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JRL #7099 Plain Text - Entire Issue

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1. BBC Monitoring: Soviet dissident said to be banned from visiting Russia. (Bukovsky)
2. Interfax: Russia shadows US spy plane in Caucasus airspace.
3. Russia Business List: U.S. Duties Loom for Metal Firms.
4. Russia Business List: Chris Weafer, Pipelines debate.
5. BBC Monitoring: Putin announces radical security changes, praises outgoing minister.
6. AP: Putin Wants to Ease Minor Crime Penalty.
7. Moscow Times: Yulia Latynina, Club Conversion Plus Pensioner Pauperization?
8. AP: U.S., Russia Lead 'Dirty Bombs' Meeting.
9. Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Igor Maksimychev, THE "AXIS OF PEACE": THE EMERGENCE OF GREATER EUROPE. Russia, France and Germany Insist Their Stance on Iraq Is Not Aimed Against the US.
10. Marina Kalashnikova: Council of Europe initiative.
11. Reuters: Russia keen on foreign observers at Chechnya vote.
12. RIA Novosti: WORLD TO SEE NOVOSTI BOOK ON CHECHNYA: PUTIN'S AIDE.
13. UPI: Russia takes control of Gazprom.
14. RFE/RL Business Watch: Daniel Kimmage, ENERGIZED. ("Step, for a moment, into the designer Italian shoes of a Russian oligarch. No, not an oilman, or
even an exiled financier -- your wealth comes from aluminum....Electricity worries you.")

15. The Ukrainian Weekly: Roman Solchanyk, Ukraine, Europe, and Albania.
16. Michael Miller: Hide Me Within Thy Wounds: Persecution of Catholic Church in USSR.
17. CONFERENCE INVITATION: "Global Security: The Transatlantic Foundation" April 9-10, 2003 Washington.
18. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace meeting summary: China's Perspective on Northeast Asian Security. (with Michael Swaine and Dmitri
Trenin)

19. Luba Schwartzman: TV1 Review.

********

#1
BBC Monitoring
Soviet dissident said to be banned from visiting Russia
Source: TVS, Moscow, in Russian 0425 gmt 11 Mar 03

Vladimir Bukovsky, a former Soviet dissident, has been refused a Russian
visa for the past two years, Andrey Cherkizov said in his morning
commentary "Nazlo" (Out of Spite) on TVS channel on Tuesday 11 March.

Cherkizov quoted Mikhail Shemyakin, a famous Russian artist and sculptor,
as saying this in an interview with Radio Liberty last Sunday.

"Depriving Bukovsky of his Russian visa is like keeping Andrey Sakharov in
Gorkiy for good. For ever," Cherkizov said, reminding viewers of another
famous Soviet dissident , who was allowed to return to Moscow from his
Volga exile by Mikhail Gorbachev.

"If the information about the ban on granting a visa to Bukovsky is true,
this means that a vulgar, dull, totalitarian regime is being set up in my
country. In that case one should buy a one-way ticket and flee headlong
from here," Cherkizov concluded by saying.

Bukovsky, who spent twelve years in Soviet prisons, labour camps and
psychiatric hospitals, now lives in Cambridge, England.

********

#2
Russia shadows US spy plane in Caucasus airspace
Interfax

Tbilisi/Moscow, 11 March: A US Air Force U-2S spy plane has flown over
Georgian territory, a Georgian military source told Interfax today.

"The flight was authorized by an appropriate agreement reached between the
United States and Georgia. However, the goal of the flight was not
disclosed," the source said about the 7 March flight.

At the same time, Russian military officials said that they monitored the
US flight from Russian territory. Two Su-27 fighters were ordered to take
off to prevent any possible border crossing by the U-2S.

"The U-2S flight continued from 1110 am to 0340 pm (Moscow time) [0810 to
1240 gmt]. The plane was flying at a speed of 800 kilometres per hour and
at an altitude of 18,000 metres," Col Aleksandr Drobyshevskiy, the Russian
Air Force's spokesman, told Interfax today.

According to Drobyshevskiy, "[the US plane] was flying at a minimum of
30-35 km from the Russian air border".

He noted that "the Russian fighters were flying along the Russian border
parallel to the U-2S". The routes of the Russian and US planes were
separated by about 100 km, the spokesman said.

********

#3
From: Ben Aris <benaris@online.ru>
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 12:20:51 +0300
Subject: [RusBizList] RBL535 -- Mar 11

Russia Business List
#535
Tuesday, March 11, 2003

4. U.S. Duties Loom for Metal Firms
Combined Reports
11/3/03

BA - US retribution is swift and painful. The surprising thing in all this
is that Kremlin seems to have regained enough confidence - thanks to the
booming economy which has been achieved without foreign investment remember
- that it is willing to risk the wrath of US. BA

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday gave final
approval to anti-dumping duties of up to 79.42 percent on silicon metal from
Russia.

Three of the panel's four current commissioners voted in favor of the duties
on the grounds that imports from Russia had "materially injured" domestic
producers.

The fourth commissioner did not participate in the case.

The action clears the way for the Commerce Department to impose anti-dumping
duties ranging from 56.11 to 79.42 percent on the silicon metal imports.

Silicon metal is used primarily in the production of aluminum and to make
certain organic chemicals known as silicones.

Semiconductor-grade silicon was not included in the anti-dumping
investigation.

Russian firms exported some 34,153 tons of contained silicon to the United
States in 2001, which accounted for about 12.3 percent of U.S. domestic
consumption that year, the ITC said.

The United States is also threatening other economic penalties against
Russia in what a senior U.S. diplomat in Moscow last week said was in
retaliation for the Kremlin's increasingly tough stance against Washington's
pursuit of war on Iraq.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said Russia might face U.S. trade
retaliation if it does not remove import barriers for meat.

Zoellick told the Senate Finance Committee last week that he would not
shrink from that course of action if necessary to help persuade Russia to
drop the restrictions.

"Since they're not a WTO member, there's a full range of options, and they
all ought to be on the table," Zoellick said.

Russia would not be able to challenge the action at the World Trade
Organization because it is not a member.

Zoellick's comments came the same day a senior American diplomat said Russia
risks membership in the WTO if it vetoes a new UN Security Council
resolution paving the way for war on Iraq.

********

#4
From: Ben Aris <benaris@online.ru>
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 09:14:10 +0300
Subject: [RusBizList] RBL534 -- Mar 10

Russia Business List
#534
Monday, March 10, 2003

7. Pipelines debate
Chris Weafer: Alfa Bank
11/3/03

The Cabinet will discuss pipeline strategy at a meeting next week, March
13th, and the lobbying that we have seen in recent weeks by the oil
companies and various government ministers is already intensifying.

YUKOSs Chairman is particularly vocal and continues to highlight how much
Russia will lose if oil production growth is slowed.

The current position is that Russian daily oil production is now at 8.1 mln
and export capacity is about 4.1 mln bbl/d. Of this Transneft accounts for
3.5 mln p/d, which is the capacity of the existing pipeline system. Russian
oil majors have managed to build extra capacity up to about 600,000 bbl/d by
using a combination of trains and riverboats but short of asking people
passing through Sheremetyevo Airport to carry a bucket or two, there is no
more physical export capacity.

As a short-term measure the oil majors want the government to delay the
upgrade to Primorsk and to re-open the Ventspils route in Latvia. This port
has a capacity of up to 500,000 while current exports through it are at
zero. Based on announced plans, the oil majors are expected to add an
additional 500 to 600,000 bbl/d this year and without Ventspils they will
have to shut down new developments because of zero net domestic demand
growth.

The medium-term issue concerns the possibility of allowing a new pipeline to
the proposed oil terminal at Murmansk and the longer-term issue is to decide
between the YUKOS favoured China pipeline could be ready in 2005 or the
longer and more expensive pipe to the Pacific coast.

The government clearly wants to see the longer dated developments in order
to slow down oil growth to a more modest level in order to allow for
priority to shift to the development of other parts of the economy while the
oil majors would like to be as big and attractive to foreign oil majors as
quickly as possible.

This has all the hallmarks of proving a politically divisive issue over the
next twelve months, albeit, in the usual pragmatic style of this government
some short term solution (perhaps Ventspils) will be found to allow steam
blow safely off. This issue is not going away however.

Note: One interesting piece is that YUKOSs Chairman has said that he
believes that current unexploited reserves in Russia now in the hands of
the State could amount to 20 bln tons or 146 bln barrels. That being the
case Russia would have reserves almost as large as Saudis and much more
than even optimistic estimates for Iraq. Who knows, Russia certainly has a
lot more oil than current proven reserves about 90 bln bbl (hopefully BP
will now update its statistical review it has Russia as having 46 bln
still) but as to what lies below those huge empty areas?

