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1. Financial Times (UK): Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Kara-Murza, Russia plays its economic card over Iraq.
2. AP: Russia: Iraq Makes Promise on Arms Hunt.
3. Reuters: Russian envoy leaves Baghdad after short mission.
4. The Times (UK): Robin Shepherd, Oil fears prompt Putin to send envoy to Baghdad.
5. RIA Novosti: VLADIMIR PUTIN: RUSSIA TO STRENGTHEN CO-OPERATION WITH NON-ALIGNMENT MOVEMENT.
6. Konservator: WORLD PLAY ONE. Don't be alarmed, citizens; this isn't World War Three just yet.
7. AP: Russians Honor Their Troubled Army.
8. Wired News: Kristen Philipkoski, Russia's Irksome Bioweapons Stock.
9. New York Times editorial: Outlawing Russia's Sex Traders.
10. AFP: Russia moves to deport Catholic priest.
11. Argumenty i Fakty: Vitaly Tsepliaev and Liudmila Pivovarova, GENE THERAPY FOR THE COMMUNIST PARTY. An update on current issues and conflicts in the Communist Party.
12. Rossiskie Vesti: Andrei Pervozvannyi, DO AS I DID! Yeltsin's old guard is already planning Putin's exit from the Kremlin.
13. www.jang.com.pk: Sorry the hardest word as Russia turns its back on bloody past.
14. Chicago Tribune: Alex Rodriguez, Despite risks, Russia again tempting world's investors.
15. Rosbalt: Do Poles Really View Russia As an Enemy?
16. International Herald Tribune: Sarah Lyall, East European intellectuals are reluctant to take sides.
17. AP: Emerging European Democracies Sound Off.
18. New York Times: Kathleen Bangs, Why the Russians Still Rule the World of Figure Skating.

********

#1
Financial Times (UK)
February 24, 2003
Russia plays its economic card over Iraq
By Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Kara-Murza
The writers are leader of Russia's liberal SPS party and its London
representative respectively.

Despite Russia's reminder to the US last week that it could still use its
UN Security Council veto against military action in Iraq, Moscow's stance
has generally been more conciliatory than that adopted by Paris. This may
appear surprising given Russia's record of supporting Baghdad, and its
opposition to UN and Nato military intervention against Serbia in 1999.


Yet there is a simple explanation. While Russia's relations with Serbia are
characterised by long-standing feelings of ethnic, religious and cultural
proximity, as well as the pursuit of geopolitical interests in the Balkans,
Russia's attitude towards Iraq is pragmatic. To be more precise: its
interests are economic. By recognising those interests as legitimate, and
by making clear they could be furthered by the removal of the Ba'athist
dictatorship, the Anglo-American coalition could win over Russian support.

The first and perhaps easiest issue to resolve is Iraq's $8bn debt to
Russia. Needless to say, Moscow wants its money back, yet repayment is out
of the question while the UN sanctions regime remains in place. There is,
however, another way: the US-UK coalition could recognise Iraq's foreign
debts and guarantee their repayment by the post-Saddam regime.

The second issue for the Kremlin is Russian business interests. Since
Iraq's infrastructure is mostly Russian-built, it is only natural to expect
Russian businesses to have an interest in renovating and rebuilding it.
More important for Russian business is oil. Since the late 1990s, Russian
companies have signed a dozen contracts with the Iraqi state, worth $600m a
year in profits. Yet all these remain frozen as a result of the sanctions
regime. Moscow has a clear stake in the reopening of Iraq's economy - with
or without Saddam Hussein - provided Iraqi obligations towards Russian
businesses are honoured, something the regime has conspicuously failed to
do in recent weeks.

The final issue is more complex. Russia's budget revenues depend heavily on
oil exports. So with oil prices currently at around $32 a barrel the
country is enjoying a period of economic growth. But if the opening up of
Iraqi oil reserves leads to a dramatic fall in the price of crude, Russia
will struggle to meet its budgetary obligations on education, health,
defence and pensions, as well as to service its foreign debts. The last
sustained period of low oil prices, between January and August 1998 (when
the average price was $15.3 a barrel), resulted in Russia's financial
meltdown.

Of course, oil prices cannot be guaranteed by western capitals. Yet western
leaders should recognise the sensitivity of this question for Russia and
find realistic ways of reassuring Moscow over its fears of a sudden and
profound fall in the price of oil.

If the Americans and British can reassure Moscow that a future Iraqi regime
will not be prejudicial to Russian economic interests, they will be better
placed to secure its acquiescence. In any case, this would be much better
than trying to "buy off" the Kremlin with a blank cheque over Chechnya.
That kind of deal would aggravate the situation in the region and reinforce
the already worrying authoritarian tendencies within the present Russian
leadership.

Regime change in Iraq now looks inevitable. Few people will be sorry to see
the end of one of the most brutal totalitarian regimes in history. Yet
there should be a word of warning about future Iraqi political structures.
With stability and predictability as the west's overriding priorities for
the Gulf region, the last thing post-Saddam Hussein Iraq needs is a puppet
administration, hand-picked by Washington. A regime that fails to command
respect from Iraq's fractured communities could prove disastrously unstable.

Unfortunately, because of the tyrannical nature of Mr Hussein's regime,
there are no political dissidents inside Iraq who could be regarded as
potential future leaders. The only viable option is to seek accommodation
with the more "moderate" voices within the present regime, however morally
questionable that may sound.

Noises from the diplomatic corridors of Moscow suggest Russian acquiescence
is up for grabs. If Washington can persuade the Kremlin that Russian debts
will be repaid and contracts honoured in a stable post-Saddam Hussein Iraq,
Russia is unlikely to stand in America's way.

*******

#2
Russia: Iraq Makes Promise on Arms Hunt
February 24, 2003

MOSCOW (AP) - Saddam Hussein promised a Russian envoy that international
inspectors won't be hindered in their work, the Russian Foreign Ministry
said in a statement Monday.

The statement said Saddam made the promise in a meeting Sunday in Baghdad
with Yevgeny Primakov, a former Soviet foreign minister and Russian prime
minister. Primakov has mediated in Iraq on several occasions, most
prominently with attempts to stave off the 1991 Gulf War.

The statement was the first confirmation that Primakov had gone to Baghdad
or met with Saddam. It said Primakov went as a representative of President
Vladimir Putin.

A duty officer at the ministry said he did not know whether Primakov
remained in Iraq on Monday.

The foreign ministry said the meeting was aimed at explaining Russia's
position on the Iraq question and receiving assurance that Saddam was
``completely and unconditionally cooperating with international inspectors.''

``Saddam Hussein said that there will be no hindrances to the work of
inspectors of UNMOVIC and IAEA,'' the statement said, using the acronyms of
the U.N. weapons inspection team led by Hans Blix and the International
Atomic Energy Agency.

Russia has opposed any military strike against Iraq to force Saddam to give
up weapons of mass destruction, but has insisted that full cooperation from
Iraq is necessary to end the crisis through diplomacy.

Also Monday, Putin's office said that he had spoken by telephone with
French President Jacques Chirac to ``confirm the closeness of the positions
of Russia and France, based on the priority of political-diplomatic methods
of resolving the Iraq problems.''

********

#3
Russian envoy leaves Baghdad after short mission
By Hassan Hafidh

BAGHDAD, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov
left Baghdad after a brief and unexpected mission for President Vladimir
Putin, an official Iraqi source in Baghdad said on Sunday.

The visit came as the United States and Britain began bolstering efforts to
secure a new U.N. Security Council resolution expected to pave the way for
war against Iraq.

Iraqi and Russian officials said Primakov, who arrived late on Saturday,
met senior aides to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. He conveyed a message
and left after a few hours, the Iraqi source said.

There was no word on what the message contained and the official source
gave no details about the nature of the mission.

Russia, which has extensive economic interests in Iraq, favours a peaceful
solution to the Iraqi crisis over its alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Moscow says it sees no need to use force against Iraq and insists on
allowing U.N. arms inspectors to continue their search for banned weapons.

