CABINET ON VACATION
Izvestia, December 29, 2001, p. 1 EV
In the first half of January not only schoolchildren but also the government will take a winter vacation.
Half of Cabinet ministers will entrust their deputies with their duties and go on vacation. Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin will be on duty in the Cabinet. But on January 9 he will leave Moscow too: it is necessary for him to visit his parents in the Leningrad Region and go skiing. He will be substituted for by another deputy prime minister, Viktor Khristenko, who will have a rest until January 8. The two other deputy prime ministers, Valentina Matvienko and Alexei Gordeev, will be away from the White House until January 14. According to the Interfax news agency, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov intends to have vacation too. However, he keeps a secret where he will have a rest this year. Last year he visited a Russian mountain skiing health resort.
Duma deputies will have holidays too. The next plenary meeting is scheduled for January 16.
In the Kremlin there will be no holidays formally. Kremlin officials will go to work on January 3, like most of Russians. However, some corridors of the 14th and the first corpora of the Kremlin will be vacant: some of their tenants will go to other countries or even other continents.
SIBERIA BEING RELIEVED OF NUCLEAR WASTE
Izvestia, December 29, 2001, p. 2 EV
On December 28, 2001, Valery Denisov, Chief of the Siberian department of the State Nuclear Inspectorate, told us that in 2002 his agency might ban deliveries of spent nuclear fuel from foreign countries to Siberia. This decision will be made if the inspection conducted at the Zheleznogorsk ore processing enterprise (the Krasnoyarsk Territory) proves that among the 40 tons of spent nuclear fuel delivered at the end of November from Bulgaria there were some components that are banned from being deliverd to Russia. The State Nuclear Inspectorate asserts that the Bulgarian nuclear waste was delivered to Russia for storage, not recycling, and further transport out of Russia, apparently.
In the opinion of Greenpeace, the delivery of the waste nuclear fuel from Bulgaria to Russia is illegal, since the contract for its delivery and recycling had not undergone an ecological examination. The State Nuclear Inspectorate permitted a one-time delivery of spent nuclear fuel on condition of the further performance of the state examination. It is not clear, however, who will conduct this examination and when.
Moreover, the Zheleznogorsk oar processing enterprise does not have a license for recycling spent nuclear fuel from VVER-1000 reactors, nor does it have necessary capacities for it. The TR-2 plant meant for this purpose is only being constructed now, but there is not enough money for this construction.
Valery Denisov told us: “We’ll only store nuclear waste. We won’t live to see new conditions for recycling nuclear waste appear in Siberia.” According to Denisov, this type of fuel cannot be recycled even at the Mayak plant in Chelyabinsk handling disposal of spent nuclear fuel.
GEOGRAPHY OF ROSOBORONEXPORT
Nezavisimoe Voennoe Obozrenie, December 28, 2001, p. 2
On December 24, Chairman of the Russian Committee for Military-Technical Cooperation Mikhail Dmitriev reported that in 2001 there has been a tendency of increase of the export of Russia’s military products and hard currency revenues, as well as expansion of the geography of deliveries. Today Russia sells weapons and military hardware to 67 countries. This list is likely to be extended at the expense of countries of Southeastern Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Large-scale contracts on arms deliveries are likely to be signed with Vietnam, Myanma, Bangladesh, Yemen, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. A contract on purchasing helicopters is being drafted by Venezuela. Overall, orders of Rosoboronexport are worth over $10 billion. Other Russian enterprises that have been allowed to sell weapons on the foreign market have received orders on $2 billion.
BALTIC FLEET SERVICEMEN IN DEPLORABLE SITUATION
Versty, December 25, 2001, p. 7
Two-thirds of servicemen of the Baltic Fleet are living below the poverty line.
According to Commander of the Baltic Fleet Vice Admiral Vladimir Valuev, about 70% of families of contract servicemen live in horrible conditions and are unable to solve permanently accumulating everyday material and social problems. The salaries that the military get for their formerly honorable labor cannot satisfy even the elementary needs of their families. The vice admiral has reported that over the past nine years 60% of suicides of personnel servicemen have been committed for this reason. Four servicemen committed suicide this year. Valuev thinks it necessary to preserve the privileges stipulated by the federal law on the status of servicemen and introduce a regional bonus for servicemen of the Baltic Fleet for the service in a remote zone of the Russian Federation. However, it is not clear so far of lawmakers will heed his opinion.
