ABDUCTORS TO BE AMNESTIED FOR LIBERATING HOSTAGES
Moskovsky Komsomolets, June 9, 1999, p.1
The Main Department for Fighting Organized Crime is proposing not instituting criminal proceedings against abductors who liberate their prisoners.
As Deputy Director of the Main Department for Fighting Organized Crime Nikolai Morozov stated, the department recently sent the Duma a letter which contained a request to change the corresponding articles of the Criminal Code. However, it is planned to amnesty only abductors who have not committed any other crimes. For instance, if, while in captivity, a hostage was beaten, his tormentors will be responsible both for the abduction of the person and for harming his health.
Experts assume that if this amendment is introduced into the Criminal Code it will solve two problems at once. First of all, many criminals will start handling their victims more carefully. Incidentally, four hostages have already died in captivity this year. These tragedies happened not while freeing the hostages but because of cruel treatment. Secondly, agents of units for fighting organized crime hope that many abductors will change their mind and liberate their captives, since, as evidence police statistics, 25.7% of such crimes are committed because of unpaid debts. These questions can be solved in a more civilized way.
RUSSIA AND CHINA ARE BRETHREN FOREVER
Izvestia, June 9, 1999, p.1
Moscow is according a first class reception to the Chinese military delegation (headed by Deputy Chair of the Chinese Central Military Council Chzhan Vannyan), which has arrived in Moscow on a ten day visit. The entire Russian military “Beau Monde”, headed by Marshall Sergeev, Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin, and Secretary of the Security Council Vladimir Putin are to participate in the negotiations. The West is slightly put out at the fact that Russia and China are “brethren forever” once more, and now in the military sphere, too.
ANTI-AIRCRAFT DEFENSE COMPLEXES HAVE BEEN TESTED
Izvestia, June 9, 1999, p.2
The anti-aircraft defense complexes produced at Izhevsk electric-mechanical plant have undergone successful testing. In particular, as was stated by the press service of the plant, the newest software to steady the detection and escorting of high-precision weapons, which is one of the most urgent tasks for researchers of anti-aircraft defense systems around the whole world, has successfully passed the tests, which were conducted in Kazakhstan under circumstances which closely resembling combat. They were necessitated not only by the natural desire to affirm the high quality of Izhevsk military products, but also to fulfill the contract for the delivery of TOR-M1 anti-aircraft defense missile systems to Greece.
CRAVING HIGH TECHNOLOGIES
Trud, June 9, 1999, p.1
Yesterday, a forum entitled “New High Technologies for Gas, Oil, Energy Industries, and Communication” was launched in Ufa. Heads of federal and regional government bodies, Gazprom Inc., Transneft Inc., the German concerns Ruhrgas and Winterhall, and other Western companies which invest in Russian projects are participating in the forum, which is being carried out under the aegis of the UN Committee for Industrial Development.
Reports and technological projects having to do with the main strategic directions of the development of oil and gas, oil-chemical industries, ecologically pure energy industry, high-information communication, and new banking technologies are represented at the congress.
RUSSIA UNDER THE SHADE OF KEDR
Trud, June 9, 1999, p.1
Kedr, the only green party in Russia, intends to overcome the 5% barrier in the upcoming elections and then form a green faction in the Russian parliament, as Chair of the Kedr Constructive-Ecological Movement Anatoly Panfilov told a “Trud” correspondent yesterday at the forum of the movement. As he stated, “We will support the interests of neither banks nor financial-industrial groups. It will be a lobby of nature, family, children, healthy lifestyles, and clean soil, water, and air.”
A MEETING BETWEEN STEPASHIN AND YELTSIN
NTV, Segodnya, June 8, 1999, 12:00
On June 8 Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin met with Boris Yeltsin. According to the press secretary of the president, the prime minister and the president intended to discuss current affairs. Journalists found out that the redistribution of responsibilities in the Cabinet in its final shape and the results of the meetings with Duma leaders were understood under “current affairs”.
Stepashin informed journalists that the president appreciates the work of the Cabinet regarding the negotiations with Duma leaders about the approval of the economic bills which were recommended by the International Monetary Fund. According to Stepashin, Yeltsin approves of the redistribution of responsibilities in the new Cabinet.
The issue of financing national defense was one of the key questions at the meeting. The president and the premier decided to assign more assets for the development of military construction and the purchase of weapons for the Russian Army. This problem will be discussed again with the security ministers.
In addition, Stepashin discussed with Yeltsin the situation in Kosovo, his forthcoming trip to the north Caucasus, and issues of Russian-Ukrainian relations.
NEW SUCCESSOR OF THE PRESIDENT
ORT, Novosti, June 8, 1999, 15:00
Chief of the Presidential Administration Alexander Voloshin stated in an interview to “Izvestia” that Sergei Stepashin may be Yeltsin’s successor. But Voloshin was not sure if Yeltsin would announce his successor officially. There have been a lot of comments about this statement. Gennady Seleznev stated that all previous successors of the president were dismissed in two or three months. According to Zyuganov, leader of the CPRF, those who are given promises by the president that they can keep their jobs until 2000 usually have a lot of problems soon thereafter.
THE SPECIAL INSTIGATOR OF THE PRESIDENT
ORT, Novosti, June 8, 1999, 12:00
Gennady Zyuganov has called Presidential Special Envoy Victor Chernomyrdin a “special instigator”. Chernomyrdin responded that this appraisal means that he acted correctly and that the position of Russia regarding the crisis is correct.