U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix has ordered Iraq to start destroying
its al-Samoud 2 missiles by March 1 as part of the process of disarming the
country. Iraq has not yet responded to the demand.

Primakov, a Middle East expert and a long-time friend of Saddam, did not
appear in public in Baghdad and the official media did not report news or
show footage on his visit.

Russia's RIA news agency, in a report from Baghdad, quoted Russian embassy
sources as saying Primakov's meetings in the Iraqi capital had lasted
several hours.

RIA said the aim of his visit was to share his thoughts on the Iraqi
situation and to hear Iraqi opinion.

Primakov, who was Russian prime minister from 1998-99, travelled to Baghdad
twice in 1990 as part of efforts by the then-Soviet Union to avert a
U.S.-led operation to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

A U.S.-led coalition later forced Iraqi troops to leave Kuwait.

Russian delegations have visited Baghdad regularly since the current
standoff with the United States began last year.

Washington has massed tens of thousands of troops in the Gulf for a
possible attack on Iraq.

********

#4
The Times (UK)
February 24, 2003
Oil fears prompt Putin to send envoy to Baghdad
From Robin Shepherd in Moscow

PRESIDENT Putin sent a top envoy to Baghdad shortly before speaking to Tony
Blair by telephone yesterday.

Yevgeni Primakov, a former Prime Minister with close ties to the Iraqi
leader, arrived in the Iraqi capital on Saturday night, according to
diplomatic sources in the city. The visit of Mr Primakov, 73, who speaks
fluent Arabic and has mediated in Iraq on several occasions, underlines
Russias determination that the crisis should be resolved through
diplomacy, not force.

In 1991 he mounted a failed mission on behalf of President Gorbachev to
avert conflict with Iraq prior to the Gulf War. In 1998 his close relations
with President Saddam Hussein enabled him to settle a stand-off between
Iraq and the UN. Mr Primakov, who started his career as a journalist in the
Middle East, is a leading authority in Russia on Arab affairs.

The Kremlin said in a statement: The President of Russia informed the
British Prime Minister about the efforts, which are being taken not only by
the Russian Federation but also together with other governments, to find a
political-diplomatic resolution to the Iraqi problem.

Mr Primakov spent only a few hours in Baghdad and left after meeting senior
aides to Saddam. Diplomatic sources questioned whether, as head of the
Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Primakovs visit was designed
to push through business deals as well as avert a war.

Concerns that a change of regime in Iraq would have serious repercussions
for the oil-dependent Russian economy lie at the heart of Moscows
opposition to a military solution.

Russia fears that regime change in Iraq would lead to a collapse in world
oil prices. Moscow has said that for every one-dollar fall in the price of
oil the Russian economy loses about $2billion (1.27 billion) Analysts,
including the Economist Intelligence Unit, expect a successful war in Iraq
to lead to an oil glut once sanctions are lifted, slashing oil prices from
current levels of more than $30 a barrel to under $20 a barrel next year.

Such a situation would cost the Russian economy more than $20 billion just
as President Putin faces presidential elections. Like France, Russia is
also acutely concerned that its long-standing industrial contracts with
Baghdad will be lost if Saddam goes.

Senior Russian officials accompanied a delegation from Russian energy
companies to Baghdad in January, one of several such missions in recent
months. Last week Abbas Khalaf, Iraqs Ambassador to Moscow, said that Iraq
was counting on Russia to oppose the use of force.

Russian companies, including the oil giant Lukoil, have an estimated $30
billion of deals tied up with Iraq. Mr Khalaf also reminded Russia that it
was Iraqs biggest partner in the UN oil-for-food programme, with $6
billion worth of contracts signed since 1996.

As one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Russia can
veto a second resolution authorising the use of force. Russia is therefore
a key object of US and British efforts to push through a resolution. Apart
from Mr Blairs conversation with President Putin, John Bolton, the US
Under-Secretary of State, begins talks with senior Russian officials in
Moscow today.

On Saturday Yuri Fedotov, Mr Putins Deputy Foreign Minister, said that
Russia continued to oppose any new UN resolution authorising force.

Diplomats say, however, that Russia is unlikely to risk ruining its
relationship with the United States by vetoing a new resolution and that
its opposition to US policy may be brinkmanship to secure guarantees from
the US that its economic interests will not be harmed in the event of war

*******

#5
VLADIMIR PUTIN: RUSSIA TO STRENGTHEN CO-OPERATION WITH NON-ALIGNMENT MOVEMENT

MOSCOW, February 24 /RIA Novosti/ - Russian President Vladimir Putin has
confirmed Russia's desire to strengthen further its co-operation with the
non-alignment movement in the interests of strengthening international
peace and stability. The Kremlin's press-service reports that the head of
the Russian state has sent his greetings to the participants in the 13th
conference of the heads of state and governments of the non-alignment
movement being held in Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia.

The document, in particular, says that Russia views "the non-alignment
movement uniting over a half of all the countries in the world as the
movement that expresses the collective interests of developing states in
the epoch of globalization." "As a key element of modern international
relations, the non-alignment movement invariably demonstrates its
commitment to the UN Charter and the fundamental norms and principles of
international law, makes a noticeable and positive contribution to the
creation of a fair and democratic system of the world order in the 21st
century," the message says.

Vladimir Putin has stated that Russia and the non-alignment movement "share
common understanding of the fact that the increasing gap in the levels of
the economic and social developments of countries is a source of new
dangerous contradictions in the world." Proceeding from this, we appreciate
the role of the non-alignment movement in resolving such pressing problems
as the provision of sustainable development, the elimination of poverty and
illiteracy, the creation of worthy conditions for the existence of hundreds
of millions of people living in developing countries," the document says.

The President of Russia also believes that the non-alignment movement
"contributes much to the joint efforts of the international community aimed
at addressing the most destructive global challenges and threats." Putin
has named international terrorism, organized crime, militant separatism and
drug smuggling among such challenges and threats.

********

#6
Konservator
February 20, 2003
WORLD PLAY ONE
Don't be alarmed, citizens; this isn't World War Three just yet
Author: not indicated
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, www.wps.ru/e_index.html]
THIS ISN'T A WAR. WARS AREN'T LIKE THIS. RUSSIA DOES NOT AND CANNOT
HAVE A CLEAR POSITION ON THIS WAR - NOT ONLY BECAUSE WE ARE WEAK THESE
DAYS AND HAVE TO PLEASE EVERYONE, BUT BECAUSE WE HAVE A DIFFERENT
EXPERIENCE AND DIFFERENT CONCEPTS OF WHAT AN INTERNATIONAL CATASTROPHE
MEANS.

