RUSHAILO CAME TO SUPPORT AKAYEV
Izvestia, June 14, 2002, p. 3
On June 13, Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo completed his official visit to Kyrgyzstan. “Our immediate task is to improve the effectiveness of the Collective Rapid Response Forces within the framework of the CIS Collective Security Treaty,” Rushailo said in Bishkek.
Rushailo became the first senior Russian official to meet with Kyrgyzstan’s new prime minister, Nikolai Tanayev. Tanayev is the first ethnic Russian prime minister in the entire period of Kyrgyzstan’s sovereignty. Many analysts have interpreted his appointment as a gesture to please Moscow.
The US presence in Kyrgyzstan was among the key topics at the meeting. The term “temporary” suits everyone thus far, but both Moscow and Bishkek would like to know how long this term will be used.
At present, noted Misir Ashirkulov, Secretary of Kyrgyzstan’s Security Council, there is a one-year agreement on the US base, with the option to extend the term, and six months added for withdrawal of the base after the agreement expires.
Rushailo’s talks with Kyrgyzstan’s leaders primarily focused on regional security. Over the past few years, early summer in Bishkek has been accompanied by fears of guerrilla incursions. According to our sources in the Kyrgyzstan government, Kyrgyzstan relies on Russia more than on the US counter-terrorist coalition for its security. Moreover, Kyrgyzstan has offered to host a counter-terrorism agency for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the membership of which includes Russia and China.
On June 13, a conference of CIS defense ministers opened in Bishkek; Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov is among the participants. The conference is supplemented by exercises of the Collective Rapid Response Forces, about which Rushailo has spoken so much.
UKRAINE: KUCHMA’S FORMER OPPONENT TO HEAD PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION
Izvestia, June 14, 2002, p. 8
President Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine has appointed Viktor Medvedchuk, his former political opponent and leader of the social democratic (united) party, as director of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine. Kuchma’s associates consider that this appointment will enable the president to control the parliament. The party headed by Viktor Medvedchuk, 47, had powerful media support during the Rada elections, but collected less than 10% of the vote. Despite this, Medvedchuk’s associates gained their fair share of leadership posts in the parliament. One of the party leaders, Alexander Zinchenko, was appointed deputy speaker. And now Medvedchuk himself has resumed the triumphant procession, being appointed to one of the key posts in Ukraine.
REAR ADMIRAL CHARGED OVER UNAUTHORIZED SHIP SALE
Moskovsky Komsomolets, June 14, 2002, p. 3
Rear Admiral Yury Klichugin, former commander of the Auxiliary Fleet of the Russian Navy, will soon appear in court, charged with misappropriation of state property – in 1994 he was responsible for the unauthorized sale of the Anadyr, a multi-purpose ship-dock, to a foreign customer.
According to the main Military Prosecutor’s Office, the vessel was first assigned to the Pacific Fleet, and by the early 1990s it was valued at $33 million. Selling such a vessel abroad required permission from the State Property Ministry, to which the Anadyr was then assigned. However, Klichugin decided to dispense with the formalities; after a series of talks in Singapore, Helsinki and Oslo during July-November 1994, he signed a contract for the sale of the military vessel. The undervalued price of $21 million was mentioned in the documents. An oil company from Norway purchased the Anadyr at this low price and then resold it for $36 million. The Anadyr was reconstructed in Spain, at a local shipyard, and is now used for maintenance of oil platforms.
The military prosecutor’s office only grew interested in the shady deal in 1999. That was when the criminal proceedings were instigated. In the course of the trial it was established that Rear Admiral Klichugin had obviously exceeded his authority, costing the state over $12.5 million. He was accused of misuse of authority, and discharged.
Last week the investigation into the Anadyr sale was completed and passed to the court martial of the Pacific Fleet. If convicted, the former rear admiral faces a prison sentence of up to a decade.
RUSSIAN YOUTH ORGANIZATION RALLIES OUTSIDE LATVIAN EMBASSY
Moskovsky Komsomolets, June 14, 2002, p. 2
On June 13, members of Going Together rallied outside the Latvian embassy in Moscow. The youth organization was demonstrating in defense of Vasily Kononov, 70, the World War II veteran whom the Latvian justice has accused of war crimes.
Undoubtedly, the unjust trial now underway against the former Soviet partisan cannot be overlooked. However, one should also know how to behave properly in defense… It does not look right when laughter from youths gathered near the embassy interrupts a war veteran who is speaking with great effort. The Going Together members who spoke at the rally were constantly making dramatic poses (hands spread out, one foot forward). Ambiguous statements were made, such as “we are a peaceful people, but our armored train is on a sidetrack,” or Latvia “is a small state, hard to make out on a map”.
Meanwhile, the curtains on the Latvian embassy windows stirred; somebody was looking out of the window. Finally, members of Going Together said they would buy an apartment for the war veteran, and he would be able to live in Russia. The Latvian authorities were presented with a symbolic gift – a wire ball with a swastika inside. However, the politically progressive youths didn’t mention that Kononov the war veteran is being invited to live in a country where groups of neo-Nazi youths are running wild, wrecking everything they can.
FOR THE SAKE OF BOTH STATES
Trud, June 14, 2002, p. 3
In St. Petersburg, President Vladimir Putin and President Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine are to sign an agreement on cooperation in the gas sector. The governments of both states have been ordered to prepare the corresponding documents as soon as possible. It is planned to establish a consortium (a joint venture) on an equal basis, in order to manage and develop Ukraine’s gas distribution system. The terms on which European gas companies will be able to participate in the consortium will be determined based on consensus.
The document will obviously be signed by August, Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko said at a news conference.
The agreement covers developing the gas pipeline networks and maintaining them in required operating conditions. It is expected that a ten-year contract for gas transit will be signed with Ukraine by the end of this month.
When asked whether Russia intends to build a pipeline to Western Europe bypassing Ukraine, Khristenko said: “We have stopped using the term ‘bypass route’, and I am requesting the media to do the same.”
Commenting on the agreement between the presidents, Yury Boiko, CEO of Neftegaz Ukrainy stock company said that within the next few years the transit tariff for Russian gas via Ukraine would probably be reduced from $1.40 to $1.09 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 kilometers.
SENATORS TO DEAL WITH THE "KALININGRAD MISUNDERSTANDING"
Parlamentskaya Gazeta, June 14, 2002, p. 3
On June 14 the Federation Council will determine its position regarding the problems of the Kaliningrad region, arising from the expansion of the EU.
An address to the European Parliament, the PACE, and the parliaments of Poland and Lithuania will be considered at this meeting.
Nikolai Tulayev, who represents the Kaliningrad region in the upper house, held a news conference on June 13.
“They have been trying our stamina. They will respect us if we show firmness. If we swallow an offence, they’ll continue infringing on Russia’s interests,” the senator said.
Alarming phrases about the threat allegedly posed by the Russian enclave are being widely used by Western politicians.
“All these statements do not correspond with reality. The crime rate in Poland and Lithuania is almost the same as in Kaliningrad,” said Tulayev.