Kommersant, May 19, 2001, p. 1

As we predicted earlier, yesterday General Designer and Head of CDB ME “Rubin” Igor Spassky and deputy naval Chief Vice-Admiral Mikhail Barskov signed a contract with a Dutch company Mammoet Transport BV for raising the sunken nuclear-powered Kursk submarine. Judging by what deputy prime minister Ilya Klebanov told us about the operation, despite the change of the contractor, the project itself remained almost unchanged.


Kommersant, May 19, 2001, p. 2

Yesterday in Baku there was a meeting of the Council of Defense Ministers of the CIS member states. It did not pass without a row: Defense Minister of Azerbaijan called Armenia an aggressor and appealed to other states to break all contacts with Yerevan. The Russian Minister, however, did not let him split the CIS defense; and later was elected as its head.

Safar Abiyev, Defense Minister of Azerbaijan, was honored to open the meeting and taking advantage of this, he declared that “Armenia is an aggressor state, supporting separatism and terrorism”. He also summoned to stop all the collaboration with Yerevan and not to render it any political or military assistance. Moreover, he demanded to suspend Armenia’s membership in CIS Collective Security Treaty (CST).

However, Sergey Ivanov managed to suppress the impending scandal. He said, each CIS state decided for itself as to its membership in CST. That is why, according to him, it is not quite proper for one of the states to summon to suspending some other state’s membership in this treaty. The Russian Minister also excluded Russia’s possible participation on Armenia’s side, should it resume hostilities against Azerbaijan. He said, “This is absolutely out of the question. And Russian-Armenian united military duty of air-defense and military partnership is not directed against anyone”. According to him, Moscow is aiming at security for all the CIS states, and wants them to conduct the common defense policies.

After that, the ministers came to discussing the agenda of the meeting. Sergey Ivanov was elected Head of the Council of Defense Ministers of CIS member states (after Igor Sergeev resigned, this post was vacant). Then the ministers summed up the results of the joint command and

staff exercise “Commonwealth Southern Shield-2001”.

In conclusion, the ministers unanimously supported the candidacy of General Vladimir Yakovlev, former CinC of the Strategic Missile Forces, to the post of the commander of the Headquarters for the Coordination

of Military Collaboration of the CIS Countries (now this stand is taken by General Viktor Prudnikov). Subsequently, on June 1 in Minsk the leaders of the CIS member states will confirm General Yakovlev’s appointment.


Parliamentskaya Gazeta, May 19, 2001, p. 1

Will a new united party appear on the political stage in autumn? Will the famous politician, present leader of the Duma faction Fatherland-All Russia Yevgeny Primakov join it? The faction deputy leader Vyacheslav Volodin answers this and other questions.

Volodin: The fact that Fatherland-All Russia and Unity will merge is a settled matter. This will happen approximately in November – December. But at present the process of establishing an essentially new centrist party is hindered by the electoral law. According to it, only political organizations that are more than one year old can take part in elections. If we hurry it can turn out that our new party will not be able to run for the elections – that is actually the aim of its establishment. That is why we do not force the events, we are waiting till the new law about political parties will dot all “i’s”.

Question: What will voters think of your merger? At the past elections Fatherland-All Russia and Unity were competitors. Do you think that voters will understand the new situation and excuse this step?

Volodin: Firstly, the voters who voted for our block are represented in the Duma by our faction. It will remain independent until the end of its working period. And it will still cling to the program, which was supported by our voters.

Secondly, I believe, the voters will realize after a bit of thinking that the life itself urged two political organizations with similar programs to create a united party.

Question: Will Yevgeny Primakov, leader of the FAR faction, join the new party?

Volodin: I will not conceal the fact that Yevgeny Primakov is constantly negotiating with Yury Luzhkov. As for his joining the new party, I do not know anything about it. Maybe, it is too early, because the size of the party is not decided yet. This will have become clear by the autumn.


Rossiyskaya Gazeta, May 19, 2001, p. 1

Governor of the Sverdlovsk Oblast Eduard Rossel believes that it is necessary to form large territorial units with the rights of federation subjects on the territory of Russia.

In the perspective the Federation could consist of 30 large economically independent subjects. At that, the administrative-territorial arrangement of the regions should be changed. The governor announced this on Friday in his speech at the VI-th Russian Economic Forum in Yekaterinburg. According to him, an “uyezd” can be chosen as a unit of the administrative division, with 10 to 15 of them in each Federation subject. Rossel believes that constituencies are to become the basis of new territorial units.


Rossiyskaya Gazeta, May 19, 2001, p. 2

In the near future at least seven new senior posts will be established in the Interior Ministry. According to Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov, Chief Militia Administrations will be established in all the federal districts. Their heads will be appointed by the President and they will command all police in a district.

The Minister said, “This is reestablishment of a hierarcy within the Interior Ministry. Unfortunately, a lot of federal and municipal departments duplicate one another. However, we will now have the following structure: all Interior Ministry officials will report to the head of the territory, who will be the chief operating commander at the same time.”


Viorsty, May 19, 2001, p. 1

Sergey Yushenkov commented on the situation around URF. This is what he told us:

The main lie of the week is, to my mind, the rumors about Union of Right Forces (URF). According to them, URF is splitting because of the unwillingness of the member organizations to dismiss themselves, and because of the unsatisfied ambitions of specific leaders of the so-called “second front” political parties. In fact, there are three main problems in establishment of the party.