This isn't a war. Wars aren't like this. Russia does not and
cannot have a clear position on this war - not only because we are
weak these days and have to please everyone, but because we have a
different experience and different concepts of what an international
catastrophe means. If this was a war, we'd know. We would react,
somehow. And the turnout at demonstrations in Russia wouldn't be 80
people, like at the Moscow rally, but at least a thousand, as it was
during the air strikes on Belgrade.
War for some, play for others: a favorite saying at the front,
sometimes expressed rather more crudely. Don't be alarmed, citizens;
this isn't World War Three just yet; apocalyptic apoplexy has been
temporarily postponed. What's happening is World Play One, from which
everyone can derive the maximum of pleasure. Instead of an oppressive
wait, there is an ongoing carnival. The United States is virtually
naming the day when the war will start. The presidents of the
prospective fighting nations grant interviews. War correspondents get
accreditation as if they will be covering a football game. What sort
of war is this? It's a kind of show, in the spirit of the 21st
Century. And live TV coverage from the theater of military operations
will differ very little from football coverage in terms of style.
Still, war is war. It's slightly different from a carnival.
Therefore, the optimal solution for the whole world right now is to
spin out the prelude as long as possible.
See here: any development of events would be terrible for the
United States. The war issue has led to a serious split in NATO, and
efforts to patch it up have so far been unsuccessful; actual war will
mean inevitable casualties on both sides, as well as accusations of
cruelty and imperialism. Backing down from an attack on Iraq would be
viewed as shameful, and essentially as permission for Saddam Hussein
to continue keeping his country in the Middle Ages. Many believe that
such a back-down would also send a message to international terrorism:
America has admitted its weakness, so anything goes! In other words,
the strategy of "neither peace nor war" (regards to Trotsky) is
optimal for the United States at present.
For Iraq - more specifically, for Saddam Hussein - the situation
is also optimal. The people of Iraq aren't panicking; the East is
fatalistic by nature: let the will of Allah be done, and objections
are futile. Saddam Hussein probably doesn't flatter himself about the
true extent of his popularity; it could well prove as fragile as the
people's love for Slobodan Milosevic, and it can't be ruled out that
at the first sign of military failure we will see another example of
an entire people betraying their leader. But as long as nothing has
started, Saddam Hussein's glory grows, and a substantial proportion of
Iraqis even start to like him more. The demonstrations of loyalty,
informer activity, and gullibility reach such extremes that the regime
of Bush's worst enemy stops looking scary and simply becomes comical.
Saddam Hussein fears a military coup, and arrests his defense
minister; but so that no one will suspect anything, the defense
minister continues to attend meetings and appear on television while
under house arrest. The Iraqi people all accept gas masks and chat
happily with foreign journalists. Embassy staff are evacuated, but
assured that this isn't war yet, no, not at all - only a precautionary
measure! And it's true; this isn't war. It's a circus in which
everyone gets their share of applause.
Actually, this has been good PR for Saddam Hussein. It's got to
the point where in the view of certain parts of Europe, he is being
perceived as a guarantor of peace in the region, a counterweight to
American dictatorship, virtually a "father of the people". Saddam
Hussein has made good use of a classic paradox: in order to kill a
dragon, you have to be a bit of a dragon yourself. So as soon as
America grew claws and a tail, the original dragon - Saddam Hussein -
toned himself down somewhat and started giving the impression of being
the injured party.
Another person who's reaping the dividends, besides George Bush
and Saddam Hussein, is Vladimir Putin: an all-round peacemaker, hero
of the hour in Germany and France. Never before has he received such
warm welcomes in Europe. The current situation is also favorable for
him in that it offers an opportunity to correct Russia's policy over
the past two years - that policy which has sometimes been called
overly pro-American. Now it's possible to play at peacemaking, with a
wink to the right and a wink to the left.
But those who are really celebrating right now are the "fighters
for peace" all around the world. For many, fighting for peace is not a
matter of heroic self-sacrifice, but routine, day-to-day working for
peace. The fight isn't a firework display, but simeply hard work, to
paraphrase Kulchitsky. A vast number of village idiots and holy fools
- very sweet people, some of them - have long since made it their
chief business to engage in all kinds of social protest: against
killing whales, against cutting down trees, against violation of the
rights of some distant tribe called Jumbo which wants to practise
cannibalism - and should be allowed to do so, because that is its
identity... This feast of fighting for peace has continued for a month
in Europe, the United States, and far-off Australia; and it shows no
sign of stopping. In the past, a similar battle against the Vietnam
War generated an unprecedented burst of activity in rock music and
started off a whole aesthetic trend: without Indo-China, there would
have been no Woodstock, none of Bob Dylan's best songs, no "student
revolution" in France. Now George Bush himself is starting to play the
role of "global evil" in the eyes of the pacifists - and pacifists,
like any normal person confronted with global evil, get active and
produce some rather good works of art. Madonna is singing anti-war
songs and making the corresponding videos; American programmers are
preparing a virtual protest march; in short, fighting for peace is
once again becoming the fashion of the season. In London, the total
number of protestors over the past few weeks has exceeded a million -
they rally every day! The fighters for peace haven't had a celebration
like this for a long time; if there was no George Bush, he'd have to
be invented.
True, all this protest activity - so stormy and widespread - does
have another reason behind it. Nobody wants to take the final step,
since that final step leads into an entirely different world. If Bush
backs down, everyone - even the peace protestors - will feel slightly
disappointed. And if Bush launches the campaign against Saddam Hussein
- then the inevitable casualties will start, and the horrifying
environmental consequences of which specialists around the world are
warning us. The oil "lens" under the Persian Gulf will explode, oil
wells will burn, the planet will be covered in smoke... In short, it
won't be fun any more.
But meanwhile, rather than experiencing understandable
apprehension in the face of inevitable catastrophe (the forecasts
vary: a war between West and East, North and South, Islam and
Christianity; the break-up of Europe; a general Islamic jihad) the
world's population is experiencing a huge emotional rush. There's a
24/7 carnival happening - entertaining, vivid, and well-paid from all
sides.
Maybe that's how it should be. Maybe if the world can continue to
be poised on this boundary for a year or two - then oil prices will go
sky-high, and Russia will become a superpower, and the whole world
will experience a cultural revival, and a generation of well-
intentioned, brave pacifists will emerge, and no one will mention
Chechnya, and World Play One will transform the human race into one
vast circus.
And by then North Korea will have developed its nuclear industry,
and everyone will forget all about Iraq.
(Translated by Arina Yevtikhova)

********

#7
Russians Honor Their Troubled Army
February 23, 2003
By JIM HEINTZ

MOSCOW (AP) - Shadowed by the war in Chechnya and rising concerns over a
possible war in Iraq, Russians on Sunday honored their troubled army with
memorials and marches.

President Vladimir Putin marked Defender of the Fatherland by laying a
wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin wall. He was
accompanied by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Kazakhstan's
President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma.

He then went to the Burdenko military hospital to visit servicemen being
treated for wounds suffered in the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

``I'm sorry I had to come to the hospital for this holiday,'' Putin told
the soldiers in a report by Russian television.

The Chechen war is in its fourth year and shows no sign of an end even
though the Kremlin is trying to portray the republic as slowly returning to
orderly life. Rebels draw blood in near-daily attacks on Russian forces,
despite the Russians' larger numbers and superior equipment.

Coincidentally, Defender of the Fatherland Day - the former Soviet Army Day
- was the same day that Chechens and their Ingush neighbors were deported
en masse to Central Asia on Joseph Stalin's orders in 1944. The deportation
is a major source of Chechens' historical resentment of Russia.

More than 400 Chechens gathered in the Chechen town of Gudermes to remember
the anniversary, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported. In neighboring
Ingushetia, residents also marked the day with Ingush President Murad
Zyazikov noting that ``the love for native land and the spirit were not
broken'' by the deportations.

Fearing that Chechen separatists might launch an attack to mark the day,
Russian forces clamped down in Grozny, the Chechen capital, where far fewer
people than usual were on the streets on Sunday, according to the Interfax
news agency.

An estimated 300 people rallied in Moscow against the Chechen war, the Ekho
Moskvy radio station reported.

A march and rally in Moscow of leftists to mark the military holiday
focused largely on calls to ensure that the military stay out of any attack
on Iraq.

Russia must demonstrate ``will and character'' to resist the threat of war
in Iraq, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov said.

Although Putin and other top Russian officials have called repeatedly for
the Iraq crisis to be resolved through diplomacy, some Russians fear that
increasingly close relations with the United States could lead Russia into
Iraq fighting.

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, also visiting the Burdenko hospital, said
the Kremlin is not planning to increase the country's combat readiness and
``we are doing everything possible to prevent the war,'' Interfax reported.

*******

#8
Wired News
February 24, 2003
Russia's Irksome Bioweapons Stock
By Kristen Philipkoski

MONTEREY, California -- The former Soviet republic had the most successful
bioweapons program in the world -- and those in charge of what remains of
the program would like to keep it that way.

Soviet researchers were wildly successful at creating huge quantities of
super-virulent bacterial agents that resisted vaccines and treatments, said
Raymond Zilinskas, director of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Non
Proliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.
Zilinskas spoke Friday at the Future of Life conference here.

But although the program's infrastructure collapsed with the demise of the
Soviet Union, Russian researchers continue to guard their souped-up
biowarfare agents closely, refusing to allow the United States to test
vaccines against them. No one knows why, but Zilinskas has a theory:

"They think, 'We have more knowledge and more sophistication with
biological weapons than anyone has ever had, so let's keep that intact,'"
he said.

