NO PROBLEMS WITH RAIL TRANSIT VIA LITHUANIA

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NO PROBLEMS WITH RAIL TRANSIT VIA LITHUANIA

Izvestia, September 5, 2003, p. 3

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said yesterday that agreements on rail transit across Lithuania for Russian citizens were implemented without any serious problems or faults in July and August. These two months, the peak period for summer holiday rail travel, “have confirmed that the transit system is effective.” Yakovenko noted that the governments of Russia and Lithuania had signed an agreement on train travel by Russian citizens across Lithuanian territory, to and from the Kaliningrad region, coming into effect from July 1, 2003.

AUDITING COMMISSION WILL LOOK INTO EFFICIENCY OF STATE SPENDING

Izvestia, September 5, 2003, p. 3

Auditing Commission chairman Sergei Stepashin announced yesterday that in all its audits from 2005, the Auditing Commission plans to assess the efficiency of targetted spending of state funds. Stepashin was speaking in Bishkek, at the opening of the fourth conference of CIS financial monitoring agency leaders. Stepashin noted that introducing auditing procedures carries the risk of financial monitoring agencies being drawn into the sphere of political relations between the legislative and executive branches. Therefore, in many nations it is forbidden by law to give political assessments of state programs or comment on the government’s political decisions in the course of checking efficiency. Stepashin said that the Russian Auditing Commission is striving to observe these standards.

YABLOKO WILL COME UP WITH AN ALTERNATIVE BUDGET

Izvestia, September 5, 2003, p. 3

Sergei Ivanenko, deputy leader of the Yabloko faction in the Duma, has held a series of working meetings in Yekaterinburg with representatives of the region’s industrial enterprises. The national situation was discussed as well as regional issues. Ivanenko says that there are a number of flaws in the government’s draft budget for 2004: including the unequal distribution of revenues between the federal treasury and regional budgets. The Yabloko faction plans to present the Duma with an alternative draft of the budget, featuring equal distribution of revenues between Moscow and the regions.

CHECHNYA: A CALL TO STOP UNLAWFUL ARRESTS

Izvestia, September 5, 2003, p. 3

Husein Isaev, chairman of the State Council of Chechnya, has called on law enforcement agencies to put an end to unlawful arrests of residents of Chechnya. His statement, distributed in Grozny on September 3, reads: “Some leaders of security structures in Chechnya turn a blind eye to ongoing unlawful arrests of civilians, sometimes involving arrests at night and the use of armored vehicles. Without any charges being laid, the detained people are taken away to unknown locations, and as a rule, they disappear.”

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