PROJECTS BETTER, CORRUPTION BROADER
Rossiiskaya Gazeta, June 15, 2001, p. 26
The Duma has voted on the anti-corruption bill twice in the first reading, but the bill still hasn’t been passed.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a deputy speaker of the lower house, noted: “The battle against corruption should start in the Duma.” Duma deputies did not argue with him, since they are used to scandalous statements from the leader of the LDPR. However, they have still failed to pass the bill. Why? Almost all deputies agree that Russia needs this law, because corruption has become a threat to national security. Moreover, it hinders economic development.
The parliament passed a different law on fighting corruption long ago, but it was vetoed by the president. Victor Ilyukhin thinks that the Duma will never pass this bill. In the meantime, Gennady Raikov, leader of the People’s Deputy group, has said that he is taking part in preparing a more extensive bill, which will make it possible to take the offensive on corruption.
FATHERLAND HAS DECIDED TO DO UNITY A FAVOR
Moskovsky Komsomolets, June 15, 2001, p. 2
Members of the Moscow branch of the Fatherland movement discussed the upcoming elections for the Moscow City Duma at the their fourth conference. Yuri Luzhkov and his supporters do not conceal that getting a majority in the Moscow Duma is a point of honor for Fatherland. At present, Fatherland’s position in Moscow is very strong. The Moscow city branch of Fatherland includes 25,000 members in 126 local branches. However, Fatherland will have problems in the elections. The Union of Right Forces and Yabloko – supported by the middle class, businesspeople and youth – have announced their intention to field candidates in the Moscow Duma elections. Candidates nominated by the Communists will be supported by elderly people in Moscow. As far as Unity is concerned, Fatherland will have to share seats with this movement. It is not clear how many seats Luzhkov is ready to concede to Unity.
Luzhkov said that Fatherland will use aggressive campaign methods during this election.
RUSSIA HAS ITS OWN DAVOS
Tribuna, June 15, 2001, p. 2
A ceremony marking the end of the “Russian Davos forum” will be held in the Tauride Palace in St. Petersburg on June 15.
Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov, who has participated in the forum, drew attention to developing high technology sectors in Russia. He thinks this should be done along with integrating Russia into the European community and developing economic relations within the CIS.
The forum was attended by 2,000 representatives from 37 countries. Many delegations were headed by prime ministers and speakers of parliaments.
ELECTIONS IN THE RUSSIAN FAR EAST
Trud, June 15, 2001, p. 2
The regional court in Primorye (Maritime territory, Russian Far East) has decided to disqualify Victor Cherepkov from the gubernatorial election which is to be held this Sunday. According to the court, Cherepkov violated the law on elections. As a result of this decision, businessman Sergei Darkin will have to compete against Gennady Apanasenko, first deputy presidential envoy for the Far Eastern federal district, in the second round of the election. Cherepkov asked his supporters to vote against all candidates.
Cherepkov’s supporters held a rally on the main square in Vladivostok on June 14. However, this action did not prevent the regional election commission from deciding to hold the second round of the gubernatorial election on June 17.
CABINET DOWN A COAL MINE
Izvestia, June 15, 2001, p. 5
The Cabinet discussed the fate of the coal industry at its meeting on June 14. Reforms in this sector are gathering pace: 90% of unprofitable coal mines have been closed down. However, the state can’t afford to open new mines. As a result, Russia has found itself on the verge of a coal shortage. Every year Russia has to import 12 to 15 million tons of coal. The Cabinet decided to allocate 10 billion rubles from the budget to the coal industry in 2002. The Energy Ministry has proposed to issue credits to the coal sector at 12% a year. Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov has proposed the most interesting method for restoring the coal industry: importing equipment for coal mines from Ukraine as debt repayment.