The upshot, Zilinskas said, is that Russia and the rest of the former
Soviet republic hold strains of smallpox, anthrax and other bacteria that
resist U.S. vaccines and antibiotics.

The Soviets worked long and hard to develop strains of infections that
would defy treatment and vaccines, he said, and tried various methods. They
transferred genes from the Ebola virus into smallpox, but found that it
wasn't any more deadly.

Eventually they did succeed at producing several super-virulent agents
including what Zilinskas called a "devilish little machine" -- Yersinia
pestis, also known as the black plague. They added a touch of Venezuelan
equine encephalitis (PDF) to make it even more resistant and deadly.

"This is the epitome of what the Soviets were able to accomplish in their
bioweapons programs," Zilinskas said.

So how can the United States defend itself against such a threat?

Not with duct tape and plastic sheeting, according to Zilinskas. He
criticized the Bush administration's emphasis on stockpiling supplies to
try to block contamination from a biological attack.

Such advice might be helpful for peace of mind, he said, but it is useless
for actual safety because it's not likely the public would find out about a
bioterror attack until three to six days after it hits.

Muin Khoury, director of the Office of Genomics and Disease Prevention at
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agreed that the U.S.
government's focus is out of whack.

"Public health is in disarray, and this emphasis on terrorism is eroding
the public health infrastructure even more," said Khoury, who spoke as part
of a panel on the use of DNA information.

On the upside, Zilinskas said, money spent on bioterror research is better
preparing the United States to react to naturally occurring outbreaks of
infectious disease, such as resistant bacteria or a killer flu.

"We're doing the right things for the wrong reasons," he said.

Zilinskas said shoring up U.S. bioterror defenses will take a much more
integrated approach.

"There is no technological solution to terrorism. So in order to get a grip
on it, we need the help of social sciences," he said.

As part of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which is funded by the Turner
Foundation, Zilinskas and some colleagues are developing a program to teach
ethics to undergraduate molecular biologists. The idea is to encourage
scientists to work toward benevolent ends.

The United Nations should also invest in an international science
commission on ethics, he said.

Zilinskas acknowledged that some scientists don't have a choice. If Saddam
Hussein orders an Iraqi scientist to make a bioweapon, he'd be risking his
life to say no. But, Zilinskas said, with some ethical awareness, these
scientists could later become whistle blowers, or be more inclined to
cooperate with arms inspectors.

He said ethics training is even more important considering that many of the
talented Soviet scientists who worked on these "devilish" bioweapons
projects are now in the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom doing
regular science.

"These people don't want their colleagues to know their past, they just
want to be scientists."

********

#9
New York Times
February 24, 2003
Editorial
Outlawing Russia's Sex Traders

With criminal ease, Russia's organized gangs use young people's dreams to
lure them into the back rooms of the world. Work in tourism abroad, a
well-dressed woman promises. Model for glamorous magazines in America, a
smooth-talking man suggests. Then, all too suddenly, the struggling shop
girl, the lonely young boy or the frantic single mother wakes up as a
prostitute in a foreign country with no time for dreams and no way to escape.

Last week, the Russian parliament took a much-needed step toward cracking
down on this brutal human trafficking. The Duma drafted a law that would
require the government to warn Russians about the deceitful methods used to
turn women and children into modern-day sex slaves. The bill, which needs
to be approved by the Russian government and then enforced by police, would
make trafficking in humans illegal. And it would require authorities to
provide real help for those forced into servitude. Given Russia's
crime-ridden society, it will not solve the problem. But without it,
criminal gangs will be freer to earn an estimated $7 billion a year
trafficking in unwilling prostitutes. Human rights groups have suggested
that thousands of Russians are dragged away each year to underground
brothels around the world.

Russia is not the only nation with a booming slave business, but its effort
to change the laws comes at the right time. Under a law passed in 2000,
Washington issues an annual list of nations that are "significant"
contributors to this growing global problem. This year, the law allows
President Bush to withhold aid or impose limited sanctions if countries
like Turkey, Bosnia, Indonesia and Cambodia fail to make an effort to
combat this scourge. That threat is an important tool to force governments
like Russia's to lock up slave traders and help their desperate victims.

********

#10
Russia moves to deport Catholic priest
February 24, 2003
AFP

Russian authorities have stripped a Roman Catholic priest of his residency
permit and are forcing him to quit the country, a church spokesman said
Monday.

Bronislaw Czaplicki, a Polish Catholic priest at the Pushkin parish just
outside Saint Petersburg, had been living in Russia for around 10 years and
promoted the canonization of Catholic "martyrs" from the Soviet era.
"Several days ago his residency permit was retracted and he was asked to
quit Russia," spokesman Igor Kovalevsky told AFP.

Czaplicki has not yet been kicked out of Russia, but "was asked to leave
the country within the timeframe dictated by the law," Kovalevsky said.

The move may signal a possible revival of last year's controversial
deportations of Catholic priests, a campaign which severly strained ties
between Russia and the Vatican.

Russia's NTV television reported that Czaplicki was the sixth Catholic
priest forced to leave Russia in the past 12 months.

Traditionally difficult relations between the Holy See and the Moscow
patriarchate have worsened since the Vatican upgraded its presence in
Russia by setting up four new dioceses in February 2002.

The move inflamed tensions between the two churches, with the Moscow
patriarchate stepping up accusations that the Roman Catholic Church was
seeking to convert its followers in the Orthodox heartlands of Russia and
Ukraine.

Last week, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch, Alexy II met
Antonio Mennini, the Vatican's new envoy to Russia, but sources inside the
Orthodox Church said the meeting "did nothing" to improve relations.

********

#11
Argumenty i Fakty
February 19, 2003
GENE THERAPY FOR THE COMMUNIST PARTY
An update on current issues and conflicts in the Communist Party
Author: Vitaly Tsepliaev, Liudmila Pivovarova
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, www.wps.ru/e_index.html]
THROUGHOUT THE PAST DECADE, COMMUNIST PARTY BOSSES HAVE BEEN
FIGHTING A WAR ON TWO FRONTS. THE FIRST FRONT IS EXTERNAL: FIGHTING
THE KREMLIN, THE CABINET, AND THE LIBERALS IN THE DUMA. THE SECOND
FRONT IS INTERNAL: THE PARTY HAS REGULARLY PURGED ITSELF OF SOME
PROMINENT MEMBERS.