********

#5
BBC Monitoring
Putin announces radical security changes, praises outgoing minister
Source: RTR Russia TV, Moscow, in Russian 1100 gmt 11 Mar 03

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced radical changes to the
security and defence spheres in an effort to improve the effectiveness and
coordination of state bodies in this area. He has also made a number of
personnel changes in state bodies, the most notable of which was to move
Valentina Matviyenko from the post of deputy prime minister to that of
presidential envoy for the Northwest Federal District. In the part of today's
Cabinet meeting broadcast on Russia TV's "Vesti" news, Putin spoke of his
"mixed feelings" at Matviyenko's departure, which he said were shared by
leading members of the government. The following is the text of a report
broadcast by Russia TV on 11 March. Subheadings have been inserted
editorially:

[Presenter] President Vladimir Putin has made a number of personnel
appointments today. He announced the appointments at a meeting with key
Cabinet ministers. Apart from appointments, the presidents announced a number
of important decisions aimed at improving the activity of security and
defence bodies.

Defence, security shake-up

[Putin] An analysis of the situation in the country in this sphere shows that
along with crimes against the person, the most important tasks for the state
in this area are the fight against the illegal trade in narcotics and
psychotropic substances, and the fight against terrorism. At the same time,
we cannot state and consider that the authorities responsible for these
matters are operating with sufficient effectiveness and coordination.

In connection with this, the following decisions have been taken: to create
an independent federal body - the State Committee of the Russian Federation
to Control the Trade in Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances; to abolish the
Federal Tax Police Service of the Russian Federation and to transfer its
material and technical resources and its staff to the newly created body for
combating narcotic and psychotropic substances - the tasks for uncovering,
providing warnings about and preventing tax crimes are to be transferred to
the Russian Interior Ministry; to place the Federal Border Guard Service
under the authority of the Federal Security Service [FSB] of the Russian
Federation; to abolish the Federal Agency for Government Communications and
Information [FAPSI] under the president of the Russian Federation, and
distribute its functions between the FSB and the Russian Defence Ministry;
and to set up under the auspices of the Russian Defence Ministry the Russian
State Committee for the State Defence Order, which will take on the function
of the sole commissioner of conventional weapons - we have talked about this
at length both within the government and the Security Council. This decision
has been well considered and is supported by all the security and defence
bodies.

Today I have signed the relevant decrees. However, the measures outlined
require changes to be made to legislative acts. The relevant bills will be
introduced today into the State Duma. Just this morning I met the speaker of
the State Duma [Gennadiy Seleznev] and informed him of this.

At the same time, I am putting before the State Duma a package of amendments
aimed at liberalizing the criminal law. I would like to explain what I have
in mind here. In practice, it is a proposal to introduce lighter penalties
for minor violations of the law.

Appointments

Now I would like to move onto some personnel decisions. The presidential
envoy for the Northwest Federal District, Viktor Vasilyevich Cherkesov, is
appointed chairman of the State Committee of the Russian Federation to
Control the Trade in Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances. He will cease to
hold the post of presidential envoy. The post of presidential envoy for the
Northwest Federal District is to pass to Valentina Ivanovna Matviyenko, who
is relieved of her duties as deputy prime minister of the government of the
Russian Federation. I say this with mixed feelings. I think that the
leadership of the government shares these feelings. I have just been talking
with the prime minister [Mikhail Kasyanov], and he is also sorry to be losing
Valentina Ivanovna. I think I will be expressing the general opinion if I say
that Valentina Ivanovna was the most, one of the most effective members of
the cabinet, and a most respected person in the government.

Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov [hitherto head of the tax police] is appointed the
Russian Federation's envoy at the European Union, with ministerial rank.
Konstantin Vasilyevich Totskiy is appointed permanent envoy of the Russian
Federation to NATO. The post of head of the Federal Border Guard Service will
pass to the first deputy director of the FSB, Vladimir Yegorovich Pronichev.
Vladimir Georgiyevich Matyukhin, the director of FAPSI, is appointed chairman
of the Russian State Committee for the State Defence Order, with the rank of
Russian first deputy defence minister.

********

#6
Putin Wants to Ease Minor Crime Penalty
March 11, 2003
By ERIC ENGLEMAN

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin called on lawmakers Tuesday
to ease punishments for minor crimes, and an aide said the old sentencing
guidelines were a relic of a ``totalitarian state of the last century.''

``I'm sending over to parliament a package of legal amendments intended to
liberalize the criminal legislation...to soften the punishment for minor
criminal offenses,'' Putin told his Cabinet in comments broadcast on
Russian television.

Russian courts routinely order incarceration for even the most minor
crimes, a trend that has flooded Russian prisons. According to the latest
official data, Russia has 905,000 inmates, one of the largest per-capita
prison populations in the world. Cells are often overcrowded, and
tuberculosis and other diseases are rampant.

Dmitri Kozak, deputy head of the presidential administration, said Putin's
package ``lowers and in many cases excludes criminal punishment for minor
crimes, first of all those of an economic character,'' the ITAR-Tass news
agency reported.

He said current sentencing guidelines reflect the thinking of the
``totalitarian state of the last century'' and said courts should in many
cases order fines instead of prison sentences. He said the courts should go
easier on juvenile delinquents, particularly first-time offenders.

``As is well known, imprisonment doesn't reform, but often hardens
adolescents,'' he said.

Valery Abramkin, a former Soviet political prisoner and member of Putin's
human rights commission, said the president proposed changing sentences for
drug and weapons possession charges ``to reduce the stream of people going
into prison and reduce the amount of time they spend there.''

The current prison population represents a huge financial burden, he said.

``We can't keep such an enormous number of inmates. The budget can't
sustain it,'' Abramkin said.

The amendments introduced by Putin Tuesday are part of a broader effort to
reform Russia's post-Soviet legal system - a process that has been delayed
by more than a decade of political infighting and foot-dragging by
prosecutors and others who stand to lose much of their power under the
proposed changes.

Last summer, Russia's parliament passed a new Criminal Procedural Code,
with strong backing from Putin, that promised the introduction of jury
trials by Jan. 1 of this year, removed some powers from prosecutors, and
strengthened the independence of judges. However, lawmakers later agreed to
delay the deadline for introducing jury trials by four years.

Putin has praised the criminal code, saying it has already led to a 20
percent reduction of the number of people in detention and a threefold
increase in not guilty verdicts.

********

#7
Moscow Times
March 12, 2003
Club Conversion Plus Pensioner Pauperization?
By Yulia Latynina

The Finance Ministry has proposed converting up to 10 percent of Russia's
Soviet-era debt to the Paris Club nations into securities. If the proposal
is implemented, the market in Russian debt will expand by more than $4
billion.

Similar proposals in the past have always come to nothing because of the
different ways the Paris Club nations calculate debt. The United States,
for instance, calculates Russian debt roughly at market value, while
Germany calculates debt at face value. Converting Russia's debt to Germany
into securities would nominally reduce the value of the debt by no less
than two thirds. Such a drastic restructuring would have to be approved by
the Bundestag. And what government wants to ask parliament to approve a
formal reduction of its assets?

What's more, the Paris Club's own rules require that all 19 member nations
must unanimously approve any decision on restructuring debt.

The Finance Ministry proposes getting around this difficulty: The club
would be obliged to allow member countries to convert as much of their
share of the debt into bonds as they see fit.

The proposal appears to be mutually beneficial. Foreign governments would
get their money quickly by transferring debt to third parties. And Russia
would use its current abundance of petrodollars to buy up its own debt
rather than printing rubles to buy dollars. There is a downside, however.
The conversion of debt generally increases its liquidity. But in Russia it
also increases the opportunities for corruption.

You may recall the restructuring of Russia's debt to the London Club.
Mikhail Kasyanov was amply rewarded for heading the Russian delegation to
the negotiations. He became prime minister. Many banks did just as well.
They bought up debt on the cheap when foreign holders of debt feared that
Russia would default, then sold it for a tidy profit after restructuring,
earning hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. This practice is
commonly known as insider trading, and it's illegal the world over. In the
London Club restructuring, insider trading was a feature of macroeconomic
policy. It's widely believed that exactly the same thing occurred during
the recent restructuring of the debt owed by Soviet-era foreign trade
organizations.

And now the Paris Club. Whatever the official line might be, there is
really only one argument in favor of conversion. If debt is converted,
Russia will no longer be making debt payments on maturity, but buying up
debt when the price is right.

Such operations are nothing new. It's common knowledge that
Vneshekonombank, or VEB, has bought up London Club debt for the Finance
Ministry, spending some $3 billion on such purchases last year. It goes
without saying that the debt was purchased in secret, because if the market
were to learn that Russia was buying up its own debts, the price of debt
securities would go through the roof. It also goes without saying that
anyone privy to this little secret could snatch up everything not already
held by other investors. This is not just debt optimization, but debt
optimization plus corruption.

Let's say the Paris Club converts Soviet-era debt into bonds, and that VEB
buys those bonds. And let's assume that no third party gets a cut of the
transactions, that VEB doesn't suddenly raise its commission, and so on.
Here's the problem. VEB is not only empowered to manage Russia's foreign
debt. It is also empowered to manage the country's Pension Fund money,
which by law must be invested in government securities.

As the manager of Russia's foreign debt, VEB has an interest in reducing
the debt. But as manager of the Pension Fund money, VEB has an interest in
seeing the value of its government securities rise.

