GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES TO BE TRANSPARENT

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GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES TO BE TRANSPARENT

Izvestia, May 30, 2003, p. 3 EV

Senior Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Mikhail Dmitriev said yesterday two new bills are about to be submitted to the Duma; one of them will specify criteria for classifying information as confidential, and the other will ensure public access to information that is not secret. Dmitriev said ensuring the information transparency of executive government institutions was “the top priority in carrying out administrative reforms.”

YABLOKO INVITES THE MEDIA TO REFRAIN FROM MUD-SLINGING

Izvestia, May 30, 2003, p. 3 EV

Sergei Mitrokhin, deputy leader of the Yabloko faction in the Duma, said yesterday that Yabloko has been the first party to be hit with a coordinated mud-slinging campaign in the pre-election period. Mitrokhin invited all political parties and public organizations to unite against “dirty PR tactics”, and invited media companies and journalists to develop “self-regulation mechanisms” which would prevent this form of election campaigning from making its way onto newspaper pages and television screens.

GROZNY GROWS – UPWARDS

Trud, May 30, 2003, EV

President Putin has met at the Kremlin with the senior officials of Chechnya. The meeting was attended by Akhmad Kadyrov, head of the administration of Chechnya, Chechen Prime Minister Anatoly Popov, and federal minister for Chechnya Stanislav Ilyasov.

The president said that work on distributing powers between the federal government and the government of Chechnya should proceed in accordance with the constitutions of Russia and Chechnya, and a draft of the agreement to be reached in this area should be discussed by the people of Chechnya. Putin also drew the attention of those present to the need to pay compensation to the people of Chechnya for the homes they have lost. Putin asked when compensation would start to be paid, and what remains to be done to settle this matter; he also expressed interest in how medium-sized and small business are developing in Chechnya, and how fast Grozny is being rebuilt.

Chechnya’s senior officials told the president that a working group on preparing the distribution of powers agreement has already been formed. According to Kadyrov, compensation for destroyed homes will start to be paid in September. Much progress is being made in Grozny on construction of apartment buildings, as well as health-care and education facilities. However, as Popov noted, since the funding allocated for restoring Grozny will run out before the end of the year, the relevant federal program needs to be amended in order to allow funding scheduled for 2004 to be provided before the end of 2003.

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