According to Gennady Zyuganov, his party now has over half a
million members and recruits 18-20,000 more every year. Russia is
covered by a network of 17,636 branches of the Communist Party (CPRF);
around 11,000 party members are employed in government bodies.
However, there is one problem: CPRF members are not young. Their
average age is 55. And the upper echelons of the party, as Zyuganov
himself admits, have been "greying and balding" over the past decade.
Well, there's been reason enough for losing hair.
Throughout the past decade, CPRF bosses have been fighting a war
on two fronts. The first front is external: fighting the Kremlin, the
Cabinet, and the liberals in the Duma. The second front is internal:
the party has regularly purged itself of "casual fellow-travelers,
born-again communists and traitors". Over the years, the list has
included: V. Semago, A. Podberezkin, A. Tuleev, N. Gubenko, S.
Goriacheva, G. Seleznev... The latest scandal broke out over Gennady
Semigin, chairman of the executive committee of the People's Patriotic
Union of Russia (PPUR) - accused by Zyuganov's people of undermining
the leftist movement from within.
Semigin has been called a "red oligarch" who made his fortune by
supplying the Defense Ministry. It is said that his place on CPRF
lists in the 1999 elections and subsequent selection as Duma deputy
speaker cost him $2 million. As rumor has it, he later donated money
towards the publication of "Pravda", as well as banquets for and
travel by CPRF leaders. So why has he been treated so ungratefully?
Gennady Zyuganov himself explains the core of the conflict as
follows: "Semigin started mixing up business and politics."
PPUR co-chairman Alexander Prokhanov was even more harsh:
"Semigin acts like a Kremlin decoy. Was it just a coincidence that
Surkov attended his birthday party at the Metropol Hotel?" [Surkov is
deputy head of the presidential administration. - editor's note]
An analyst close to the PPUR upper echelons pointed out some
other reasons for the conflict: "There is a sense that from time to
time Gennady Zyuganov feels the need to get rid of someone who shares
his name. Not so long ago he drove Gennady Seleznev out of the party;
now he's denouncing Gennady Semigin. It's a kind of 'Gen therapy'...
But seriously, behind everything there is the battle for leadership
and the party coffers. The oligarchs (Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Vladimir
Potanin and others) are investing in the 'left-wing project', taking
out insurance against Kremlin omnipotence - only a moderately leftist
Duma can serve as insurance against that. Until now, investment has
come in via the PPUR. But not everyone was happy with Semigin; and
Khodorkovsky started dealing directly with Zyuganov. At that point,
the CPRF leader decided to rid himself of an unnecessary middleman -
and a potential rival: after all, the 38-year-old Semigin has
Napoleonic ambitions, he sees himself as the president of Russia ten
years from now... Zyuganov, like any male animal, the leader of the
pack, has to show his strength occasionally by dealing with rivals.
Otherwise, it's like in 'The Jungle Book' - as soon as the old wolf
fails, the pack will choose another leader."
To give the Communists credit, their internal scandals have had
almost no effect on the party's popularity. It has a stable,
disciplined electorate: no less than 25% of the vote, which in the
foreseeable future will secure Duma seats for the CPRF.
Vyacheslav Nikonov, president of the Politika Foundation: "It
remains the strongest party. No matter how much some wished to see a
split in the CPRF, it hasn't happened - there have only been a few
breakaways."
Boris Makarenko, deputy director of the Political Consulting
Center: "Rumors of a split in the CPRF have been greatly exaggerated
by Zyuganov's opponents."
The Communists themselves are displaying Olympian calm.
Valentin Kuptsov, first deputy chairman of the CPRF central
committee: "I'm even glad of the fact that we don't have 100%
agreement within the party. We agrue, and seek the truth."
In the immediate future, the comrades will have to argue
themselves hoarse about the main issue: who will be the CPRF's
presidential candidate? The name of Sergei Glaziev, economist and
supporter of a strong state, is being mentioned more and more often in
the media.
An authoritative expert and former deputy prime minister told us:
"Right now, Glaziev's sails are filled with the wind of big-time
politics. Glaziev is very close to becoming the prime minister of
Russia. Putin will appoint him - either after the first round of
voting in the presidential election (as Yeltsin appointed Lebed
secretary of the Security Council in 1996) or even by the end of this
year. Because by November the CPRF's rating will be up around 50%, and
in order to retain power the president will have to 'listen to public
opinion' and move a 'bourgeois specialist' from the CPRF into the
Cabinet."
Very likely, there could be no better gift for the Communist
Party's eleventh anniversary.
(Translated by Arina Yevtikhova)

********

#12
Rossiskie Vesti
February 19, 2003
DO AS I DID!
Yeltsin's old guard is already planning Putin's exit from the Kremlin
Author: Andrei Pervozvannyi
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, www.wps.ru/e_index.html]
YELTSIN'S PEOPLE ARE BUSY WORKING OUT AN IDEA WHICH CAN BE SUMMED UP
AS FOLLOWS: VLADIMIR PUTIN SHOULD TAKE HIS PREDECESSOR'S EXAMPLE AND
HAND OVER POWER TO A SUCCESSOR AFTER THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF CIRCUMSTANCES ARGUING IN FAVOR OF THIS METHOD OF
TRANSFERRING POWER.

Yeltsin's people are busy working out an idea which can be summed
up as follows: Vladimir Putin should take his predecessor's example
and hand over power to a successor after the parliamentary elections.
There are a number of circumstances arguing in favor of this method of
transferring power.
Firstly, according to "Yeltsin's Family", Putin has not managed
to carry out his promises in the economy and society. The number of
Russian citizens living below the poverty line is rising, not falling.
Putin still hasn't managed to handle even one of the reforms loudly
declared at the start of his term in office. And the war in Chechnya
still isn't over.
Secondly, the Family considers that Putin will be unable to
resist plans for his "voluntary" departure, since he has no social
support of his own: he hasn't managed to win over big business to his
side, so it won't defend him. Meanwhile, medium-sized and small
business, the "third class", is still far from being created and
cannot serve as electoral support for the head of state. Putin's
relations with military leaders have long been delicate; military
reforms are making no progress, and the FSB's support alone is not
enough.
The Yeltsin team considers that public opinion is not
sufficiently in favor of Putin's re-election. According to a poll done
by the National Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) - done before
this winter's heating supply problems - 51% of respondents are still
uncertain about whom they would like to see as president once Putin's
time is up. And 13% of respondents would already like to see as
president who is named by Putin as his successor. The Family views
this as a most attractive trend which ought to be developed and
supported.
However, the Family also considers that it's too early as yet to
speak of any specific candidates for Putin's successor. The main thing
is to prepare all the conditions and circumstances required for Putin
himself to name as his successor the person who is proposed to him.
In this whole well-planned scheme, it appears that only one
question lacks an answer: will Putin himself want to do this?
(Translated by Arina Yevtikhova)

********

#13
The News International (Pakistan)
www.jang.com.pk
Sorry the hardest word as Russia turns its back on bloody past

MOSCOW: Germany has owned up to its Nazi past. South Africa has offered its
non-whites truth and reconciliation. The pope has apologised for the
Inquisition. But the victims of Stalinist repression will have to wait a
long time yet before the Russian state says sorry.

Fifty years since Joseph Stalin's death, there is "no chance" in the
foreseeable future of Russian authorities offering an apology for the
crimes of their Soviet predecessors, said Alexander Yakovlev, the former
Communist apparatchik who has taken on himself the lonely role of Russia's
conscience, agonising over its blood-stained past. Yakovlev, Mikhail
Gorbachev's advisor in the days when the Soviet leader was winding down the
Cold War, has spent more than a decade combing through the horrors of the
Kremlin and KGB archives as head of a presidential commission on the
victims of Soviet-era political repression. He first floated the idea of an
official apology in 1996. "I wrote an open letter with this suggestion. It
drew almost no response," he recalled. If and when an apology comes for the
millions who died in the Soviet years, Yakovlev believes, "it will be made
by someone who was not involved in the repressions, someone who is prepared
to take on the sins of his predecessors." With former KGB colonel Vladimir
Putin ensconced in the Kremlin and a racing certainty for reelection next
year, the prospect of the Russian state acknowledging its inheritance can
be ruled out for at least another five years.

"There has been no de-Bolshevisation comparable with the de-Nazification in
Germany. The issues aren't even being talked about," Yakovlev said. He is
on the point of publishing 30 hefty volumes of formerly classified
documents from state and KGB archives dealing with various aspects of the
decades of repression, to be distributed free to universities, but doubts
he will find much of an audience outside academia. The Russian public, he
noted, "appears unable to absorb this knowledge. it's as if they don't want
to know." He recalled a trip made a few years ago to the former prison camp
at Magadan, in Russia's frozen Far East, to inaugurate a memorial to the
camp's victims. Accompanied by Ernst Neizvestny, the world-renowned
sculptor who had designed the memorial, he was heckled as he began to speak
by a resentful crowd of former camp employees. "Half of them lost their
jobs -- relatively well-paid jobs -- when the gulag was wound up. Millions
of people served the system and had an interest in keeping it going.
Guards, clerks, cooks... There was a huge, hidden structure. All these
people are implicated." Yakovlev's slow awakening from blind belief in the
Soviet ideal began in 1946 when, as a young war veteran, he witnessed the
return of Soviet POWs from Germany, passing by train through his home town
of Yaroslavl, 300 kilometres (180 miles) northeast of Moscow, on their way
to the labour camps where to pay the price of involuntary contact with the
West. The incident is recounted in his recently published requisitory "A
Century of Violence in Soviet Russia," a closely-documented indictment of
the crimes not simply of Stalin and his henchmen but also of Lenin, the
organiser of the October 1917 Russia revolution and founder of the Soviet
state. Yakovlev implacably destroys the widespread myth that Lenin's
intentions were good but subverted after his death by a paranoid Stalin. It
was Lenin, not Stalin, who ordered massive summary executions -- "the more
priests you can shoot, the better," he is quoted as saying in one incident
-- and introduced forced labour camps and systematic arrests.