This little paradox clearly illustrates the fact that insider trading in
Russia is not a crime. It is government policy, and no one at the Finance
Ministry sees anything wrong with state debt optimization using pensioners'
money.

Yulia Latynina is author and host of "Yest Mneniye" on TVS.

********

#8
U.S., Russia Lead 'Dirty Bombs' Meeting
Away from Iraq, U.S. and Russia join hands on `dirty bombs' at
unprecedented session
AP
By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent

VIENNA, Austria - The U.S. and Russian governments, at odds over Iraq,
joined forces Tuesday to bring together hundreds of scientists and
government officials in the first global conference on "dirty bombs,"
confronting a threat that hasn't materialized but that could plunge cities
into chaos if it does.

American and Russian energy chiefs, co-sponsors of the three-day gathering,
were expected to detail progress in their joint effort in the former Soviet
Union to secure loose radiation sources - the cesium, strontium and other
isotopes used in medicine and industry that could also be used to fashion a
radiological dispersal device, or dirty bomb.

The Sept. 11 attacks changed the world's attitude toward such radioactive
materialS, U.S. officials say.

When it comes to controlling them, "what may have been sufficient in the
past may or may not be now," U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said in
an interview in advance of Tuesday's conference opening.

After the Soviet Union collapsed a decade ago, the ex-federation's military
and government abandoned unknown numbers of radiation sources in former
Soviet states, including, for example, highly radioactive strontium-90
batteries used for remotely placed aviation beacons.

"We're ready to solve it," Russia's atomic energy minister, Alexander
Rumyantsev, said last June when he, Abraham and the Vienna-based
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced their cooperative
effort to trace such "orphan" sources.

A dirty bomb - a conventional bomb packed with some radioactive material -
has yet to be detonated anywhere. But the al-Qaida network is reported to
have been interested in trying such a terror weapon.

The worry is not of mass immediate deaths, as in the 2001 attacks, but of
the spread of radiation that might cause immediate panic, because of fear
of long-term illness, and make sections of cities uninhabitable for years.

The more than 600 technical specialists, customs and other law enforcement
officers, regulatory officials and others gathering here have an ambitious
agenda, discussing ways to identify the most threatening radiation sources,
how to find "orphaned" radioactive material, keeping track of sources in
use, combating smuggling, and emergency response to such an attack.

A recent U.S. experts' report concludes that worldwide "several tens of
thousands" of the most dangerous radiation sources - used to treat cancer,
find oil deposits, disinfect food - may be insufficiently protected.

In one of the first comprehensive studies of the threat, the researchers at
California's Monterey Institute of International Studies noted problems in
the United States, particularly lack of controls on U.S. exports of
radioactive material.

Powerful radiation sources can be shipped from the United States to such
terrorism-afflicted nations as Afghanistan and Colombia without any
certification that the end user is legitimate and will protect the material
from theft or misuse, they said in their January report.

Stronger export controls in the United States and other countries could go
far toward ensuring most high-risk radiation sources are safeguarded, they
said.

Internal controls can also be strengthened. The U.S. government reported
last year that 1,500 radiation sources were believed lost or stolen in the
United States since 1996. Mohamed ElBaradei, the IAEA director general,
says "cradle-to-grave" control of powerful sources is needed.

In Washington, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and Rep. Edward Markey,
D-Mass., have introduced legislation to establish a nationwide system of
tracking radiation sources.

Abraham said he expects a report soon from a U.S. task force investigating
such questions. "We felt a need to re-examine whether we're doing a proper
job of tracking, accounting," the energy secretary said.

********

#9
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
No. 40
March 2003
[translation from RIA Novosti for personal use only]
THE "AXIS OF PEACE": THE EMERGENCE OF GREATER EUROPE
Russia, France and Germany Insist Their Stance on Iraq Is
Not Aimed Against the US
By Igor MAKSIMYCHEV, Doctor of Political Sciences, senior
researcher at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of
Sciences

The lightning visit to Moscow by German Chancellor Gerhard
Schroeder has stirred much speculation the world over. The
answer to the question why Mr Schroeder did not simply hold a
telephone conference with President Putin is simple: at such a
dramatic moment in the crisis over Iraq, you have to see with
your own eyes that the partner is not going to let you down.
Too important things are at stake - the credibility and
reliability of the three major European countries' leaderships.
The three countries in the Axis of Peace, i.e. Russia,
France and Germany, are under intense pressure. They are told
they must hurry up to patch things up with the United States or
otherwise they may be bypassed by their present allies and left
in the lurch.
The most intolerable pressure is being put on France,
whose society has risen up in arms in defence of Saddam
Hussein. It is believed that President Vladimir Putin of Russia
will eventually side with the winner, i.e. to all appearances
with Washington.
Reliable sources say Mr Schroeder was pleased with his
Moscow visit. Indeed, Presidents Putin, Chirac and himself are
set to remain where they stand on the prospect of war in Iraq.
And they have China on their side. Iraq's peaceful disarmament
is still possible. Russia, Germany, France and China are
therefore not inclined to shoulder any responsibility for
possibly catastrophic consequences of an attack against Iraq.
The memorandum calling for the strengthening of the
sanctions regime in Iraq sponsored by Russia, France and
Germany and submitted to the UN Security Council on February
24, is still in force. The three European leaders insist that
it is well-timed.
The three countries did not merely decline to back an
apparently premature use of force against Iraq, but offered a
specific, clear-cut and effective programme of the phased
disclosure of weapons of mass destruction, if there are any, in
Iraq and of their subsequent elimination. The Council now has
the opportunity to choose between the two global development
concepts, rather then discuss the provisions of one and the
same American-British resolution.
The European trio continues to emphasise, and did it so
once again in Moscow, that its anti-war stance must by no means
be referred to as an anti-American one. The global community's
topmost priority is to wipe out international terrorism and
there is no alternative to the international anti-terrorism
coalition.
The three countries have joined hands to try to get out of
the blind alley the US, along with the entire world, has found
itself in. There is one more, no less important aspect in their
current interaction -- the emergence of a pan-European
identity, which is vital for the continent's further
development.
A Greater Europe, that would stretch from Reykjavik to
Vladivostok, has many times been promised to Russia either in
written form or by the word of mouth since the sides peacefully
ended the Cold War. The Soviet Union then gave up practically
all the material guarantees of its security somewhat naively
hoping that its new partners would reciprocate. The USSR soon
ceased to exist completely and the promises passed into
oblivion.
The West suddenly started treating Russia like a defeated
enemy, which is heavily in debt to it at that. Russia was being
elbowed out of Europe, the very name of which was attributed
exclusively to the European Union, dealt with from a position
of force. Minor politicians in small European countries were
particularly aggressive. They believed that further tension, or
if possibly mounting tension, in Russia-West relations would
allow them to keep enjoying the boons of world-wide fame and
play big-time politics for their own benefit. The EU's
forthcoming enlargement, like NATO's eastward expansion, was
qualified as an anti-Russian initiative. Current intrigues
around Russian nationals' inalienable right to travel visa-free
to the country's westernmost enclave, the Kaliningrad region,
are very indicative in this respect.
Yet, the most far-sighted politicians in Western Europe
understood only too well that the main idea behind European
integration was to make Europe less dependent on the United
States, i.e. guarantee the possibility to adopt independent
decisions. That is possible only if Russia joins the process as
an equal and bearing its portion of responsibility.
France, Germany and Russia have joined together as an
initiative group for building a Greater Europe. The composition
of the group is very fortunate. Its members are the most
influential countries, which the continent's future is
contingent on a great deal. The Russo-German alliance without
France would have been denounced as the return to Rapallo. (The
treaty Russia and Germany signed at Rapallo, Italy, in 1922
merely contained mutual renunciations of WWI claims and
Germany's de jure recognition of the Soviet government.
However, France then succeeded in putting Europe on guard
against the potentially dangerous German-Soviet alliance.)
If Germany were not part of the present trio, its fear of
encirclement that goes back to Bismark would have been aroused
again.
But for Russia, the group would have been devoid of its
pan-European essence.
European politicians have long been aware of the many
plusses of the tripartite co-operation. Attempts to establish
the powerful Paris-Berlin-Moscow triangle were made back in the
1990s, but did not work. Russia's policy in the European
direction (as well as in every other direction) was not sound.
Things have changed since then and the present alliance has
better chances for success, though no guarantees.

********

#10
From: "Marina Kalashnikova" <machinegun@online.ru>
Subject: Council of Europe initiative
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003

Dear David,

Yet another involuntary break in my journalistic career gave me time to
compile a kind of summary. Maybe you find it worth of offering to your
readers.

Novye Izvestiya for which I worked, is dead. The background is quite well
described in a couple of reports (BBC, RFE/RL). Together with my colleagues
Im trying to set up a new edition of similar profile now. So its too
early to go into details of the situation. I only can tell, that its even
more complex than in other cases when media were closed down in Russia, or
in two previous firings of mine when political motives were at hand and
even openly proclaimed. They make their progress, too.

