Kommersant-Vlast, July 28, 2003, p. 10

Holding the Duma elections this December will cost 3.5 billon rubles, according to an estimate from the Central Election Committee.

According to the Economic Development Ministry, Russia will have 6 million unemployed by the end of 2003, or 8.3% of the workforce.

Four thousand people were killed in 2002 due to breaking safety rules for crossing railway lines. According to the Railways Ministry, in 962 cases various objects were placed on railroad tracks; in 1,920 cases, explosives, ammunition, or weapons were found; and 522 anonymous calls were received about bombs planted on rail facilities.

In the first half of 2003, Russia exported twice as much as it imported: exports totalled $61.2 billion, including $51.9 billion to countries outside the CIS and $9.3 billion within the CIS. Russia’s foreign trade turnover increased to $93.9 billion in the first half of 2003, a rise of 25.5% compared to the same period of 2002.

According to experts, customs duties on foreign-made cars between three and seven years, imported by individuals, have increased by $800-900 per vehicle following the introduction of new tariff rates from July 25, 2003.


Moskovskii Komsomolets, July 30, 2003, EV

President Putin reminded his audience of the danger of terrorism once again yesterday, in a speech at a ceremony marking senior military promotions, where 42 officers were promoted to new ranks.

Putin described the battle against international terrorism the priority task, and called on everyone to work to forestall it – to cut off financial and resource channels for terrorists. The president also noted that he expects real results from the committee for countering drug trafficking. He stressed that this new department has inherited extensive resources from the disbanded Federal Tax Police Service. The president stated that the committee should show some results within a short time and present them to the public. Another current theme is the battle against economic crimes. “But this should not be transformed into a campaign,” Putin told the officers.


Moskovskii Komsomolets, July 30, 2003, EV

The Federal Security Service (FSB) considers that the basic objectives for eliminating terrorism in Chechnya have been fulfilled.

Control of the Regional Operative Headquarters for counter-terrorism operations in the North Caucasus is passing from the FSB to the Interior Ministry. FSB director Nikolai Patrushev and Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov discussed this on Tuesday at the main military base in Khankala, where they introduced the new head of the Regional Operative Headquarters. Yuri Maltsev, a deputy interior minister, has taken this post.

Patrushev and Gryzlov stated that the Regional Operative Headquarters would use the usual measures for maintaining order in Chechnya in the near future. The tasks for the new commander and his subordinates are fairly peaceful: maintaining order before and during Chechnya’s presidential election, which will take place on October 5.