"Stalin always said he was only a student" compared with Lenin, Yakovlev
noted grimly. He speaks harshly of Russia's current rulers, "a party of
functionaries, most of them corrupt." One of the most alarming continuities
between the Soviet era and today's Russia, he said, was "the bureaucratic
power that these people exercise, at all levels, from the ministries to the
village, with no respect for law." "They're quite brazen," he said. "They
do what they want and say so openly." Russia's docile parliament is also,
in its passivity, a threat to democracy, he said. But despite the bleakness
of his view of Russia's recent past, and his dim view of Russia's current
state, Yakovlev emerges, somewhat surprisingly, as an optimist.

Business as usual for Stalin museum, but don't mention the Terror: "And
now," the museum guide said, pressing the switch of her neon lamp,
"Stalin's death mask." Nothing happened. A faulty contact. The group
advanced cautiously into the gloom of the rotunda and suddenly the lamp
came on, casting a surreal, sepulchral glow onto the bronze cast with its
famous features -- the full head of swept-back hair and bushy moustaches of
the man who held the world's largest nation in thrall for nearly three
decades.

Former KGB chief Yury Andropov was Soviet leader when Olga first began to
show groups round the Stalin museum, located in the dictator's home town of
Gori, an hour's drive west of the Georgian capital Tbilisi, and twenty
years on it appeared she had not changed a comma of her original account.

*********

#14
Chicago Tribune
February 24, 2003
Despite risks, Russia again tempting world's investors
By Alex Rodriguez
Tribune foreign correspondent

MOSCOW -- For years, the world's investment community has been waiting to
see if resource-rich Russia would cease to be a bad bet, if its rocky,
post-Soviet economy would stabilize enough to be a reasonable risk.

British Petroleum Corp.'s announcement last week that it will commit $6.75
billion to the formation of a new Russian oil company has some analysts
believing that Russia has turned a corner.

The deal is the single largest foreign investment in Russia since the
Soviet collapse in 1991.

BP, the world's third-largest oil corporation, will have a 50 percent stake
in the company, which it will own with Russian industrial enterprises Alfa
Group and Access-Renova. The deal boosts BP's oil reserves by nearly a third.

Alfa Group Chairman Mikhail Fridman called the deal "a reflection of the
political change that has taken place in Russia over the past three years.
Russia has stopped being associated with instability and non-transparency."

President Vladimir Putin can take some credit. During his three years in
office, inflation has been kept in check and the ruble has stabilized.

Putin's economic policies

Putin also has stewarded reforms aimed at integrating Russia's economy with
the West's and creating a more predictable business environment for investors.

The imposition of a flat 13 percent income tax rate was aimed at curbing
tax evasion. To combat corruption, judges received raises and now earn $600
a month; the average Russian wage is about $130.

Nevertheless, analysts caution that Russia's improved investment climate
remains booby-trapped by the same old tripwires: a stifling bureaucracy,
corruption and a nationwide aversion to the Western concept known as the
"rule of law."

"The risks for investing in Russia are still large," said Roland Nash,
chief of research for Renaissance Capital, a Moscow-based brokerage firm.
"You have an unreformed bureaucracy, and you don't have the legal
institutions to protect you as an investor.

"There have been reforms across the board," Nash said, "but the starting
point was so abysmal. There is still a lot to do."

The risk is magnified for small- and medium-sized foreign investment
enterprises, which unlike BP do not have the resources and teams of lawyers
to combat Russia's red tape.

The U.S.-Russia Business Council estimates that of the roughly 75 small-
and medium-sized U.S. enterprises with ventures in Russia, a third have
ongoing disputes, with Russian partners, government officials or both.

Henri Bardon's Seattle-based Euro-Asia Investment Holdings lost $6 million
in a rigged bankruptcy involving a Vladivostok flour producer.

Rigged bankruptcies common

In a scheme often used by Russian businesses on foreign investors, the
Russian company in which Bardon invested transferred the $6 million in
assets to another company, leaving the original company bankrupt.

Bardon sued and won, but he said, "local officials have conspired with our
local partner to make sure we didn't recover anything. In my case, I have
been completely fleeced."

Gary Johnson, president of an Ohio electronics-grade quartz manufacturer,
Sawyer Research Products, has been fighting for five years to recover $8
million lost when local officials commandeered Sawyer's plant east of
Moscow by invalidating its lease and locking out Sawyer executives.

Like Bardon, Johnson has won in court time after time, but he has been
unable to get Russian authorities to enforce those judgments.

Russia needs investment in small- and medium-sized businesses; they are
proven drivers of economic growth and jobs.

"But when it comes to small- and medium-sized investors in Russia, a
consistent pattern comes up," Johnson said.

"We all went into a risky situation and overcame the normal business risks,
but our success became the source of our problems," Johnson said. "Officers
of the government, whether regional or local, became interested in our
businesses and used their influence on the judiciary and administrative
structure to undermine our rights as investors."

Even BP got burned. The oil giant first invested in Russia in 1997, when it
bought a 10 percent stake in Sidanco, a Siberian oil business. Two years
later BP became ensnared in a bitter bankruptcy proceeding surrounding
Sidanco; it cost BP $200 million. TNK, the oil company that took over
Sidanco in what BP claimed was a rigged bankruptcy, is owned by BP's new
partners.

Analysts say BP's decision to invest again in Russia after its experience
six years ago is further proof that Russia's investment climate has
improved dramatically.

But has it improved enough?

"The World Bank did a recent survey looking at the question of barriers in
Russia to small investors," said Nash, of Renaissance Capital. "According
to the survey, businesses said the number of barriers decreased by 27
percent over the last 12 months. But the average firm also said it still
found it extremely difficult to do business in Russia."

********

#15
Rosbalt
February 24, 2003
Do Poles Really View Russia As an Enemy?

The article Survey Suggests Russia is Poland's Greatest Enemy, published on
Rosbalt's website two weeks ago, has been causing some heated debate.
Bearing in mind that the article was based on an opinion poll carried out
by the Polish Public Opinion Research Institute (OBOP), readers' emotions
seem fully justified. For this reason we decided to speak to an expert on
this subject.

We spoke to Mateusz Falkowski, who belongs to the younger generation of
Polish sociologists. At the Warsaw Institute of Public Affairs Mr Falkowski
specialises in Polish relations with other nationalities.

Is it true that Poles who think in terms of 'enemy states' consider Russia
to be their greatest enemy?

Personally I would prefer to start by looking at it from another angle -
the extent to which Poles like Russians. I would like to mention the
research carried out by the Public Opinion Research Centre (CBOS), which
has been asking its respondents the same question about Russians every year
since 1993.

According to the survey, Polish attitudes towards Russians are improving
all the time. Whereas in 1993 only 17% said they felt kindly towards
Russians, by 2002 this figure had risen to 24%.

Accordingly the number of people who feel hostile towards Russians has gone
down. When asked in 1993 how they felt about Russians, 56% of respondents
answered that they felt hostile. Now this figure is only 43%. Therefore the
number of Poles who dislike Russians has gone down in that time by 13%.

Now let us answer the question of whether Poles really see Russians as
their enemies. Firstly, we need to bear in mind that for the last thirteen
years Poland has been redirecting its attention to the West, that is we
think of ourselves and compare ourselves and Poland with the West. Polish
people now disregard neighbours such as Hungary, the Czech Republic and
Slovakia and consider themselves the same way that they consider Western
countries like France, Germany and the US.

Of course this does not mean that Poles suddenly view all Eastern countries
as enemies.

I would like to mention another survey that was carried out in 2000 and
specifically dealt with the question of whether Poland and Russia are
capable of cooperating on peaceful and friendly terms. At that time 9%
answered 'yes, of course' while 60% answered 'probably', in other words
almost 70% gave a positive answer.