The first of them is connected with the URF Charter. It is very strict and stresses the idea of anti-democratic centrism. This is not a slip: it is a question of “anti-democratic”, not “democratic” centrism of the CPRF Charter. Lenin built his conception on the basis of individual membership and strict hierarchy within the party. It is almost this tack that Boris Nemtsov, Chubais and other leaders of URF maintain. Moreover, Nemtsov suggested that a codex of an URF member’s conduct should be introduced, then he replaced it by a codex of political responsibility. Its original variant can be summed up in the following way: I promise to carry out all orders of my superiors; if I break this pledge let the strict hand of my comrades punish me.

The second reason of my personal discontent with the URF faction’s policies lies in their precocious, thoughtless initiatives, which they bring into the Duma for discussion. For example, their plans to settle the Chechnya conflict are under the influence of fascism ideology.

The third reason is connected with the management style of the URF leaders, and that of Boris Nemtsov in particular. They create an image of the right forces as some flippant organization, which lets itself to abuse the supreme power, but while important laws are being debated in the State Duma, the party does not support liberal and democratic proposals.

Because of the clash of opinions as to the URF future, its organizational structure, its ideology and the management style of its leaders, I am not going to join the party Union of Right Forces, but I will remain a member of the URF Duma faction.

Nevertheless, I am sure there will be no split and the new party will organized.


Viorsty, May 19, 2001, p. 1

It is very good that such a term as a “Parliament party” has been devised. It explains a lot, and it puts even more things in their places. It means – they are there, in the parliament, and we are here, behind the Duma walls. There is no need for us to meet, or to discuss our positions. Well, maybe only once in four years during the election time. Then the party will remember us and remind that all this time it has been protecting our rights. And if it did not come out as has been expected – don’t worry! This time everything will work out all right! You just have to vote for us!

Frankly speaking, this situation is really getting on the Russian people’s nerves. It is not just a coincidence that 60%respondents of the poll, carried out by the Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VtsIOM), declared that political parties only serve to satisfy their leaders’ interests. And what is more – they infallibly succeed. How many leaders of these dwarfish organizations made themselves careers on the oblast or federal level, solved their numerous fiscal problems! These are their only achievements that they can boast of. But the most insulting thing is that it is absolutely impossible to call them to account because either the organization has already been dissolved or a deputy has joined another party. It means we are to solve a typical Russian situation – nobody is responsible for anybody or anything. Maybe, that is why 36% of the respondents do not make any difference between several dozens of political parties, acting now in Russia. All of them are mostly occupied with their own business. Let us see what will happen when only several big parties stay on the political stage.


Moskovsky Komsomolets, May 19, 2001, p. 2

Yesterday after the closed meeting of the Duma Foreign Affairs Committee a new sensation was brought to light. Head of the committee Dmitry Rogozin declared that according to his sources, the US campaign for Russia’s removal from the G-8 had Russian roots. According to Rogozin’s sources, some well-known Russian oligarchs paid a lot of money to the big Western lobby groups in order to discredit Russia’s international image. At that, a specific role was given to the removal of Russia from the G-8.

Despite the fact that Rogozin did not call any names, we can suppose that the matter concerns Vladimir Gusinsky and his consultants. Rogozin promised that the deputies would take the situation under control. He introduced a deputy Sergey Shishkarev, who was in charge with the problem, to the journalists. Shishkarev, in his turn, promised that the problem would be analyzed and the results would be announced.


Izvestia, May 19, 2001, p. 1

Yesterday Ruslan Aushev, President of Ingushetia, scrapped the republican headquarters for helping Chechen refugees. Now the distribution of humanitarian aid will be charged to the Russian Ministry for Federation Affairs, National and Migration Policies’ territorial bodies for Ingushetia.

According to Ruslan Aushev’s press secretary Kuresh Buzurtanov, there is not a single trait of sensation in this decree. Ruslan Aushev only carried out decrees of the Russian government. They prescribed to delegate the functions of the Chechen refugees aid to the jurisdiction of the Ministry for Federation Affairs (MFA).

According to his words, the abolition of the headquarters will change practically nothing. The matter is as follows: the Ingushetia headquarters was in charge of formal distribution of humanitarian aid. At that all the financial flows from Moscow went through the Russian Federation’s Federal Migration Service (the former name of the MFA) and the Emergency Ministry of Russia. The heads of these organizations were also included into the republican headquarters.

Ruslan Aushev himself has not yet expressed his attitude toward the abolition of his own “creation”. But his press secretary presupposed that Aushev was rather glad about the innovation. He said, “The President of Ingushetia has nothing against this idea, of course. It will only lift the huge burden from his shoulders. But only if the territorial body will really help refugees. At present, there are 148,000 Chechen refugees officially registered in the republic, they live in tent camps or with their relatives. Their number is not decreasing, on the contrary, it is increasing every day by 40 people. It happens when some special operation or searches are conducted in Chechnya.


Rossiia, No. 18, May, 2001, p. 2

The General Prosecutor’s Office directorate in the Siberian federal district has completed its investigation into the case of NovosibirskEnergo shares sold to the Moscow-based ORTEK company.

Vasilii Usov, senior prosecutor for the Siberian federal district, says that as a result of the investigation charges have been laid against the former governor of the Novosibirsk region, Vitalii Mukha (under Article 286, exceeding the authority of his position) and the former chairman of the Novosibirsk KUGI, Leonid Nikonov (under Article 285, abuse of office). The former governor and former deputy governor have been made to give a written undertaking not to leave the region.