RUSSIAN AND JAPANESE LEADERS EXCHANGE MESSAGES

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RUSSIAN AND JAPANESE LEADERS EXCHANGE MESSAGES

Izvestia, June 18, 2003, p. 3 EV

President Vladimir Putin hs received former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori at the Kremlin. Mori brought a personal message from the present head of Japanese government, Junichiro Koizumi, to the Russian president. Putin is invited to visit Japan. “I wrote to Junichiro Koizumi yesterday,” Putin said. Then, recalling his meeting with Koizumi at the St. Petersburg tercentenary celebrations, he added: “We spoke about the fundamentals of Russian-Japanese relations, the peace treaty, economic cooperation and some other important issues of an international nature.”

DUMA WILL ADOPT AMENDMENTS TO BUDGET

Izvestia, June 18, 2003, p. 3 EV

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kudrin is sure that the Duma will adopt some amendments to this year’s budget in three readings. He spoke about this at President Putin’s meeting with leading members of the government. Kudrin said: “Then we will manage to allocate funds for paying compensation for destroyed homes in Chechnya; and 10 million rubles to the regions for raising wages of state-sector workers; and 3 million rubles for fortifying the southern borders of Russia.” Kudrin also stressed that some taxation bills had been submitted, expressing the hope that all the bills will be passed during the current session of the lower house.

MONITORING OF IGLA AND STRELA SYSTEMS IS OPEN TO QUESTION

Izvestia, June 18, 2003, p. 3 EV

Yuri Baluyevsky, first deputy chief of the General Staff, expressed regret at the refusal of Georgia and Ukraine to support Russia’s proposals concerning tightening control over the sale of air defense missile systems. “Georgia and Ukraine have taken an odd position in declining to support the offer made by our defense minister,” he stated. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov proposed this initiative at a meeting of the council of the CIS defense ministers on June 9. According to Baluyevsky, “the representatives of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan assured us that they would sign similar agreements with Russia on a bilateral basis.”

FOREIGN MILITARY DIPLOMATS GO TO SIBERIA

Izvestia, June 18, 2003, p. 3 EV

According to the press service of the Siberian military district, a large group of military diplomats form some countries of Europe, Asia and the Americas have begun a visit to the Siberian military district. A spokesman for the military district said: “In accordance with the Defense Ministry’s international military cooperation plan, a group of the foreign military diplomats will be visiting the Siberian military district between June 17 and June 19.” He stated that the itinerary of the tour includes a meeting with the Commander-in-Chief of the Siberian military district, a visit to the school for ensigns in Chita, and the officers’ courses of the Siberian military district.

BUSINESS LEADERS WILL PAY FOR MASKHADOV

Izvestia, June 18, 2003, p. 3 EV

A special non-profit foundation set up in Grozny has undertaken to pay monetary rewards for any information about Aslan Maskhadov, leader of the Chechen separatists. Chechnya’s acting president Akhmad Kadyrov had recently promised to pay rewards for such information as well.

“Our foundation has almost started work already. We are doing some organization at present,” says Federation Council member Akhmar Zavgayev, whose idea it was to set up this foundation. Speaking about funding sources, he said that an agreement on donations had been reached with some business leaders.

DUMA WON’T VOTE NO CONFIDENCE IN THE GOVERNMENT

Moskovskii Komsomolets, June 18, 2003, p. 2

The Duma will consider the motion for a vote of no confidence in the government today.

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov is not expected to attend the debate on his incompetence – he said so last week. Moreover, Kasianov won’t be in Moscow. He will be replaced by some other representative of the government at the Duma session, but it is unknown who this will be. At any rate, the initiators of the motion won’t gather enough votes to dismiss the government. So the debate over the Cabinet’s shortcomings will be just a squabble between supporters and opponents of the vote of no confidence. First of all, Gennadi Zyuganov and Grigori Yavlinsky will make their speeches – each will have 15 minutes. The rest of the Duma members will participate in the debate only after them. “Come along, it will be interesting,” Deputy Speaker Lyubov Sliska promised journalists yesterday.

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