Expert, December 24, 2001, pp. 46-47
At the press conference held on Tuesday, Chief of the Russian Aerospace Agency Yury Koptev announced that his agency had signed a contract with the Australian company Asia Pacific Space Center (APSC) on launches of new Avrora carrier rockets from Nativity Island (Australian territory in the Indian Ocean). This rocket is a modernized variant of Soyuz rockets, the world’s most reliable midrange rockets that have performed over 2,000 starts.
Having called Avrora “a very promising rocket,” Mr. Koptev said that it is necessary to build a space center and a launch site on Nativity Island in order to launch these rockets there. According to his estimates, this project will require over $1 billion. Work on this project will start in two or three months. Before that time the Russian side is to obtain a license for work on Nativity Island and sign a number of documents guaranteeing security of Russia’s technologies. The first launching of Avrora from Nativity Island is scheduled for 2003.
PAVLOVSKY PROVOKING DECLINE OF GAZPROM SHARE PRICE
Stringer, No. 11-12, November-December, 2001, p. 2
Our sources have disclosed a secret basis of the scandal connected with new Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller. Rumors that Miller cannot manage the staff of Gazprom have been issued by the Strana.ru website, maintained by the Effective Policy Foundation run by political consultant Gleb Pavlovsky. When a week had passed after the scandal, Pavlovsky apologized to the public for the “information leakage.” However, according to our sources, Pavlovsky has not punished anyone in his foundation, since it is he who ordered this “information leak.” The aim of this scandal was to provoke a decline of Gazprom shares.
SHAMANOV MAY BECOME PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA
Stringer, No. 11-12, November-December, 2001, p. 2
Vladimir Putin’s latest actions have shown that his foreign policy is aimed at stabilization of relations with the US. This does not appeal to the military-industrial lobby. Many political schemers trying to find out today if Putin will pass the nest presidential election and whether it is worthwhile to invest money in some new “project.” As is known, Anatoly Chubais once invested his money in the project called “Putin.” Recently his structures conducted a research on who may take the presidential seat in 2004. Among the candidates there are many those whose names are not worth mentioning, but there was also one person who was mentioned both by Chubais and Berezovsky. This is Ulyanovsk Governor Vladimir Shamanov. Although he does not look so great without his military uniform, it is not so difficult to make a new one. This report may sound ridiculous, but we know for sure that Chubais funded Shamanov during the election campaign in the Ulyanovsk Region. Leonid Gozman used to bring money for him. We will not say anymore on this topic so far.
Stringer, No. 11-12, November-December, 2001, p. 7
In 1999, political consultant Gleb Pavlovsky made a project of creating a united nationalist party on the basis of numerous small nationalist parties and organizations, such as Memory led by Dmitry Vasilyev, the People’s National Union led by Alexander Ivanov-Sukharevsky, the Congress of Russian Communities led by Dmitry Rogozin, the Russian National Party led by Alexander Fedorov, and Yury Belyaev’s National-Republican Party of Russia. Pavlovsky did not intend to heed the Russian National Unity led by Alexander Barkashov because it is too odious.
The political consultant wanted to make this nationalist bloc and launch it for the parliamentary election of 1999.
The issue of funding for the nationalist bloc was being discussed for half a year. But none of sponsors of the Duma election agreed to fund the dangerous bloc. Pavlovsky’s last hope was Chubais: who was actively working on the project called “Putin.” According to Pavlovsky’s idea, the nationalist bloc could make a good “dressing” for Putin. But Chubais refused to have anything to do with the nationalist idea.
However, the idea of a nationalist agency that could arrange a pogrom or a raid if necessary has not died. If there is a youth organization called Going Together – with a database of 5,000 people who can be assembled for a demonstration at any time – why not organize a similar organization able to arrange a pogrom? We have reached the middle level of organizers in our investigation so far. The top level and the chief people behind it have not been disclosed, but this is only a matter of time.