JOURNALISTS MEET IN MOSCOW

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JOURNALISTS MEET IN MOSCOW

Trud, May 23, 2003, EV

Two meetings of journalist organizations, the Union of Russian Journalists (URJ) and the International Confederation of Journalist Unions (ICJU), have been held at almost at the same time in Moscow. The URJ re-elected Vsevolod Bogdanov as chairman and determined its basic tasks for the next five years. “Pressure on journalists from the authorities and media owners should become the central problem for our union during this time,” Igor Yakovenko, the General Secretary of URJ stated. The delegates at the meeting said that the elections can be honest only if there is freedom of the press.

As for ISJU delegates, they described Russian media as the most unbiased. “The curtailment of journalists’ rights is a hot topic in some former Soviet republics – but Russia differs from them,” General Secretary Ashot Jazoyan stated. It was decided at the meeting to create an international panel for the resolution of conflicts.

DUMA ELECTIONS MAY TAKE PLACE EARLIER

Izvestia, May 23, 2003, p. 3 EV

Representatives of centrist factions in the Duma, including Unity leader Vladimir Pekhtin and Union of Right Forces leader Boris Nemtsov, introduced a legislative initiative to change the date of elections to December 7. This is connected with the fact that December 12 is a public holiday. Alexander Veshnyakov, the Chairman of the Central Election Commission stated yesterday that it is possible to hold the elections on December 7.

RESOLUTION ON AMNESTY IN CHECHNYA ADOPTED IN FIRST READING

Izvestia, May 23, 2003, p. 3 EV

The Duma has passed the resolution on declaring an amnesty in Chechnya in the first reading. Rudnik Dudayev, secretary of Chechnya’s Security Council, expressed support yesterday for the idea of extending the amnesty period until September 1, 2003. According to Dudayev, the amnesty will let hundreds of members of illegal armed formations return to a life of peace, but it will not worsen the crime situation in Chechnya.

DUMA DENIES SHANDYBIN THE RIGHT TO SPEAK

Izvestia, May 23, 2003, p. 3 EV

Vasiliy Shandybin, a Duma member from the Communist Party, has been banned from speaking in the Duma for a month. Other Duma members reached such a decision on May 16 at the initiative of Galina Strelchenko, chairwoman of the Duma ethics committee.

RUSSIAN SQUADRON CONTINUES EXERCISES IN INDIAN OCEAN

Trud, May 23, 2003, EV

The flagship of Russian squadron, missile cruiser “Moskva”, large anti-submarine vesse;s “Admiral Panteleyev” and “Marshal Shaposhnikov”, and the tanker “Vladimir Koletchitsky” have sailed from the port of Mumbai, India. It is planned to practise joint maneuvering, hold firing exercises, and drill the use of helicopters in rescue procedures for ships in distress

Indian military specialists show a great interest in experience of Russian sailors to accomplish the tasks concerning the counteractions against the enemy submarines. Speaking about the exercises, Indian mass media pay attention to the fact that this bilateral cooperation can be regarded as the first step of Russia toward maintaining its presence in the Indian Ocean.

“Since India is the biggest state in the region of the Indian Ocean, including on economic potential, the Indian Navy should correspond with its status. The Indian Navy should become the largest and most effective force in the region by 2015,” the head of Indian Naval Staff stated.

The present doctrine of operations implies the use of three aircraft carriers as a reference point for fleets in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. In this respect, the head of Indian Naval Staff considers it necessary to replace Indian aircraft carrier “Viraat” with the Russian “Admiral Gorshkov”.

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