In 2002 this figure of 70% had risen to 80%, including 15% who said they
were sure that such relations were possible. It is this growing warmth
towards Russians and the certainty that the two countries are capable of
working together in an effective way that makes one a little suspicious of
the most recent OBOP survey's results.

My own research has shown that the vast majority of those who support
Poland's entry into the EU are also optimistic about relations between
Russia and Poland. Perhaps this means that people are already thinking of
Poland as a future member of the EU and realise that good relations with
Russia are now very important. This kind of attitude also makes me
skeptical about supposed feelings of hostility.

However, to return to this view of Russians as an enemy, there is of course
a group of people whose attitudes to people of other nationalities are very
emotional. The twentieth century has left its mark and naturally there are
people who feel a certain aloofness and hostility towards Russia. However,
I believe that this negative attitude is balanced out by the growing warmth
of the majority towards Russians.

Could you be more specific about the origins of this feeling of hostility?

The attitudes of different generations to other countries always vary to a
greater or lesser extent. Younger and better educated people tend to be
more open-minded and positive about other countries, including Russia. This
is because the problems of history are not so important for younger people.
The older generation is therefore more hostile towards Russia as they still
remember the conflicts of the past. One must also remember that it is only
since the early nineties that people have been able to openly criticize
Russia and Russian people.

In the debate which ensued on Rosbalt's website after the publication of
the survey's results one person pointed out that respondents' answers often
depend on the way the questions are formulated. What do you think about this?

It is always a big problem with surveys that questions often prompt certain
replies from respondents. That is why it is useful to carry out surveys
several times at regular intervals, such as the research that I carry out
with CBOS, where we have been asking the same question over again for a
number of years. Questions such as 'Do you think such-and-such a country is
an enemy?' is always going to prompt a specific answer.

Interview conducted by Vladimir Pavliv for Rosbalt, Warsaw.
Translated by Nick Chesters

*******

#16
International Herald Tribune
February 24, 2003
East European intellectuals are reluctant to take sides
By Sarah Lyall/NYT
 
LONDON--Questions of the United States versus Europe, or even of "old
Europe" versus "new Europe," mean little to the Hungarian novelist and
Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertesz, whose sympathies transcend such geographic
distinctions.

"As an artist, I am European," said Kertesz, who divides his time between
Budapest and Berlin. But he cannot shake off his emotional attachment to
the United States, which liberated him from Buchenwald and later helped
release Hungary from communism.

"Freedom during the Cold War and the development of democracy would not
have been possible without American protection," Kertesz said in a
telephone interview from Berlin. "There are very important ties between
Europe and America, which helped save Europe from two dictatorships. This
applies especially to Western Germany, where I now live, which has a lot to
be grateful for."

Like Kertesz - and unlike many of their counterparts in Western Europe -
several writers and other cultural figures from East and Central Europe who
were interviewed this week seemed reluctant to take sides in the
increasingly fraught dispute that is fracturing old political alliances.

Yet it is hard for these European intellectuals - silenced under decades of
communism and often centuries of authoritarian, alien rule before that - to
ignore the outburst by Jacques Chirac, the French president, who accused
Europeans in the East of being "badly brought up" for siding with the
United States over Iraq.

Jiri Pehe, director of New York University in Prague and until early this
month chief political adviser to the just-retired Czech president, Vaclav
Havel, said, "Chirac's remarks have highlighted more than anything else
that the EU has a long way to go before it lives up to its ideal of
equality for all of its members. Many people in the candidate countries
have long been convinced that their countries won't be admitted to the EU
as equals."

Nor, he and others believe, is it fair to force the countries in the East
to choose between the United States and Western Europe.

"I have always been pro-American, and for me that in itself entailed being
pro-European," said Krzysztof Czyzewski, a former dissident theater
director and president of the Borderland Foundation, a cultural group in
Sejny, Poland. It was not until the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, and he could
enjoy closer contacts with the West, he said, that he discovered - to his
surprise and chagrin - that there was a growing anti-Americanism bubbling
up in Western Europe.

He said that he still considered himself both pro-American and pro-European
- in the sense of all of Europe, East and West. "The fact that President
Chirac, and similarly minded politicians, think the two to be contradictory
results from a different understanding of what it means to be European
today," he said.

Poles - and others who fell under Communist rule after 1945 - cannot
forgive Western Europe for sacrificing them to Stalin at Yalta, Czyzewski
said, and cannot help but perceive the rise of dictators like Saddam
Hussein through the prism of their own history. "That is precisely why we
feel that Mr. Chirac has no mandate to instruct, on anything, the very
countries which just recently freed themselves from the totalitarian
regime," he said.

Attitudes from the East toward the Western countries in the current dispute
vary considerably from country to country and from generation to
generation, of course. In Poland, where the close ties between the
old-style intelligentsia and France have largely fallen away, there is a
feeling that Chirac's remarks have creepy Soviet-era echoes.

Andrzej Kapiszewski, a professor of sociology and political science at
Krakow University in Poland, said, "Mr. Chirac's words were more or less
like the words we heard from the Kremlin for the previous 50 years of
communism - that you are not equal partners; that you should behave the way
we like and not do anything on your own; that you are a second-class country."

Many Romanians, too, feel annoyed by the French lecture. "Romanians have
always perceived the French as being their close European friends, and they
think it's a bit disconcerting to see your friend talking to you that way,"
said Matei Paun, a Romanian businessman.

Yet the pragmatic side of Paun feels a certain sympathy for Chirac, and
other guardians of Western Europe's history and material riches. "Chirac is
a member of a club that has rights over new entries, and he is entitled to
his conditions for entry," he said.

The French and German position presents a particular quandary for East
Europeans who came westward during the Communist years and never moved back
home. Tzvetan Todorov, a historian and moral philosopher from Bulgaria who
moved to Paris 40 years ago, when he was 24, said that he could see both
sides.

"If I were Bulgarian today, I would say that the only country that can
protect me if a threat appears from my immediate neighbor, Russia, is the
United States," he said. "But as a West European, I can understand why
Chirac and others are irritated. The Iraq crisis has had one clear
consequence, in that it shows the difficulty of creating political and
military unity in Europe."

The Czech writer Ivan Klima, who did not engage in politics during the
Communist years - and hasn't since - said he found the West European
position on Iraq to be "a little more clever and realistic" than that of
the United States.

But, describing his deep affection for the United States and the greatest
influences on his writing - the works of Britons like Graham Greene and
Americans like Hemingway, Faulkner and Philip Roth - he said he hated to
have to choose between the two angry allies.

"I don't think we should prefer Europe against America, and I don't think
we should prefer America against Europe," he said. "I think we could use
this moment to work to be on one side together."

*******

#17
Emerging European Democracies Sound Off
February 24, 2003
By WILLIAM J. KOLE

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) - A descent into the damp basement of No. 60
Andrassy Avenue is all it takes to understand why people like Maria Schmidt
insist on being heard in Europe's acrimonious debate over Iraq.

The bleak concrete building that now houses Schmidt's House of Terror
museum was the headquarters of Hungary's communist secret police in the
1950s, when thousands of anti-Soviet dissidents were beaten, tortured and
killed.

``It was terrible living under a dictatorship,'' she said in her office,
decorated with an aerial photo of the World Trade Center rubble. ``We've
earned the right to no longer be told what to say or do.''

Small but spirited, Hungary and a dozen other democracies emerging behind
the former Iron Curtain have found a bold new voice in the squabble over
how to disarm Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.

Although their pro-U.S. stance has angered European Union powers France and
Germany, the defiant nations of the ``new Europe'' are making clear they
won't be bullied. Their refusal to fall into step with the anti-war
sentiment in Paris and Berlin signals their growing confidence as the EU
prepares to take in a sizable swath of the former Soviet bloc.

``We will be one of the equals in the EU,'' declared Anton Rop, the prime
minister of Slovenia, which is set to join next year.

French President Jacques Chirac infuriated countries stretching from the
Baltics to Bulgaria a week ago when he rebuked them for failing to ``keep
quiet'' by backing the tough U.S. stand on Iraq. In a veiled threat, Chirac
called that a ``dangerous'' attitude for countries still needing EU
approval to join in May 2004, when the bloc expands from 15 nations to 25.