BTW, at the height of the NTV crisis, thereve been scores of foreign
observers who associated themselves with official business conflict
version. Yastrzhembskys office was keen to quote such reports for plain
reasons. Now, when Anton Titov is released from prison upon acquittal, when
Gasprom has revoked its claims against Media-Most, when the well-organized
destruction of the only independent TV in Russia on Kremlins order has
become an established fact now I dont hear any word from those
observers. Im still unsure about motives of such one-sidedness.

Today, Im astonished by lack of commenting on the recent Council of
Europes initiative to launch a War crimes Tribunal for Chechnya. Be this
to a degree provoked by Rogozin-Margelov duos behavior in Strasbourg, it
still has good chances for getting into history books. And for those who
still doesnt know: Margelov is also notorious for his personal engagement
into recruiting Russian journalists, say, for working against US Embassy.
This happened well after he formally had left the KGB, i.e. when Western
media already were praising his conversion. At a later date Ill
hopefully tell about experience of those who rejected Margelovs offers.

However, if the CE will be pushing for the Tribunal, Kremlin can start
thinking seriously about withdrawing troops from Chechnya, which is the
only way of finishing the war. Otherwise we most probably will face
disasters far exceeding in their extent all weve witnessed in recent
years. Take the ongoing demise of Russian state apparatus, in the first
place. Not only did all the enforcement agencies fail to prevent and to
tackle the Nord-Ost crisis. Some FSB-generals have been awarded Hero of
Russia titles secretly for that assignment (including the one who blew the
deadly gas in). It implies that the rulers here are gradually loosing both
sense of reality and ability to act in an adequate mode. They increasingly
look like a reckless clique living and acting separately from the country
and its people while playing own, obscure games. This hardly can be
bearable even in a small, rurally-structured banana-republic (anyway,
according to Viktor Pelevin, Russian Federation is a banana-republic of
evil emerged in place of empire of evil). Keeping in mind all the
stockpiles and slumbering Chernobyls, were all getting involved into a
Russian roulette of unprecedented scale and risk.

The secrecy of Russian generals decoration goes hand-in-hand with the
clandestine way by which rank-and-file men killed in Chechnya are brought
to they home villages and buried there. In my view, this sort of treating
regular KIAs speaks a lot about nature of the existing regime.

Apart from huge damage Chechnya war inflicts to Russias security,
demography, and economy (how to speak about economy if human life costs
nothing and brutal force is the rule?), it has become incubator of most
aggressive, cruel and unpredictable forces. The alliance of
Chechnya-generals and Caucasian godfathers, which has crucially contributed
to bringing Putin into Kremlin, is consolidating and gradually expanding
its sway across Russia. Experts think that stopping Trochev-Kadyrov
coalition came just in time and allowed to contain that lingering coup for
a while, at least.

Meanwhile, Putin himself is too weak intellectually, morally and
psychologically - and too dependent. He would hardly elaborate, and even
less could manage a real solution for Chechnya. Its known from Putins
Dresden files that, while occasionally efficient at local level, hes
inherently incapable to direct large, super-complex systems. To retain both
his social status and fragile psychosomatic balance, Putin rather would
seek adapting environment to his own features which substantially are the
ones of a minor provincial 5th Directorates clerk (contrary to general
belief, Putin wasnt an intelligence officer in proper sense). Thats why
he initiated or gave way to degrading Russias institutions back to some
quasi-Soviet patterns more comfortable to him. So today we practically have
one-party system lead by an illegal guidelines-giving body (direktivniy
organ) with no political opposition, no parliament worth its name, no
federalism, no independent media. The Washingtonian doves have thus
ultimately proved wrong. The nomenklatura/KGB conglomerate integrated with
mafia has won in Russia and, in fact, in the Cold war terms as well.

The crucial difference to Soviet time is still this: overwhelming
corruption and irresponsibility of state bureaucracy. Therere only two
things some of them still fear: competing fellow-criminals and powerful West.

Yes, Putins ratings. Those figures are treated like a key political
constant about Russia despite the fact that even official voting here is
usually fraud. Whats the meaning and relevance of that numerical popular
support, actually? Does it, say, imply that Russians would give peace,
salaries and heating in exchange for Putins TV image imposed on them?
Popularity ratings are being baked in Russia with far bigger craftiness
than Five-year plan growth rates in the past. As much solid is their real
value. Popular support a la Pavlovsky belongs to the same category as the
Gorbachevs referendum in support of the USSR, or the coming one supposed
to seal Chechens eagerness to get killed, tortured and plundered by the
uniformed gangs even longer.

Furthermore, the CE initiative meets grass-roots developments emerging in
Russia. Those are collective activities of people forced to defend their
utmost fundamental, vital interests against the criminal self-enrichment
corporation now in power in Russia: Soldiers mothers, independent trade
unions, ecologists, ethnic communities and others. We also see increasing
willingness to apply to the Strasbourg Human rights court for justice in
face of total corruption of the existing legal system. The group of
Nord-Ost victims is one of the recent examples of this. Introduction of
international justice for Chechnya would give additional spirit for
organized public movement in Russia which in turn would pave the way for
evolvement of civil society.

Another remark: those whore so excited by Putins legal reforms, should
know that courts and investigation in Russia still work in combination with
the so-called operative support measures and sometimes constitute nothing
but cover for them. Operative support is a secret police device bound to
manipulate legal procedure through forgery, intimidation, blackmail and so
on. It is based on classified instructions of MVD and FSB and Ive never
heard about intentions to abolish them. I myself experienced it a couple of
years ago in a politically loaded procedure and was shocked by rude and
demonstrative way it was practiced.

This also could give impetus to the long overdue dealing with the
Soviet/Communist past in an ordinary way like it has being done in other
post-communist countries today. This is a sine qua non condition for any
political reforms which, in fact, havent even started in Russia yet.
Coming back to Pelevins Generation P bestseller, the situation in Russia
now likes the which it could have been in the post-Nazi Germany if, say,
Josef Goebbels and his comrades would have been entrusted with
implementation of democratic reforms.

In the end, I think Western governments would be best advised if they take
regime in Russia for what it is not for what liberal activists, corrupted
experts and Kremlin propaganda seek to sell it. Its in interest of the
Russian people, the West itself and international security as a whole.
Strategic partnership, involvement, appeasement and all forms of
flirting are counter-productive, morally flawed and potentially dangerous
options. The criminal mentality of Kremlin rulers immediately interprets
any sign of good will, rapprochement or compromise as indication of
weakness only and is eager to exploit it for their own purposes. Saddam
Hussein is to them simply one of themselves. They act out from deep
affinity between their own and Iraqi kind of rule. Thats what precludes
any reasonable participation of Russia in eliminating dictatorial regimes
and terrorism nets worldwide.

Instead of investing into Putins reelection through oil mega-projects or
coming in crowds to St.-Pete jubilee, which is going to present just
another case of totalitarian wastefulness as Winston Churchill would put
it, Western governments should better think what to do about Russian wealth
accumulated abroad through the so-called capital outflow. Its high time to
convert the bulk of it for programs in disarmament, ecology, medicine,
social infrastructure and so on. Just think of tens of millions of
starving, freezing and dying Russians from whom that wealth has been
stolen. Think twice before help to cover for this robbery.

Im sure such turn in the Western policy towards Russia is inevitable
anyway. The earlier it starts the better for Russians and for the rest of
the world.

********

#11
Russia keen on foreign observers at Chechnya vote
By Andrei Shukshin

MOSCOW, March 11 (Reuters) - A key Kremlin aide urged European human rights
bodies on Tuesday to monitor a referendum on entrenching Russian rule in
Chechnya and dismissed their worries about security in the devastated region.

In Chechnya and the adjacent Russian region of Ingushetia, home to tens of
thousands of war refugees, preparations are under way for the March 23 vote
on a new constitution, which has been condemned by rebel Chechen President
Aslan Maskhadov as a way to perpetuate war. He has vowed to disrupt the vote.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sees the vote, which is to be followed by
local presidential elections, as critical to a political solution to nearly
a decade of war against rebels.

"We hope that (European) observers will come to Chechnya and we guarantee
their security," Sergei Yastrzhembsky, Putin's main Chechnya aide, told a
news conference.

The Russian president has ordered local officials to explain the proposed
constitutional arrangements to a largely sceptical population. Some media
said local officials threatened to stop food aid to the displaced unless
they registered for the poll.

Yastrzhembsky said invitations to attend the vote, were sent to such bodies
as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the
Council of Europe.

Both the OSCE and the Council of Europe expressed initial scepticism that
the vote could be held in a region lying in ruins and awash with violence,
but later softened their stance.

A mission in Chechnya this month noted a diminished military presence and
functioning public transport among improvements and suggested that the
bodies consider sending monitors.

Yastzhembsky was particularly critical of the Strasbourg-based Council of
Europe in describing as "strange and hypocritical" concerns over security.
These issues, he said, had "always been dealt with at the highest level".

