
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has put the whole blame for the murder of Lieutenant Colonel of the Russian army Igor Zaitsev on the Georgian authorities. A brutal murder of the Russian officer became feasible against the background of penetration of the guerrillas international terrorists to Russia from Georgia in the anti-Russian campaign in which the officials also participated, Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Boris Malakhov said. Moscow is demanding to take urgent measures to investigate the incident, Malakhov said. Sergey Ivanov refuted the information of some mass media that the Russian military authorities prepared the plan of the operation in the Pankiss Gorge for the purpose of exterminating of the Chechen mob, saying that there were not any plans developed. The Georgian officials have already claimed that Tbilisi police arrested some young man, suspected in the murder of the Russian officer. The press service of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs refused to call the name of the suspect. Tv company “Rustavi-2” stated that the suspect David Zazashvili is admittedly a Russian serviceman and citizen. The former Georgian Defense Minister Tengiz Ketovani thinks that the Chechen combats could have a hand in the murder of the Russian Colonel.
VESHNYAKOV COMPLETES INSPECTION OF ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN KRASNOYARSK TERRITORY
Kommersant, August 10, 2002, p. 2
Central Election Commission chairman Alexander Veshnyakov has completed a two-day inspection of the election campaign in the Krasnoyarsk territory. He stated that he hadn’t notice “anything exceptional” in this region and then he accused one of the favorites of the election campaign, Speaker of the Krasnoyarsk territory Legislative Assembly Alexander Uss of closeness to “the ideology, which had been described by Hitler in his “Mein Kampf””. ” The election situation in the Krasnoyarsk region is not worse, may be even better, than in the other regions,” Alexander Veshnyakov said. He stressed that he had met with all 15 candidates for the governor’s post. According to Veshnyakov, new methods of working with the electorate and mass media will be used in the Krasnoyarsk territory. Next week the regional election committee will publish the income figures of all the candidates for the governor’s post. All the expenditure from a candidate’s election fund will be published too. All the protocol figures of territorial election districts will be published in Internet on the voting day. Alexander Veshnyakov avoided appreciating the candidates’ election programs but, at last, he couldn’t help laying strictures on the campaign of one of the favorites, Chairman of the Krasnoyarsk territory Legislative Assembly Alexander Uss. Alexander Uss’s election staff didn’t react yesterday to these statements of Mr.Veshnyakov.
TOP AMERICAN OFFICIALS NEGOTIATE WITH PALESTINIAN MINISTERS
Izvestia, August 10, 2002, p. 6
US Secretary of State Colin Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice received three Palestinian ministers in Washington yesterday. However, it wasn’t clear if they spoke about the figure of Yasir Arafat at this meeting. Formally, the high-ranking members of Bush’s team and the Palestinians, who were invited by the US Secretary of State, discussed measures against the violence in the Middle East and the creation of the security system in the Palestinian territories. Every side upheld its own priorities. The main Palestinian negotiator Saib Aricat thinks that the purpose of these meetings is the more precise definition of the Palestinian state establishment. The Americans prefer not to talk about the final results. They are interested in the creation of such a security system that could allow to prevent new terrorist acts of kamikaze-combats and to take the strain off in Israel. Probably, Washington will offer something to the Palestinians that they won’t be able to decline; otherwise there would be of no use to invite them. Bush claimed at the end of June that the US would not take any action to alleviate the Palestinians’ sufferings if Yasir Arafat was in power in the autonomy (let alone the help in the establishment of their own state). However, those three Palestinians, who negotiate with the US Secretary of State and the presidential assistant in the national security sphere, can represent nobody else but Arafat. The Palestinians can associate with the high-ranking American officials in Washington but what the latter should do if they have to go to Israel. Any intermediary mission will require the meetings with unwanted leader, who continues to be in power in the autonomy.
POLITICAL PARADE IS OVER
Vremya MN, August 10, 2002, p. 2
The United Russia party’s delegation has returned to Moscow from an extended tour around the country. Officially, the aim of this political trip is social-economical and public-political regional situation familiarization. Unofficially, it is the election campaign. The agitation procession of the General Council visited 17 Russian Federation subjects in the period from July 8 to August 9. Being in Kazan, Bespalov stated, that to gain the majority in the State Duma during the elections next December and to back up Vladimir Putin during the next presidential elections are the closest aims of United Russia. He also claimed that United Russia is going to take part in the elections of all levels, beginning from local authorities, and it is going to slate for the governor’s republic presidents seats. In the opinion of centrists, to influence on the legislation and on the situation in the country is possible through one’s own people only. According to Oleg Morozov, the main party activist, United Russia united its three political constituent: Unity (moderate conservatives), Fatherland (moderate social-democrats) and All Russia (democratic federalists). Meanwhile, the figures emphasize the efficiency of the General Council summer trip, 87 regional and 1492 local party branches have been registered.
PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY FOR REMOTE AREAS
Noviye Izvestia, August 10, 2002, pp. 1-2
Petr Latyshev, presidential envoy for the Urals federal district, has spent the past 24 hours in something close to war conditions. President Vladimir Putin personally sent Latyshev to Columbia. He entrusted Latyshev with the task of heading the Russian delegation that was sent there for the inauguration of Alvaro Uribe, the new Columbian President. Urals federal district delegations have travelled abroad at public expense three times during the past 6 months, to talk trade, but there have been no concrete results yet. Great investment flows are not observed. Nevertheless the Ural presidential envoy being sent to that explosive country is, probably, the echo of Latyshev’s voyages around Europe. From the political point of view, Columbia is a complicated country. They include it into three of leading terrorist powers. That is why, perhaps, a general, regional official from the presidential administration, but not a professional diplomat was sent there by the Foreign Ministry. There is another political reason for this Columbia transmigration. They say, the Kremlin is going to find some more impressive person to head the Ural federal district authorities. It should be the person, who is in power to overtake Eduard Rossel (he is not always friendly to Moscow) and take the seat of the governor of the Sverdlovsk territory at the elections next year.