Despite their economic, political and military weaknesses, the Czech
Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia
and other nations responded by pulling together and repeating their
gratitude for American help in shaking off communism 13 years ago.

Chirac's withering comments deeply offended the EU's eastern newcomers, who
took to heart decades of Western preaching about how democracy works and
aren't about to be muzzled.

``We are too big and too proud a country, with a rich history, tradition
and a conviction about our importance in Europe, to keep quiet,'' said
Poland's prime minister, Leszek Miller. ``We will speak when we consider it
appropriate and we will say what we consider appropriate.''

``Every country has a right to its own opinion, and we don't regret ours,''
said Daniel Vaarik, a spokesman for the Estonian government, a staunch U.S.
ally on Iraq.

There are no signs that eastern Europe will come close to rivaling
traditional western powers. But after years of isolation, even small
countries like Slovakia realize that they're gaining a voice - and that
Washington, at least, is listening.

Unlike France and Germany, the Slovak government considers itself part of
President Bush's ``coalition of the willing'' ready to support U.S.-led
military action against Saddam and is deploying an anti-chemical warfare
unit to the Persian Gulf.

``We have the right to our own view of the world,'' the Slovak newspaper
Pravda said in a commentary.

``Europe will have to be different from what it was like before our entry
... and listen more to the voice of small states,'' it added. ``After the
enlargement, the EU will be different. Less French or German, less Chirac's
- and no worse for that.''

Some ordinary citizens, however, were ambivalent about the blowup.
Struggling to make ends meet in countries making a bumpy transition from
communism to a market economy, they seem doubtful about their countries'
influence, and many oppose their governments' backing of the U.S. position
on Iraq.

``Washington is far away, so why did we rush into their embrace?'' said
Majda Ziglev, 34, buying food at a market in Ljubljana, the Slovene
capital. ``Let them fight their own battles. We're part of Europe and
that's where we should stay.''

Agnes Gereben, a Budapest author and historian, dismisses the notion that
Hungary and its formerly communist neighbors will gain significant
influence when they join the EU next year.

``There's a lot of propaganda about joining, but it's empty propaganda,''
she said. ``It's not much different from the propaganda for the Soviet
Union 20 years ago. Hungary will never have a big voice.''

Schmidt, the terror museum director, isn't so sure. Three floors down from
her office, a mud-caked Russian tank on display serves as a graphic
reminder of how far the country has come in such a short time.

``We have a chance to make a strong Europe,'' she said. ``It's our duty to
speak out. When you face a common menace, it always helps to stick
together.''

*******

#18
New York Times
February 23, 2003
Why the Russians Still Rule the World of Figure Skating
By KATHLEEN BANGS

In Russia, if you're an American expatriate skating fan longing for a bit
of back-home camaraderie, you might think you will find it at the St.
Petersburg Grand Hotel lobby bar, given that the International Grand Prix
of Figure Skating Final is in town this week. Be prepared to drink alone.

There's only one American skater competing in this championship and
precious few fellow travelers. To get an invitation to the Grand Prix Final
you have to earn it, and it's a troubling indication of the depth in
American skating, or lack thereof, that out of a possible 24 slots, only
one will be represented by a skater from the United States. Who will
dominate the event? Skaters from the country that has ruled the sport for
decades, Russia.

The Grand Prix Final is the culmination of the Grand Prix Series, which
consists of six international events. The top six point-scoring athletes in
each of the women's, men's, pairs and dance are eligible to compete in the
Grand Prix Final, running Friday through March 3.

Two American skaters did make it into the event: the rising star Sasha
Cohen, who is coincidentally half-Russian, and the venerable Michelle Kwan,
hot off her seventh national title. But Kwan withdrew, citing a desire to
use the few remaining weeks in the season to hone her programs for next
month's world championships.

Over the eight-year history of the Grand Prix, the United States has been
strongly represented only by the women. With three gold medals, American
women tie the Russians in women's singles in the Grand Prix Final.

In the other divisions, the American team is on thin ice, particularly in
men's and pairs. At this year's nationals, not a single man could land a
decent quadruple jump. The men's and pairs events were major splatfests in
which the combatants left the ice occasionally bloodied and, presumably
worse, embarrassed.

"There was bad karma all around," a top men's coach, Don Laws, said of the
laughably inept display. "Things happened that couldn't be accounted for.
My thought was that we didn't need judges at nationals; we needed an
exorcist."

Michael Weiss, who won his third national men's title, says he has put his
subpar performance behind him. Like the rest of the American men, Weiss did
not make it into the Grand Prix Final and has instead focused his sights on
the world championships.

"The Russians are unknown, so they are exotic," Weiss said. "People tend to
put them on a pedestal." He insists that he is undaunted by the challenge
they present. "I've pretty much beat most of these skaters at one point or
another in my career. I hear people say the Russians are unbeatable. Well,
in sports, no one is invincible."

But in the overall Grand Prix medal count, the scales tip decidedly in
favor of the Russians. They have won an impressive 37 medals to a
relatively paltry 14 for the Americans. Russian men have taken the singles
gold six times. American men? Zero. Gold medals for the Americans in ice
dancing and pairs? Zero again.

In world championship competition, American pairs have not won a gold medal
in 24 years — hardly what you would call a hot streak.

One of the reasons for the huge imbalance is that the United States simply
does not have enough good male skaters to fill the ranks. There is a
disproportionate ratio of girls to boys in American figure skating.

What the former Soviets find curious is the reluctance of American boys to
enter the sport.

"In Russia and Europe, there is no stigma attached to figure skating — it
is a masculine sport and the mind-set is completely different," said the
coach and former champion ice dancer Alexander Zhulin, who has set up a
training program in New Jersey.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, many top coaches packed up and left
to find work and better living conditions in the West. Their students
followed. Now they have created substantial training groups in the United
States and, along with their countrymen back home, they continue to produce
the finest skaters.

Zhulin's prize student, Alexander Abt, recently won the Russian
championship and is one of the top competitors in the Grand Prix Final. Abt
left Moscow over a year ago, and he has enjoyed his greatest competitive
success for Russia while living in America.

"Watch Abt from a dead stop on the ice," said Morry Stillwell, former
president of the United States Figure Skating Association. "In two strokes
he's flat out at top speed. He has the best acceleration, unquestionably,
of any skater."

But the reigning Olympic and four-time world champion, Alexei Yagudin, is
the undisputed star of the sport. Yagudin trains in Simsbury, Conn., and
almost all of his major victories came after his arrival in 1998 at 18.

What coaxed Yagudin into the trans-Atlantic leap was the opportunity to
train with the legendary coach Tatiana Tarasova. She fine-tuned his skills
and artistry, making him virtually unbeatable when he is in top form. This
season, he was forced to withdraw from the Grand Prix series, unable to
defend his title because of injury.

How good is Yagudin? The United States Figure Skating Association, the
governing national organization, paid him $275,000 in appearance fees for
three events this season. Why would they shell out that kind of money to a
foreign skater? Because Yagudin fills the seats.

"Our training system is a combination of hard off-ice and on-ice
discipline, work and dedication," Yagudin said in explaining why Russia has
been on top for so many years. "We always try to incorporate new elements
and increase the level of difficulty. Personally, whether it is during
practices, competitions or shows, I strive for perfection."

America has no true male figure skating star — certainly not one with the
draw, talent and charisma of Yagudin. And Stillwell is not convinced that
the American men's team will fare any better next season.

"I don't see a deep field coming up from the junior ranks," he said. "We're
not very strong right now. We could be in for a long dry spell."

Zhulin has his own insight into Russia's skating success.

"They do not simply train," he said of all skaters, even the children, back
home. "They compete with each other like bullfighters. Under the government
system, it is talent that is rewarded. If you have talent, you get to
continue and move up. If not, you're out. Money does not buy your security
in the sport like it can in America, because nobody in Russia has any.
Talent is the great equalizer, and because of it the ice arena becomes a
bullring, and the young skaters fight to survive."