Russia sent troops into Chechnya a second time in 1999 to end three years
of de-facto independence. The army established nominal control over the
mountainous territory but failed to stamp out resistance or overcome
hostility towards Moscow.

Officials said everything was nearly ready for the referendum inside
Chechnya and were working to enable 60,000 refugees outside the region to
vote.

Russian media reported on Tuesday that zealous officials had threatened to
stop distribution of humanitarian aid to displaced families if they refused
to sign a paper committing themselves to taking part in the vote.

Yastrzhembsky said such cases, if proved true, should be investigated and
the officials punished.

He said Moscow expected two thirds of voters to take part, an estimate
disputed by many Chechens living in Ingushetia.

"Whether they give me bread or not, even if they cut us from any
humanitarian aid whatsoever, I will not vote, and my family will not vote
either," said one woman at a camp near the border.

********

#12
WORLD TO SEE NOVOSTI BOOK ON CHECHNYA: PUTIN'S AIDE

MOSCOW, MARCH 11, 2003 /RIA NOVOSTI/ - "Chechnya: Questions and Answers" is
the name of a RIA Novosti brochure, fresh from print. It will find ample
readerships in dozens of countries all over the world, expects Sergei
Yastrzhembsky, aide to federal President Vladimir Putin.

The publication was timed to a constitutional referendum in Chechnya, due
March 23, he said to a news conference. "It took us a long time to select
questions and photographs, and take stock of media information." No other
book on Chechnya has ever come out in so many language versions as that.
Its closeness in time to the referendum is essential, with overseas media
outlets' interest in Chechnya skyrocketing. The upcoming referendum will
certainly make the whole world wonder what is going on in the problem-laden
republic, and what awaits it, said Mr. Yastrzhembsky.

The brochure offers information about the two Chechen military campaigns,
about its governing bodies-acting and just established, about
rehabilitation efforts, and a law-enforcement reform, now underway.

Among other languages, the book came out in Arabic. "That is good," says
Ahmad Kadyrov, republican administration head. He met many Muslim
countries' religious activists and national leaders last year to offer them
firsthand information about developments in Chechnya. "Current separatist
warfare is sheer banditry, and is worlds apart from Islam and its idea of
holy war," Mr. Kadyrov said to the conference.

********

#13
Russia takes control of Gazprom
By Martin Hutchinson
UPI Business and Economics Editor

WASHINGTON, March 11 (UPI) -- The Russian gas company Gazprom announced
Tuesday that its corporate restructuring had been completed, and that the
Russian state now owned 51 percent of its shares, up from 38 percent
previously.

By preventing the possible passage of Gazprom into foreign control, this
will allow the company to dismantle its two-tier shareholder structure,
which had previously depressed the price of Gazprom's domestic shares and
hampered the company's ability to raise capital. Under this structure,
foreigners had only been able to buy American Depositary Receipts, which
trade at a substantial premium to domestic shares. The company has
announced that the liberalization of the market for Gazprom shares is a key
corporate objective.

Gazprom is the largest gas company in the world and one of the leading
joint stock companies in Russia. It accounts for 8 percent of Russia's
total industrial output and provides 25 percent of total tax proceeds to
the state budget.

Gazprom produces 20 percent of the world's gas and 90 percent of Russian
gas. It controls about 65 percent of all gas reserves in Russia and 20
percent of all gas reserves worldwide, with estimated reserves of 26
trillion cubic meters.

Ruhrgas AG of Germany announced Thursday that it had raised its share stake
in Gazprom to 5.7 percent and planned to raise it in stages to the
8-percent to 10-percent level, in order to guarantee itself a seat on
Gazprom's board of directors. Ruhrgas is one of Gazprom's largest clients
for gas purchases, largely as the principal European buyer from the
Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, with capacity currently 28 billion cubic meters
per year, the construction of which was a major strategic issue between the
United States and Europe in the early 1980s.

Russia has invited Ruhrgas to participate in a $3 billion pipeline project
across the Baltic Sea, to be constructed by Fortum Corporation, an energy
group 61 percent controlled by the Republic of Finland.

According to analysts, ensuring full state control of Gazprom was a key
objective of Russian president Vladimir Putin's government. During the
1990s Gazprom, partly privatized, had been the power base of former prime
minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, who moved to the premiership from his post as
Gazprom president.

During that period, it had engaged in many transactions that did not bear
close scrutiny, including sale of assets for below book value, off-market
supply contracts, etc. There were particular concerns, according to
Alexander's Gas and Oil Connections, about links with Itera, a
Florida-based company that was growing rapidly thanks to loans and
purchases of businesses from Gazprom.

Gazprom was also a major source of support for Russian influenced
anti-reformist business groups in Eastern Europe such as Bulgaria's
notorious Multigroup.

In May 2001, following Putin's election, Gazprom Chairman Rem Vyakhirev was
replaced by the little known Alexei Miller, then a 39-year-old deputy
energy minister, who had been a Putin protg since they had worked
together in St. Petersburg in the mid-1990s.

A fierce power struggle has followed, during which old guard management has
been replaced, core assets reclaimed and non-core businesses accumulated
over the years have been prepared for sale.

For example, Gazprom exercised a "call" option to regain a stage in
Pourgaz, a gas field operator with significant reserves that it had sold to
Itera for a nominal sum. It also attempted to negotiate the return of $800
million in loans and reconsolidate its control over Sibur, an alliance of
petrochemical companies.

When this proved impossible, Gazprom provided information to the general
prosecutor's office in January 2002, and three top Sibur officials were
arrested.

During Miller's tenure there has been considerable discussion of the
possibility of breaking Gazprom into several companies, but this now
appears unlikely.

*********

#14
RFE/RL Business Watch
Vol. 3, No. 9, 11 March 2003
"RFE/RL Business Watch" is edited by Daniel Kimmage (DK).

ENERGIZED

Step, for a moment, into the designer Italian shoes of a Russian
oligarch. No, not an oilman, or even an exiled financier -- your
wealth comes from aluminum. What worries gnaw at you as your
jet-black Mercedes purrs from palatial office to lavishly appointed
villa?
Electricity worries you. Aluminum, you see, is fickle stuff.
It cannot simply be drawn from the earth like diamonds or gold. It
must be coaxed -- first extracted from ore in the form of aluminum
oxide, or alumina, and then shorn of its oxygen in an
energy-intensive electrolytic divorce. It takes 13 to 17
kilowatt-hours of electricity to produce 1 kilogram of aluminum. And
there's no other way. As the Aluminum Association
(http://www.aluminum.org) puts it, "While continual progress has been
made over the more than 110-year history of aluminum processing to
reduce the amount of electricity used, there are currently no viable
alternatives to the electrometallurgical process."
Electrical energy in Russia is the sovereign domain of
Unified Energy Systems (EES), a nationwide grid of power plants and
lines that is the largest electric utility in the world. The power
giant is, however, slated to lose much of its unity thanks to reforms
that are designed to create a bona fide market for electrical energy
in place of the current Soviet mishmash. The man appointed to oversee
the perilous process is EES Chairman Anatolii Chubais, who began his
career in the early 1990s as the darling of reform in the Western
press and the devil of privatization in the Russian popular
imagination. But despite a somewhat tarnished reputation abroad and
the enmity of the Russian masses at home, Chubais never lost his
footing in the corridors of power. In the starched and pressed Putin
era, his official image is that of the arch professional, the
manager's manager.
Chubais is now poised to apply his managerial skills to
another round of reform. On 3 March, Federation Council committees
and the Natural-Monopolies Commission recommended that the upper
house of parliament pass the raft of energy-reform legislation that
recently emerged from the State Duma, "Kommersant" reported on 4
March. Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref reminded
wavering council members that they will still have a two-year
transition to tweak the changes. Key legislation is set for approval
by the Federation Council on 12 March, and it appears that electrical
reform is finally beginning to creak and wheeze into action.
As reform looms on the horizon, the EES board becomes more
and more important -- it is the watchdog charged with ensuring that
no skullduggery taints the inevitable redistribution of assets. A 28
February board meeting illustrated the complexity of the task. At the
meeting, the board approved changes to the utility's charter that
will be submitted to the annual shareholders meeting. Developed
together by government, management, and minority shareholders, the
changes to the charter would have required board approval for any
asset sale over 15 million rubles ($475,000). The version approved on
28 February for submission to shareholders, however, omitted any
concrete figures, leaving the exact parameters to the board's
discretion, "Vedomosti" reported on 3 March. The board argued that
this approach would be more "flexible" than figures set in stone.
Dissenting board member Aleksander Branis objected that it would ease
dubious deal making.
Naturally enough, it is in the general context of dubious
deals and asset-stripping schemes that our imaginary aluminum tycoon
reenters the picture. Under the current ownership structure, 52
percent of EES belongs to the state and some 20 percent to foreign
investors. The remainder is, so to speak, a matter of speculation.
With the price of electrical power set to rise as reform
progresses, the captains of power-dependent industries have not been
sitting idly by waiting for their bills to rise and profits to fall.
Ever proactive, they have been buying up stakes both in EES and its
regional subsidiaries. In fact, according to a 6 March report in
"Gazeta," analysts believe that "the shares in EES that have been
bought up by various companies already comprise a blocking stake."
The list of suspects reads like a who's who of Russian
industrial heavyweights: MDM Group, SUAL, Rusal, Yukos, Norilsk
Nickel, LUKoil, Severstal.... Leading the pack is MDM Group, a
consortium with interests in coal, metals, and finance. "Gazeta"
reports that MDM has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire
a chunk of EES that could be as large as 17 percent, plus substantial
holdings in regional generating assets.
While some maintain a traditional oligarchic silence about
their acquisitions, others are increasingly open about their
involvement. Viktor Vekselberg, co-owner of Tyumen Oil Company and
aluminum giant SUAL, recently created Complex Energy Systems (KES)
for the express purpose of investing in regional utilities. KES
spokespeople told "Vedomosti" on 5 March that they own substantial
stakes in regional utilities Permenergo, Rostovenergo,
Sverdlovenergo, Komienergo, and Pechora GRES. Aton analyst Aleksandr
Korneev pointed out to the newspaper that, with the exception of
Rostovenergo, the geographic distribution of the utilities overlaps
with that of SUAL's production facilities.
A 7 March report in "Konservator" expands the list still
further, noting that Vladimir Potanin's Interros holding (Norilsk
Nickel) has acquired a 25 percent stake in Kolenergo and a 40 percent
stake in Krasnoyarskenergo, while oil company Yukos has snapped up
blocking stakes in five regional utilities.
Still, none of these stakes yet offers full control, leading
"Vedomosti" to ask in a 6 March editorial, "Why did the oligarchs
suddenly feel such a need for these shares?" The answer: "The
oligarchs plan to participate in energy reform, which will allow them
to convert their small stakes into controlling ones, thereby
privatizing one of the last branches of industry still under state
control and giving them a say in the production and pricing of
electricity." To this end, the oligarchs will do everything in their
power to hasten energy reform after the 2004 presidential elections.
As one insider colorfully put it to "Vedomosti," if the government
drags its feet after that, "We'll beat them over the head with
bamboo sticks."
The bamboo sticks could come out as early as May, when
EES's annual shareholders meeting will elect 15 board members
from a slate of 32 candidates. The list of candidates is a
smorgasbord of high-ranking government officials,
financial-industrial group representatives, and foreigners. With the
lion's share of seats expected to go to government, management,
and oligarchs, the question is whether any minority-shareholder
representation will survive. Aleksandr Branis of Prosperity Capital
Management, who currently represents minority shareholders on the EES
board, told "The Moscow Times" on 7 March that minority investors
will have to band together to guarantee themselves at least one seat.
Even then, he allowed, they could be left out in the cold.
Slipping back into your role as aluminum tycoon, you can
relax a bit behind the tinted glass of your Mercedes. You've made
wise investments in the EES subsidiary that supplies your production
facilities with electrical power. And you own a nice block of the
parent company. Your consummate negotiating skills will likely gain
you a seat on the board when elections roll around in May. A long
ride down a bumpy road awaits you, of course, but with a little of
the same luck that helped you to your current position, you have
every chance of ending up in the driver's seat. DK

