SWEEP OPERATION LAUNCHED IN MAGADAN
Moskovsky Komsomolets, November 29, 2002, EV
The Prosecutor General’s Office has instituted two criminal cases within the framework of its investigation of the assassination of Valentin Tsvetkov, the Magadan governor. Both cases involve senior officials of the State Fisheries Committee.
According to Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Kolesnikov, who is in charge of the inquest, the officials involved are L. Kholod, deputy chairman of the State Fisheries Committee, and A. Rogatnykh, Director of the Magadan Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography. They are both suspected of abuse of authority (Art. 286, part 3 of the Criminal Code of Russia).
Kolesnikov said the investigation is working on several versions of the motive for the killing, including Tsvetkov’s economic activities. As a reminder: the governor of Magadan was shot dead on October 18 on Novy Arbat in Moscow.
RUSSIA-NATO: PATHS TO RAPPROCHEMENT
Parlamentskaya Gazeta, November 29, 2002, EV
There has been a meeting of the joint working group of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the NATO-Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (NATO-PACE) for monitoring the Russia-NATO Founding Act. At the meeting, Russia was represented by Viktor Ozerov, Chairman of the Federation Council defense and security committee, head of the Federation Council’s delegation to the NATO-PACE, Lyubov Sliska, senior deputy Duma speaker and head of the Duma delegation to the NATO-PACE, as well as other Federation Council members and Duma deputies. Mr. Lellouch, deputy chairman of the NATO-PACE, headed its delegation.
Opening the session, Viktor Ozerov noted that over five years Russia and NATO have been involved in a political dialog, which has enabled many correct decisions on issues of international security; and the recent group session is a continuation of the dialog.
In her turn, Lyubov Sliska suggested expanding and developing bilateral contacts between members of parliament. She said that such meetings should contribute to enhancing international political dialog with a view to countering the threats of the 21st century. She thanked members of the NATO-PACE delegation for their support in finding a resoltion to the “Kaliningrad problem”.
Lyubov Sliska emphasized that Russian politicians are concerned about the financial and information assistance some European states are providing to the Chechen terrorists. She expressed confidence that some agreements on problems of countering international terrorism would be worked out within the framework of the joint working group’s activities.
RUSSIA’S FINANCES ARE FINE
Trud, November 29, 2002, EV
On November 28, the Cabinet summed up budget implementation over the first nine months of 2002. Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov said that the level of budget revenues had reached 20% of the GDP and suggested the optimistic conclusion that “over the past three years, the state of the nation’s finances has changed for the better, overall.”
Among its achievements, the Cabinet lists an increase of over 149 billion rubles in the budget surplus, and raising the national financial reserve to 95 billion rubles. In the Cabinet, these financial achievements are spoken of as a guarantee that Russia will succeed in maintaining its payments in the peak debt servicing year of 2003.
BASHKORTOSTAN: IN A SINGLE PERSON
Trud, November 29, 2002, EV
The legislature of Bashkortostan gave the first reading to another revised draft Constitution yesterday. The draft was passed unanimously. It proposes to retain the institution of presidency in Bashkortostan, but now the president will also function as the head of government. The term of the presidency is five years.
The parliament of Bashkortostan will have one house instead of two. Its committee chiefs and their deputies will work on a permanent basis. The number of members of parliament will be reduced by around fifty, but the jurisdiction of the legislature will be expanded.
For example, an Auditing Commission would be created, instead of the State Monitoring Committee. The commission will be subordinated to the legislature. The parliament will have the power to pass a motion of no confidence in the president.