Izvestia, April 5, 2000, p. 4

The house of Representatives of the Belarussian National Assembly has ratified the protocol on the extension of the Treaty on collective security as of May 15, 1992. This Treaty was signed in April 1999 in Moscow at the summit by the presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. Three members (Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan) decided to leave the collective security system.

In accordance with the Treaty the participants in the agreement are obliged to refrain from using force against each other and from joining military alliances of the countries the activities of which are directed against a member of the agreement. If any member of the agreement is exposed to an aggression from a hostile country, the participants in the Treaty are obliged to defend this member.


Rossiyskaya Gazeta, April 5, 2000, p. 1

The statement of RJES that it intends to reduce supplies of electricity within Russia by 25% in April was like a bolt from the blue. This statement was made before the beginning of a board meeting of RJES on April 4. This statement of Chubais’s team has caused a negative reaction of the Fuel and Energy Ministry.

RJES explains the necessity of reducing supplies of electricity by the fact that since April 1 Gazprom has reduced gas supplies to national-scale electric power stations by three times and by 1.7 times in the regional systems.

Press Secretary Trapeznikov stated: “As a result of the unexpected and considerable reduction there appeared a realistic threat to the reliability of the Russian energy system.” That is why RJES intends to begin a large-scale disconnection of non-payers. RJES called the activities of Gazprom irresponsible because the concern will not be able to cover this gap using other kinds of fuel.

The Fuel and Energy Ministry met these statements of RJES with bewilderment because in accordance with its purchase order in the first quarter of 2000 RJES had to buy 7.7 million tons of fuel oil. In the reality the concern has bought only 3.4 million tons. That is why the statement of RJES about an alleged threat to national energy security is an attempt to shift blame to others.

Fuel and Energy Minister Victor Kalyuzhny said that he will consider this situation scrupulously.


Rossiyskaya Gazeta, April 5, 2000, p. 1

Maskhadov’s wife and children are under the protection of special services on the territory of North Ossetia. This statement was made on April 4 by Secretary of the Federation Council Yegor Stroev.

As for the negotiations of Ruslan Aushev and Alexander Dzasokhov with Aslan Maskhadov, the secretary of the Federation Council noted that “Maskhadov is the main difficulty in these negotiations”.

According to Stroev, the point is that Maskhadov’s wife and children are living in North Ossetia and “Dzasokhov talks with Aslan Maskhadov about his family every day”. According to Stroev, “Aushev knows about this.”


Moskovsky Komsomolets, April 5, 2000, p. 2

The CPRF leadership is accusing state officials in some Russian regions of “a total falsification of the results of the March 26 vote”.

The CPRF has sent the Central Election Commission, the Federation Council, and the General Prosecutor’s Office letters signed by Gennady Zyuganov with a demand that this situation be cleared up and the results of the presidential elections be declared invalid in some Russian regions.

Zyuganov does not say that this concerns the entire territory of the Russian Federation. He does not state that the victory was stolen from him. At best, he was deprived of a chance to run for president in a second round of voting. But he states that in Bashkortostan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Mordovia, North Ossetia, Tatarstan, the Kaliningrad and Saratov regions the presidents and governors infringed the electoral law. According to Zyuganov, in Bashkortostan certain people stood near ballot-boxes and told voters how they should vote. In a lot of regions, election commissions rewrote vote count summaries and after that the proportions of voters who supported Zyuganov and Putin changed drastically. CPRF observers say there were cases when certain individuals added ballot-papers with ticks against the name of the acting president. According to the Communists, in Tatarstan 3 million extra ballot-papers was printed for this purpose. Half of them were put in ballot-boxes by bribed people, or by the secretary of the district election committees.

The leader of the CPRF is disappointed with the fact that the Central Election Commission and the Federation Council did not draw the proper conclusions after the parliamentary elections. What’s more, the Federation Council, which consists mainly of regional governors, is sabotaging the discussion of the issue regarding their own abuses.


Moskovsky Komsomolets, April 5, 2000, p. 2

Staff changes are expected in one of the Russian special services in the near future. According to sources of “Moskovsky Komsomolets”, Georgy Poltavchenko, presidential representative in St. Petersburg, may be appointed director of the Federal Tax Police Service.

The reason is very simple. Poltavchenko used to work in the St. Petersburg KGB department. While chief of the St. Petersburg tax police, he maintained close relations with Vladimir Putin.

By the way, the recent change of leadership in the Moscow tax police (Boris Dobrushkin was replaced Alexei Sedov, Poltavchenko’s former deputy) is considered a first step of Poltavchenko to the new seat.


Komsomolskaya Pravda, April 5, 2000, p. 2

Ukrainian President Kuchma has signed a decree on the measures aimed at legalizing incomes on which people have avoided paying tax.

According to the most modest calculations, from ten to 20 billion hryvnas has been taken out of the country. This money would come in handy for Ukraine, which is doing its best to avoid national bankruptcy. The search for interior sources of funds seems to have ended. Currently Leonid Kuchma has only one option, which was proposed by the security ministers: he has to suggest to rich but dishonest citizens that they should return their capital and pay taxes. The decree guarantees anonymity (their names and reports about their incomes will not be announced in the media) and immunity (the legalized money will not confiscated later).

At the same time, these terms do not concern incomes which are subjected to confiscation (the cases mentioned by the Convention on laundering, searching, arresting, and confiscating money earned illegally). The timing of legalization is rather strict: from three to eight months. After that special services will apply other measures. Perhaps this is the reason why Leonid Derkach, Director of the Ukrainian Savings Bank has already announced the names of seven deputies of the Supreme Rada suspected of corruption.


ORT, Novosti, April 4, 2000, 15:00

Acting President Vladimir Putin held several planned meetings in the Kremlin today. He discussed issues concerning land legislation and passing the new Penal procedural code with Marat Baglai, chair of the Constitutional Court. Baglai reported to Putin on the court’s progress in protection of citizens’ rights. After that, Putin met with Justice Minister Yuri Chaika. They discussed reforms in the Justice Ministry and the work of this agency to strengthen the legal system.


ORT, Novosti, April 4, 2000, 15:00

Today we learned that Alexander Voloshin, head of the Presidential Administration, recently met with St. Petersburg Governor Yakovlev in Moscow. As the press service of the governor reported, they discussed, among other issues, the gubernatorial election in St. Petersburg, which is set for May 14.


NTV, Segodnya, April 4, 2000, 12:00

A search for the servicemen of the Perm special forces detachment who have gone missing during fighting near the settlement of Janoi-Vedeno on March 29 is still underway. According to official data, nine servicemen are now considered missing. Officers of the operative investigation group are thoroughly searching the combat zone, but have not found any traces of the missing fighters so far. According to one version of events, the servicemen were captured by Shamil Basaev’s guerrillas and Basaev has already set forth an ultimatum demanding to exchange them for Colonel Budanov, who was recently charged with murdering a Chechen woman. The deadline expires tomorrow, and Basaev is threatening to kill the captured servicemen if his ultimatum is rejected. Moreover, he states that the execution will be videotaped. However, Federal Security Service representatives state that all talk of an exchange is a provocation and misinformation on the part of the guerrillas in order to show the federal command at a disadvantage, as people who do not want to save their fighters.