********

#15
The Ukrainian Weekly
www.ukrweekly.com
March 9, 2003
Ukraine, Europe, and Albania
By Roman Solchanyk
Roman Solchanyk, a long-time contributor to the The Weekly, is a security
analyst in Santa Monica, CA.

What do Ukraine and Albania have in common? Not very much it seems. For
one thing, Albania is on its way to joining the European Union (EU) and, by
extension, becoming "European," and, by further extension, "normal."
Ukraine, on the other hand, is not joining anything in Europe in the
foreseeable future and is well on its way to becoming (fill in the blank).
For anyone who remembers the international political climate during the
East-West confrontation of the 1970s and 1980s, Albania occupied a rather
specific niche in that environment. Not unlike today's North Korea, no one
really knew much about what was going on inside the country, which was
widely perceived as being populated largely by goats and run by whackos who
were pro-Chinese and anti-Soviet. Anyone who was vacationing on the Greek
islands in those days could easily avail oneself of the distinct pleasure
of tuning in to the Maoist gibberish offered by Radio Tirana on a daily basis.
Well, at the end of January the EU formally opened negotiations with
Albania for a Stabilization and Association Agreement, which is the first
step toward EU membership. European Commission President Romano Prodi was
on hand in Tirana to launch the proceedings, effusively praising his hosts
and expressing "great confidence in Albania." "The vitality you see here,"
said Mr. Prodi, "you don't see in many other countries."
This is the same Mr. Prodi who insists that Ukraine will never (repeat,
never) be a part of Europe. Last October, referring to Ukraine, Russia,
and Moldova, among others, Mr. Prodi told La Stampa that insofar as these
countries are concerned "you could link many things-but not institutions."
Not long after, in an interview with a Dutch newspaper, Mr. Prodi posed the
far from rhetorical question of where Europe should end. "The Balkan
countries will join," he asserted, "they belong. Turkey is officially a
candidate, that is clear. But Morocco, or Ukraine or Moldova? I see no
reason for that."
According to the EU leader, "The fact [that] Ukrainians or Armenians feel
European means nothing to me. Because New Zealanders feel European too."
What is both ironic and amusing in a depressing sort of way is that
earlier this year a Kyiv weekly extensively quoted Bruce Jackson,
co-chairman of the non-governmental U.S. Committee on NATO, who admonished
the Ukrainian leadership for failing to match its declarations about
wishing to "rejoin" Europe with concrete initiatives that would make this a
reality. Mr. Jackson was quoted as warning that if reforms were not set in
motion fairly quickly "You could become one big Albania."
In all fairness, one must admit that Albania has made significant progress
in its transition from the failed experiment with "socialism," specifically
with respect to the economy. During the past three years, real GDP has
grown on the average of about 7 percent. But Ukraine's economic
performance has been quite respectable as well: real GDP growth was 5.9
percent in 2000; 9.1 percent in 2001; 4.1 percent in 2002; and is projected
by the International Monetary Fund to be 5 percent this year. Moreover,
Ukraine is doing better than Romania and Bulgaria, where real GDP growth
was about 3.5 percent last year. Anyone remotely familiar with Romania,
where one-third of the population lives below the officially defined
poverty level, would be hard put to disagree with the prevailing image of
the country as characterized by a long- time observer: homeless street
children, HIV-ravaged orphanages, and packs of feral dogs loping around the
streets of Bucharest. Yet, Romania (and Bulgaria) will be NATO members in
2004 and will join the EU in 2007-i.e., they will be "Europeans."
The issue, therefore, seems to be something other than economic progress.
As it turns out, for Mr. Prodi-and, one suspects, for most of the people
who live in what used to be known as Western Europe-the issue is identity.
In a speech to the European Parliament last December, Mr. Prodi made it
very clear that the debate about where Europe ends is a debate about
identity, and that "this is something we as Europeans [read: West
Europeans], after listening to everyone, shall decide ourselves, without
any outside interference."
Actually, the debate is more or less over, although most Eurocrats in
Brussels are loathe to admit it. Mr. Prodi's speech in Strasbourg in
December was entitled "One Europe," which, he said, was for the most part
an "accomplished" fact after the latest expansion of the EU, which will
bring in 10 new members next year.
But the problem for Ukraine is not entirely one of Western Europe's
seemingly arbitrary approach to who qualifies and who does not qualify as
"European." Ukrainians themselves are far from united as to who they are
and where they belong. Last year, after more than a decade of
independence, a Kyiv sociologist reported that only 41 percent of survey
respondents considered themselves to be citizens of Ukraine, almost the
same proportion saw themselves as "locals" of one sort or another, and
nearly 13 percent felt that they were Soviet citizens. A full 56 percent
of the population preferred some kind of "Eastern" orientation for Ukraine:
the Commonwealth of Independent States, Russia, or an East Slavic bloc
(Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus). About 13 percent favored ties with the
West and another 22 percent wanted to strengthen independence and rely on
Ukraine's own resources. At the same time, in December of last year more
than a third of Ukrainians felt that Stalin was a "great leader."
Ukraine's neighbors in what used to be known as Eastern Europe view
NATO as a marker of being European and are stumbling over themselves to
join what may well be an institution whose time is past. But last year
more Ukrainians were anti-NATO than pro-NATO, 38 percent and 19 percent
respectively. More troubling perhaps is that about 43 percent had no clue.
As for the EU, only 15 percent were against joining, while 44 percent
wanted EU membership. But, once again, more than 40 percent had no clue.
At the risk of offending the professional sensibilities of trained
sociologists and other experts on contemporary Ukraine who are well versed
in the arts of theoretical and comparative analysis, I would hazard the
guess that the main problem with Ukraine becoming "European" is precisely
the fact that nearly half the population remains "clueless." That, by the
way, is more or less the same proportion that considers itself to be
"local" rather than citizens of Ukraine (or the USSR for that matter).
The leadership of Ukraine is very good at (among other things) creating
perfectly useless bureaucratic structures. Last August, President Kuchma
created a State Council on Questions of European and Euro-Atlantic
Integration, which began "functioning" this January. Also in January, he
created a National Center on Questions of the Euro-Atlantic Integration of
Ukraine, which is headed by former national security adviser Volodymyr
Horbulin, who does not have much else to do these days.
What Mr. Kuchma, the entire political class, and all of Ukraine's poets,
artists, and songwriters have not been able to create is a Ukrainian nation.
Europe has responded accordingly. The EU, in its recently published
"General Report on the Activities of the European Union," states that in
pursuit of something called the "New Neighbors Initiative"-the meaning of
which no one can fully explain-it will take an "integrated and
differentiated approach" to new neighbors like Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova.
Integrated and differentiated. I must admit that I am clueless as to what
that might mean.
At this rate, it looks like, with a bit of help from France and Germany,
Iraq could become a member of the EU before Ukraine.

