EX-BORDER GUARD WILL REPRESENT RUSSIA IN NATO
Izvestia, May 12, 2003, p. 11
Totsky’s appointment is symbolic. When NATO moved against the former Yugoslavia, Moscow recalled its representative from the NATO headquarters and reduced its presence in other NATO structures to a minimal one. Coordination of actions became the prerogative of Sergei Kislyak, Russian Ambassador to Belgium.
When the Rome Declaration was signed last year to signify a new level of relations between Moscow and Brussels (the document gave a new status to the Russia – NATO Council), it became clear that the new relations demanded attention and therefore new men.
Both Moscow and Brussels evinced interest in cooperation. A person was needed in Brussels for constant contacts with Alliance officials.
Appointing Totsky, Vladimir Putin said that relations between Russia and NATO were currently restricted to a political dialogue mostly and needed a new dimension. Totsky himself emphasized importance of his new job and expressed his surprise at the appointment.
Specialists hope that Totsky’s experience in the post of director of the Federal Border Guards Service will help him establish new relations with NATO.
DUMA SPEAKER GENNADY SELEZNEV SUGGESTS SYNCHRONIZATION OF ALL ELECTIONS
Izvestia, May 13, 2003, p. 3, EV
At his meeting with local lawmakers and heads of the executive branch of local government in Voronezh on Monday, Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznev said that he was for a law on synchronization of all elections throughout the country. Seleznev said that it would save the country considerable sums and up activeness of voters. He was of the opinion as well that the country needed unification of titles of legislatures and heads of executive branches of local government. “There are areas with mayors and others with heads of municipal formations,” Seleznev said. “Regional parliaments are called legislatures, Dumas, and even State Dumas in some regions. There should be only one Duma in the country, on the federal level.”
TESTS OF THE FRIGATE FOR INDIA COMPLETED
Izvestia, May 13, 2003, p. 3, EV
The naval part of the tests of the frigate “Trishul”, the second ship of Project 11356 constructed by Baltic Shipbuilding Company for the Indian Navy, was successfully completed in the Baltic Sea. “All shooting exercises were successes,” announced a source in the Baltic Shipbuilding Company PR department. This series of tests follows state tests that ended in late April. Construction of the frigate began on September 24, 1999, and the ship was commissioned on November 24, 2000. It will be used against surface combatants, submarines, and against air attacks.
ANOTHER TERRORIST ACT IN CHECHNYA
Izvestia, May 13, 2003, p. 1, EV
Twenty-nine were killed and almost 200 wounded in the terrorist act in Znamenskoye, administrative center of the Nadterechny district of Chechnya, yesterday. Some shakhid terrorists driving a truck loaded with explosives aimed to blow up the district office of the Federal Security Service. Four blocks of flats were reduced to heaps of rubble by the blast.
The explosion took place at 9:30 a.m., a scant 30 meters from the district office of the Federal Security Service. The Service’s Director Nikolai Patrushev says that the KamAZ responsible for the deaths was driven in the direction of the district administration and offices of the Federal Security Service and Interior Ministry. It was ordered to pull over 30 meters from the buildings for examination, and it blew up. Some officers of security structures were killed in the explosion, but the majority of victims were noncombatants.