NEW RADIOACTIVE WASTE PROCESSING COMPLEX
Parlamentskaya Gazeta, October 19, 2000, p. 1
The Zvezdochka federal unitary enterprise and Lockheed Martin Energy Technologies have built a radioactive waste processing complex in Severodvinsk. The facility will only handle waste with low levels of radiation.
The complex has been built built as part of the Russian-American mutual threat reduction agreement. It will sort, decontaminate, press, and package solid waste, and filter radioactive materials out of liquid waste.
VIKTOR KAZANTSEV IN THE SOUTHERN FEDERAL REGION…
Tribuna, October 19, 2000, p. 1
Viktor Kazantsev, presidential envoy for the Southern federal district, is trying to implement a presidential decree on state service for Cossacks. The decree dates back to 1996.
The Southern federal district is virtually a hot spot: 80% of Russia’s terrorist acts occur there, and one-sixth of all confiscated firearms are found in that area.
Bearing the situation in mind, in 1999 the Rostov regional legislature considered forming Cossack detachments to assist the law enforcement agencies.
Presidential envoy Kazantsev met in Rostov with atamans from the Don, Kuban, and Terek Cossack armies, and was quoted as saying that “Cossacks of southern Russia should become a consolidating nucleus, maintaining the stability and territorial integrity of the country.”
Kazantsev believes that Cossack detachments could be included in the forces of the Defense Ministry, Interior Ministry, customs, and the Federal Border Guards Service.
The atamans hope that Kazantsev will help them to have funding for support of Cossacks included in the federal budget.
TOBACCO LAWSUIT AND A NEW BUILDING ON RED SQUARE
Moskovsky Komsomolets, October 19, 2000, p. 2
Igor Kozhin of the Presidential Affairs Directorate has confirmed that a lawsuit has been filed demanding compensation from US tobacco companies for the damage done to the health of Russian smokers. Kozhin denies that it was his initiative, and cites a Cabinet resolution dated 1998.
As for rumors on impending construction work on Red Square, Kozhin says that the new building will probably be located behind the GUM department store. Its address will be 5 Red Square. This is the address of the Defense Ministry’s support services nowadays. The military will be offered apartments for officers in return for the building.
American, French, and other foreign companies will be investing $300 million in the Kremlin Complex, which will have three parts. One of them will house the administration, and an auction room where Russian antiques will be sold. The second will probably include a kind of museum-hotel, and the third will house a gems and precious metals trade center.
MEDIA-MOST: AN UPDATE
Moskovsky Komsomolets, October 19, 2000, p. 1
The Kremlin’s battle with the Media-Most holding seems to be drawing to a close, according to statements from both parties yesterday. A Media-Most press release was glowing – the company is satisfied with the arrangement, the NTV network retains its independence, and a search for foreign investors will be undertaken together with Gazprom-Media. No details are available at this point, but it does not take a genius to guess what they may be like. Gusinsky announced recently that he was prepared to step down, provided he was given guarantees that the NTV network would retain its independence. He wanted guarantees that NTV journalists and executives would keep their jobs, and that no new shareholder would have a controlling interest (to ensure that, the shares were supposed to be offered for sale “via a foreign bank”).
It seems that Gazprom-Media will keep the mortgaged shares of Media-Most for the time being, while a search for potential investors is launched.
DEFENSE SPENDING BECOMES A PRIORITY
Izvestia, October 19, 2000, p. 3
In 2001 defense spending will be sufficient to maintain the Armed Forces and build a foundation for some real reforms, according to Andrei Nikolayev, Chairman of the Duma Defense Committee.
Nikolayev made this optimistic prognosis after a meeting with Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov.
Nikolayev: If the political accord between the Duma and the Cabinet on the military budget is honored, we will have an unprecedented chance to really reorganize the Armed Forces.
It certainly seems that the agreement will be honored. The Cabinet has decided to allocate an additional 12.6 billion rubles for defense.
The state pledges to pay the Defense Ministry’s debts to its contractors, which totalled 55.1 billion rubles at October 1, 2000.
Izvestia, October 19, 2000, p. 1
As the scheduled start of the operation in the Barents Sea draws closer, there are louder calls not to risk the lives of divers, and to let the dead rest in peace. Valery Manilov, Senior Deputy Chief of the General Staff, said a few words to this effect on Monday.
Manilov: I do not rule out the possibility that the bodies will not be raised from the submarine.
Sources in the Defense Ministry confirm that apart from raising the bodies, the expedition will “retrieve all possible information concerning the submarine, including classified data.” We should remember that the Kursk was one of the newest Russian nuclear submarines, equipped with the latest technology. Moreover, there are classified documents in the commander’s safe, in the “secret department”, at the communications post, and in other sections as well. Leaving all of that on the seabed until spring means dooming counterintelligence to months of sleepless nights, and the Navy command to months of guarding the submarine, which is expensive. That is why the divers will probably be sent down to the submarine.
MOSCOW ON START III
Krasnaya Zvezda, October 19, 2000, p. 1
According to Moscow, “there is no objective reason preventing Russia and the United States from setting warhead numbers at a maximum of 1,500” within the framework of the future START III.
Reports from the Interior Ministry indicate that this is what Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov told Undersecretary of State John Holum, currently in Moscow for talks on arms cuts and missile defense. Holum was told once again that “Moscow advocates precise implementation of the agreement between the two presidents concerning START III.”
According to Russia, “such a considerable reduction is possible only if the ABM Treaty of 1972 is preserved as a guarantee of general strategic stability in the world.”