********

#16
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003
From: Michael Miller <Michael.Miller@ndsu.nodak.edu>
Subject: Hide Me Within Thy Wounds: Persecution of Catholic Church in USSR

Dear Mr. Johnson,

Felix Corley of the United Kingdom suggested that I email the Media
Release regarding the new book, "Hide Me Within Thy Wounds: Persecution of
the Catholic Church in the USSR", which has been published in early 2003
by the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State
University Libraries, Fargo, ND. The web address for the book to order
is: http://www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/grhc/order/general/osipova.html

The Media Release for the book will be at the end of this email message.

With campus regards,
Michael
Michael M. Miller, Bibliographer
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC)
North Dakota State University Libraries
P.O. Box 5599
Fargo, ND 58105-5599 USA
Tel: 701-231-8416
E-mail: Michael.Miller@ndsu.nodak.edu

Germans from Russia Heritage Collection Website:
http://www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/grhc
Personal Home Page:
http://www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/grhc/biography.html

********

#17
From: "Stephen Massey" <smassey@iews.org>
Subject: CONFERENCE INVITATION: "Global Security: The Transatlantic
Foundation" April 9-10, 2003 Washington
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003

Dear Colleague:

You are invited to attend an EastWest Institute conference entitled,
"Building Global Homeland Security: The Transatlantic Foundation," to be
held April 9-10, 2003, at The World Bank in Washington DC. This conference
is designed to help leaders in the private and public sectors on both sides
of the Atlantic implement policies that enhance global security, while at
the same time promote economic growth and integration. Our conference
sessions will examine a set of cutting edge security issues facing
governments and corporations the world over, including cyber security,
global trade security, and border security.

Conference participants will include a wide range of high-level American and
European leaders, including top officials, policy makers, business
executives, journalists and thought leaders. Key panelists include Javier
Solana, the European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and
Security Policy; Maria Cattaui, Secretary General of the International
Chamber of Commerce; and, Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland. A
listing of confirmed conference panelists follows this message.

Further details and online registration can be found at http://ghs.ewi.info
Please be advised that space constraints require us to limit attendance; we
encourage you to register online as soon as possible.

We hope that you - or your representative - will be able to join us on April
9-10 in Washington.

Sincerely,

Sandra Recio
EastWest Institute
Tel: +1-212-824-4100
srecio@iews.org

SELECT CONFERENCE PANELISTS:
- The Honorable Javier Solana, Secretary General of the Council of the EU &
High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy
- President Martti Ahtisaari, Former President of Finland, EastWest
Institute Co-Chairman
- Maria Cattaui, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce
- Bill Conner, Chairman and CEO, Entrust
- Michelle d'Auray, Chief Information Officer, Government of Canada
- Detlef Eckert, Microsoft Europe
- Robert Fonberg, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, Privy Council Office,
Canada
- Mark Forman, Director for IT and e-government, U.S. Office of Management
and Budget
- Adrian Fortescue, Director General of DG Justice and Home Affairs, EU
Commission
- Geronimo Gutierrez, Under Secretary for North American Affairs, Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, Mexico
- Asa Hutchinson, Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security,
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Pekka Jarvio, Director General, International Security Affairs Unit,
Ministry of Interior, Finland
- Tuve Johannesson, Chairman, Ecolean International
- Donald Johnston, Secretary General, OECD
- Jouko Lempiainen, Director of Compliance and Facilitation, World Customs
Organization
- Renay San Miguel, CNN
- John Edwin Mroz, President and Founder, Eastwest Institute

********

#18
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
www.ceip.org
Meeting summary
China's Perspective on Northeast Asian Security

On February 12, 2003, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted
a presentation by Michael Swaine, Senior Associate and Co-Director of the
China Project at the Carnegie Endowment, on "China's Perspective on
Northeast Asian Security." After Swaine's presentation, Dmitri Trenin of
the Carnegie Moscow Center commented on Russia's perspective on China.
Andrew Kuchins, Director of the Russian and Eurasian Program at the
Carnegie Endowment, moderated the event.

Michael Swaine opened his remarks by outlining the three major components
of Chinese foreign policy. The first, which relies on the presumption that
a war between the great powers is unlikely, seeks to exploit the absence of
major strategic threats in order to promote the internal stabilization and
development of China. In order to ensure the continued growth of its
economy and the security of the Communist Party, China has worked to deter
ethnic and territorial conflicts and to improve relations with its
neighbors. Beijing has shelved and/or resolved a half-dozen territorial
disputes with bordering countries, and has recently agreed with the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to no longer unilaterally
claim territory in the South China Sea.

Indeed, since the 1996-97 formation of the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (SCO)-which seeks to ensure regional security and strengthen
economic ties between China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
and Uzbekistan-cooperation with its neighbors has become the second pillar
of Chinese foreign policy. China has recently strengthened its security
assurances to Pakistan, which receives military and political assistance in
exchange for its help in balancing India and its pledge to maintain control
over Islamic extremists. Beijing has worked to stabilize North Korea and
increase political and economic ties with South Korea, ultimately hoping
for a peaceful reunification of the peninsula. Although Swaine contends
that the importance of the Sino-Russian partnership is often exaggerated,
the growing ties between the two countries are clear. China has even worked
to overcome its painful histories with Japan and Taiwan, initiating
military and civilian dialogues with the former and expanding cultural and
economic ties with the latter. China's participation in ASEAN has only
improved its bilateral relations with its neighbors, providing a framework
for a regional confidence-building dialogue.

These moves have made it more difficult for Asian states to consider China
a major threat; in fact, China's booming economy now gives its neighbors an
incentive to improve their relations with Beijing. In addition to its role
in de-escalating South China Sea disputes, ASEAN has also promoted free
trade with China and encouraged the emergence of a "new security concept"
in Asia. With no real enemy threatening the major Pacific powers, China has
encouraged its neighbors to jettison U.S.-based bilateral security
arrangements, and focused instead on the development of multilateral
economic, technological, political, and cultural relationships. Perhaps the
most remarkable change has come in Sino-South Korean relations. The former
enemies now enjoy regular business collaboration, mutually beneficial trade
arrangements amounting to $30 billion a year, and similar viewpoints on
North Korea.

The third-but less public-mainstay of Chinese foreign policy is its desire
to maintain deterrence against what Beijing views as its greatest threats:
Taiwanese independence, US nuclear blackmail, Japanese support for the US
in the event of a Taiwan crisis, and Indian aggression. To this effect,
China has deployed mobile short-and medium-range ballistic missiles that
can be armed with either conventional or nuclear warheads. The short-range,
conventionally armed missiles are being deployed as part of a deterrence
and hedging strategy for possible use against Taiwan in a coercive
campaign. Most analysts believe that China would only use the
medium-range missiles for a retaliatory strike in a major regional
conflict, but some fear that it might assume a more active nuclear posture
should a crisis unfold with Taiwan.

The roots of China's new approach to foreign policy reach back over two
decades, but the impact of 9/11 forced Beijing to make several major
adjustments. First, the US presence in Central Asia-and the enhancement of
its alliances with existing partners, including Japan-poses a challenge to
China's security interests. Second, 9/11 dealt a serious blow to China's
relationship with Russia, which was once based on opposition to US
unilateralism; no longer a dependable critic of American policy, Russia
raised nary a complaint about the direct deployment of thousands of US
troops in Central Asia. Third, the attacks allowed China to gain US
sympathy in its fight against Islamic separatists in western China, a move
which has major propaganda value for the regime. America's mobilization
against terror has also turned the attention of policy makers and citizens
away from Northeast Asia, and China is no longer seen as the primary threat
to the US. Despite the Bush administration's frustration at China's nominal
efforts to resolve the North Korea crisis, then, Swaine argued that Beijing
recognizes that it has probably gained more than it has lost in the last
year and a half.

