THE SYSTEM OF CHECHNYA’S GOVERNMENT MAY BE CHANGED

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THE SYSTEM OF CHECHNYA’S GOVERNMENT MAY BE CHANGED

Izvestia, May 21, 2003, p. 3 EV

Victor Kazantsev, Presidential Envoy for the Southern Federal District, considers the creation of a constitutional field in Chechnya as the main condition of stabilization of the situation in Chechnya. He stated after the end of the collegium of territorial federal executive bodies on May 20: “The main thing is to complete the constitutional process, elect the president, and create legislative bodies for Chechnya.” According to the presidential envoy, some changes may take place in the system of government in Chechnya. He noted in an interview that changes will be aimed at increasing officials’ accountability for their duties. Kazantsev noted: “At present everyone blames the federal services whenever anything happens.”

THE SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES SIBERIA’S PROBLEMS

Izvestia, May 21, 2003, p. 3

Vladimir Rushailo, Secretary of the Security Council, stated in Novosibirsk yesterday that Siberia’s potential does not correspond to the actual direction of Russia’s development. Vladimir Rushailo held a meeting of territorial government bodies aimed at making preparations for the June meeting of the Security Council, which will concern problems of the Siberian federal district.

Vladimir Rushailo pointed out some problems, which affect Russia’s national security. In particular, these are economic, environmental, and health problems. According to Vladimir Rushailo, “Siberia has turned into a territory at the expense of which Russia is solving its economic problems. I mean the region’s raw materials. In the meantime, Siberian processing enterprises are not developing.”

MILITARY REFORM ACCORDING TO THE UNITY FACTION

Izvestia, May 21, 2003, p. 3

The Unity faction has released its proposals for reforming the Russian Armed Forces. The essence of these proposals boils down to implementing paid six-month military courses for potential recruits. The architects of this initiative think that graduates from such a course must be able to continue education in military education institutions free of charge, or demobilize, since such courses will be considered as military service. The presidium of the Unity faction approved of this initiative yesterday. Vladimir Pekhtin, leader of the Unity faction, stated that the faction’s initiative should be considered within the context of the persident’s new ideas regarding the military reform announced in the Message to the federal Assembly.

THE PENTAGON AND THE RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY TO RESUME DIALOGUE

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, May 21, 2003, EV

After holding negotiation with the Malaysian military leadership Russian defense Minister Sergei Ivanov headed to Washington where he plans to meet with US President George W. Bush, his national security aide Condolizza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Ramsfeld on May 21-22.

The visit will have a range of important circumstances. Firstly, contacts between US and Russian high-ranking military representatives suspended after the beginning of active preparations for an attack on Iraq are gathering pace. Secondly, the Duma has ratified the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty. Thirdly, the recent military exercises conducted by the Russian strategic aviation over the Indian, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans have shown Moscow’s readiness to use force for repulsing threats to its national interests.

Our sources say that Sergei Ivanov will meet with an agent of the Russian Central Intelligence Department in Washington, who will report the prospects of deployment of various anti-missile systems in the US. The Bush administration’s spending for this purpose will exceed $8 billion in 2005.

It should be noted that Sergei Ivanov’s visit to the US coincides with a successful testing of the S-400 anti-aircraft system at the Kapustin Yar firing range. The system can destroy a wide range of targets. Such anti-aircraft systems will become the foundation of Russia’s airspace shield in the 21st century.

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