Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

#4 - JRL 7066
TV1 Review
Compiled by Luba Schwartzman (luba_sch@hotmail.com)
Research Analyst, Center for Defense Information, Moscow office

Monday, February 17, 2003

- Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with Croatian President Stipe Mesic. Both leaders expressed satisfaction with developments in bilateral relations, such as the recently signed agreement on the Druzhba-Aria oil pipeline.

- President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev is in Moscow to attend the opening of the Year of Kazhakhstan in Russia. About 4.5 million Russians, or 35% of the population, live in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is also one of Russias top ten trading partners. Nazarbaev will meet with President Putin tomorrow. One of the items on the agenda is the Baikanur space station.

- The Suzdal Annual Animation Festival drew to a close.

- State Duma deputies discussed the draft of the law on local self- government. The law is aimed at distributing power and control over financial flows between various levels of government.

- Incumbent Nikolai Merkushkin, supported by the United Russia Party, was elected President of the Republic of Mordovia for the third term with 87% of the vote. The next runner up, Communist Anatoly Chubukov received only 7%. The other three candidates got less that 1% each.

- President Putin spoke over the telephone with Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliev about bilateral cooperation and with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko about the upcoming meeting between the Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian presidents.

- Preparations are underway for the presidential election in Armenia. Public opinion polls show that most Armenian citizens are planning to vote for current president, Robert Kocharian.

- Negotiations about the extradition of three Chechen fighters from Georgia to Russia continue. The protest of the lawyers of Gelogaev, Alkhanov and Elikhadzhiev, that their clients have refugee status in Georgia, was rejected.

- President Putin criticized the members of the Cabinet for having failed to deal with the growing prices for heat and electricity. He also stated that the 6% pension raise was miserly. He opened the meeting by declaring that international affairs cannot outweigh concern for the Russian population.

- A demonstration against the war in Iraq, organized by the supporters of the United Russia party, was held in Moscow. They planned to begin the demonstration in front of the American Embassy, but the building was surrounded by the police, and the protesters had to cross to the other side of the Garden Ring. About 200 people attended the demonstration.

- Georgian President Eduard Shevarnadze spoke in favor of extending the mandate of the Russian peacekeepers in Georgia.

- The residents of the Nizhegorod Oblast city of Bor have been paying utility expenses in full. The cost is 1200-1400 rubles for a three-room apartment. About half of the population receives subsidies averaging 400 rubles per family.

- Over 2,000 people in Sakhalin remain without heat. Emergency Ministry rescue workers have delivered about 500 kerosene and coal stoves to Uglegorsk.

- Deputy Mayor of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka Mikhail Yakimov will be indicted for a series of infractions in the financing of the city order for the housing and utilities sector.

- Pharmacies in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka cannot provide free medication to legible patients. The city has no money to pay for the medication.

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