Dmitri Trenin began his contributions to the discussion by noting that 9/11
changed Russian perspectives on China as much as it altered China's
fortunes. The last decade witnessed the thaw of the "Second Cold War"-the
Sino-Soviet conflict, which Trenin contends was as dangerous and
frightening as the tensions between the US and USSR. For the first half
dozen years following the collapse of the Soviet Union,
"multipolarity"-forging a partnership to counterbalance the US and its
allies, that is-was a catch-phrase in both Moscow and Beijing. The process
of rapprochement culminated in July 2001 with the signing of a "friendship
agreement" replacing the Sino-Soviet alliance of the 1950s. However, the
aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the US-and Russia's subsequent push
for good relations and integration with the west-made a partnership with
the Chinese look less appealing to Moscow. Trenin argued that Putin's
instincts reinforced post-9/11 geopolitical trends: a fluent speaker of
German, the Russian president naturally feels more at ease dealing with the
west. Now, "multipolarity" signifies Russia's need to mobilize Japan and
other Asian countries to balance China; now, Russia sees the SCO as a
Chinese encroachment on Central Asia which needs to be carefully monitored.
Thus, Russia did not object to the deployment of US troops in Central Asia,
which it viewed, at least in part, as a deterrent to an attempted Chinese
advance in the region.

Economic cooperation has been another flashpoint in Sino-Russian relations.
Russia's exclusion of the Chinese National Petroleum Company from the
Slavneft auction, its continuing threats to build a pipeline around the
Chinese border, and a recent tightening in Russian export control
regulations on products destined for China demonstrate Moscow's wariness
toward Beijing. Furthermore, the most vocal supporters of Russia's
integration into the west tend to be the most skeptical of plans to
strengthen ties with China; Russian Sinologists tend to be holdovers from
the Soviet era, and their numbers and influence are rapidly declining.
Nevertheless, Trenin contends that bilateral relations between the two
countries are not nearly as bad as they might appear at first glance. The
eagerness on the part of the central administration and the presidential
envoys to develop the Russian Far East, in particular, will likely lead to
increased cooperation with Beijing. Overall, Trenin characterizes
Sino-Russian relations as "healthy," but laden with potentially serious
tensions. Whether the strengthening of economic ties between the two
countries will result in a politically mature partnership remains to be seen.

Many of the questions raised in the discussion after the presentation
focused on the North Korea crisis. Several asked precisely what assistance
China has given to North Korea's nuclear programs. In response, Swaine
stated that China probably offered the most assistance to North Korea in
the 1960s, when the latter first developed its nuclear program. He
suspects, however, that Chinese help since then has been nominal, because
China hopes to prevent the nuclearization of the Korean peninsula. It is
Pakistan, he argued, that has provided the most technical assistance to
Pyongyang.

Others wondered how to interpret the conflicting messages on the crisis
emanating from Beijing, and asked if China would ultimately step in to
diffuse the situation. Swaine acknowledged that some Sinologists believe
that China's Korea policy is a Machiavellian plot to mobilize a unified-and
nuclear-Korean peninsula against Japan and the US. He discounts this
theory, though, and noted that in both public and private, high-ranking
Chinese officials are skeptical of US claims that North Korea is close to
developing nuclear weapons. Beijing's ultimate goal with regard to North
Korea is de-escalation and reform; China strives to prevent the sudden
collapse of Kim Jong Il's regime, steer the North toward reform, and work
for the peaceful reunification of the peninsula on the South's terms, which
might ultimately result in the withdrawal of US troops from Korea. Although
China has been reluctant to create the impression that it is pressuring
North Korea, Swaine believes that it will participate in regional talks, as
long as they engage the US and the North in structured dialogue. It is also
possible, albeit not likely, that China will push North Korea to talk to
the US by cutting fuel and food aid.

Another meeting participant pointed out that China, which has the greatest
capability to resolve the conflict, has done little to promote a solution,
while Russia, which has relatively little influence in Pyongyang, has
already done substantial heavy lifting. Dmitri Trenin agreed with this
statement, asserting that Russia has been exaggerating its ability to make
headway with Kim's regime. He suggested that Russia's eagerness to step
into the fray was initially a result of Putin's desire to impress the G-8.
It is also motivated by a secondary economic concern: Russia's dream to
connect the Trans-Siberian Railroad with Korean railroads. If Russia cannot
live up to the role that it is crafting for itself, however, its
intervention in the crisis might result in its losing-not
gaining-credibility.

Another attendee asked Swaine to outline China's perspective on Indian
complaints about Chinese involvement in Burma. Swaine believes that India's
grievances may be exaggerated, and stated that China has not deployed any
of its forces on Burmese territory-or to the best of his knowledge,
provided significant military assistance. China does maintain listening
posts in Burma, sells it small arms, and has worked on improving its ports,
but Swaine does not interpret these actions as excessively aggressive.

The meeting closed with discussion of China's relation to ASEAN and role in
the SCO, and the future of free trade in Asia. Swaine pointed out that
besides the obvious economic and security benefits that China stands to
gain by cooperating with ASEAN, Beijing also hopes to develop a strong
Southeast Asia that can effectively counterbalance the US and its allies.
Although many Asian nations remain wary of China, a change in the situation
on the Korean peninsula could well have an important impact on the region.
A reunified Korea will result in Japan and the Philippines backing away
from the US, and a domino effect could ensue, leaving Australia and Guam
the US's only dependable partners in Asia. Trenin added that Russia's
interest in the SCO is primarily strategic, and geared toward promoting
Russian interests in Central Asia. Although regional trade will likely pick
up, the formation of a customs union, he predicted, is unlikely.

Summary prepared by Faith Hillis, Junior Fellow with the Russian and
Eurasian Program at the Carnegie Endowment.

*******

#19
TV1 Review
www.1tv.ru
Compiled by Luba Schwartzman (luba_sch@hotmail.com)
Research Analyst, Center for Defense Information, Moscow office

HEADLINES
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
- Russian President Vladimir Putin attended a Cabinet meeting and
informed the ministers about the reorganization of a number of
federal power organs.
* An independent federal organ -- the State Committee of the
Russian Federation for the Control of the Drug Trade -- has been
established.
* The Federal Tax Police Service of the Russian Federation has
been abolished; its resources and personnel have been subordinated
to the Committee for the Control of the Drug Trade; its functions
have been transferred to the Interior Ministry of the Russian
Federation.
* The Border Troops Service of the Russian Federation has been
subordinated to the Federal Security Service (FSB).
* The Federal Agency for Government Communications and
Information (FAPSI) has been abolished; its functions have been
transferred to the FSB and the Ministry of Defense.
* A State Committee for the State Defense Order has been created
under the Ministry of Defense.

- President Putin also announced a number of cadre changes.
* Viktor Vasilievich Cherkesov has been removed from the
position of Presidential Plenipotentiary to the Northwestern
Federal Okrug and appointed Chairman of the State Committee of
the Russian Federation for the Control of the Drug Trade.
* Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko, formerly a deputy prime
minister, has been appointed Presidential Plenipotentiary to the
Northwestern Federal Okrug.
* Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov has been appointed Presidential
Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the European
Community.
* Konstantin Vasilievich Totsky, formerly the head of the Federal
Border Troops Service, has been appointed permanent
representative of the Russian Federation to NATO.
* First Deputy Director of the FSB Vladimir Yegorovich
Pronichev will oversee the Federal Border Troops Service.
* FAPSI Director Vladimir Georgievich Matyukhin has been
appointed Chairman of the State Committee for the State Defense
Order and First Deputy Minister of Defense.

- Most Russian politicians responded favorably to the changes
introduced by Putin.
- President Putin proposed softening punishments for minor
criminal offenses. He submitted to the State Duma a bill with 50
amendments to the Criminal Code. If the corrections are approved,
the number of prisoners in Russia will be decreased by a third
within two years.
- Preparations for the spring flooding are underway in a number of
Russian regions. Preventative blasting operations will be
conducted next week in the Maritime region.
- The identities of all of the people involved in the planning of the
27 December 2002 terrorist act have been established. 70 people
died and 200 were injured when two suicide bombers blew
themselves up in front of the State House in Grozny. Three of the
men, who were part of an illegal band formation headed by
Khadzhimuradov, have been arrested. Several others are on the
wanted list.
- Igor Yakunin, the officer who risked his life to save the lives of
his subordinates by attempting to get rid of a live grenade dropped
by one of the soldiers, passed away in Kemerovo.
- United Russia supporters met in Vyazma to discuss the problems
of small and medium business. Some of the greatest challenges are
corruption and bureaucracy.
- The Federal Migration Service warned foreigners that they must
obtain migration cards in order to remain in Russia. 700,000 have
already received them, but several thousand have not.
- Transdniester leader Igor Smirnov met with Russian Deputy
Defense Minister Vladimir Isakov to discuss the withdrawal of
Russian armaments and ammunition from Transdniester. Smirnov
declared that the government of the region will not obstruct the
withdrawal.
- A festival of Chechen culture opened in Moscow. The ZiYa
dance ensemble, the LoAm vocal group and the NakhI acting
studio participated in the opening Gala concert. An exhibit by
Chechen artists will open on Wednesday.
- The first Internet center in Chechnya opened in Grozny. Local
students will be able to attend the cafe free of charge during certain
hours.
- The White Castle Festival of Medieval Culture begins in Minsk.
- Renowned actress Marina Ladynina passed away in Moscow at
the age of 95.