RUSSIA REMAINS ON THE FATF BLACK LIST
Vremya Novostei, June 24, 2002, p. 1
Russia remains on the black list of money-laundering countries regularly compiled by FATF, whose plenary meeting ended in Paris last Friday. The decision to keep Russia on the list did not surprise Russia much. This spring FATF experts visited Moscow and were so skeptical of Russia’s accomplishments in the war on money-laundering as to make it absolutely clear that Russia should not expect to be removed from the list anytime soon. According to FATF Executive Secretary Patrick Moulett, Russia has negotiated only the first phase in the lengthy procedure – it adopted an anti-laundering legislation and set up financial intelligence. FATF expects from Russia a plan of special as well as practical measures already being taken. FATF experts will study the plan, a FATF mission will visit Russia again, and the subject may be brought up only after that.
FATF means business, and Russia is unlikely to be removed from the black list at the next plenary meeting of the organization scheduled for October.
THE RIGHT BEGIN PREPARATIONS FOR THE ELECTIONS
Vremya Novostei, June 24, 2002, p. 2
The Union of Right Forces is becoming a battlefield where party activists fight tooth and claw for a slot on the party lists. The lists will include candidates who will supposedly poll more votes, and not somebody who is close to the party leadership. This latest invention suggested by Boris Nemtsov was supported by the Union of Right Forces Council that met last week-end to discuss the strategy and tactic of the coming campaign.
As Nemtsov sees it, every candidate on the Union list gives a solemn promise to ensure a certain percent of votes for the party in his respective region. If he fails, the candidate should abandon his seat on the Duma (he or she will pledge to do so in a written form before the election).
The Council also discussed Nemtsov’s idea concerning a common candidate for president for all democratic forces. The Union leader suggests electing the common candidate on the basis of the outcome of the parliamentary election of 2003. The party that polls the majority of votes will be able to nominate the candidate, and the remaining signatories of the accord will have to back him up. “I’m convinced that a common candidate representing all democratic forces will be able to challenge if not the regime, then at least the Communists,” Nemtsov said. Nemtsov’s idea was backed up by the Council. It has officially appealed to all democratic parties to nominate a common candidate. Yabloko leader Grigori Yavlinsky, Union’s major partner in the hypothetical coalition, has already turned down Nemtsov’s proposal. The right remain optimistic however. Duma Deputy Chairman Irina Khakamada says that the Union will continue negotiations with Yabloko over the issue of common candidate even though “we are somewhat disappointed that Yavlinsky has not supported our initiative officially.”
According to information gathered by Vremya Novostei, the Union itself is split within on the future candidate for president.
COMMUNISTS ASPIRE FOR MORE
Vremya Novostei, June 24, 2002, p. 3
The Communists are not going to rely on retirees alone anymore. They are supposed to poll at least 30% of the votes in the next parliamentary election. This is the decision of the plenum of the Central Committee which met last week-end to chart the electoral strategy.
Nostalgic longing for the past is a poor attraction of voters nowadays, all members of the Central Committee agreed. Retirees are “all but bought by the regime”, Duma Deputy Alexander Saly explained. He says that the Communist Party will bet on middle-aged voters this time, those who did not get anything throughout the decade of reforms, and on the youth (the latter, he says, have failed to feel the democratic freedom or advantages of market-related equality of opportunities).
The plenary meeting has not decided how the Communist Party will poll the votes of the dissatisfied electorate or what allies it will need to do so. The meeting agreed on one thing only: the Communist Party should not be alone in the campaign. Communist Number Two Valentin Kuptsov explained that the party should swell its ranks with allies “on the right and on the left”. “We will benefit from both,” he said.
The Communist Party does not rule out the possibility of an alliance with, say, Gennadi Seleznev’s Russia despite his defection. Saly even assumes that if everything goes well, Seleznev may become Vladimir Putin’s major rival in the presidential race and probably even come in first. Actually, the list of potential candidates for president from the Communist Party still comprises of Gennadi Zyuganov alone. The plenum decided against nominating anybody else for the time being and agreed that there should be only one candidate from the left. His name will be revealed an hour or so from now.
YELTSIN THE DIPLOMAT
Rossiya, June 24, 2002, p. 2
During a private visit to Belarus, first President of Russia Boris Yeltsin says that he supports the idea of a Russian-Belarussian Union which does not follow the standards of the Soviet Union. Not so long ago President Vladimir Putin castigated Minsk’s proposals concerning integration with Russia and branded them as “something resembling the Soviet Union” at Russia’s cost. Some observers assume that Yeltsin’s visit to Belarus is supposed to smooth out the friction between official Moscow and Minsk over the future union state.
PUTIN WILL SUGGEST BEING ECONOMIC FRIENDS WITH G8 PARTNERS
Vedomosti, June 24, 2002, p. A3
Russia is going to present itself as a reliable source of energy resources.
The declaration on energy between Russia and the United States signed during George W. Bush’s visit to Moscow in May and a similar declaration to be signed with the European Union in November are documents showing that Russia may be insecure as a financial partner within the G8 but quite reliable as a partner in the energy sphere, says a source in the Ministry of Energy.
Russian officialdom is of the opinion that the prospects of the Russian energy dialogue with the United States are particularly promising. Oil supplies to North America will be profitable if the Americans agree to invest in the Russian oil export infrastructure. For example, they may invest into the Angarsk – Nakhodka pipeline of Transneft, which needs $8 billion and which may be completed by 2008.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky of YUKOS is of the opinion that Russia may export up to 50 million tons of oil a year to the United States in the distant future.