Wednesday, June 18, 2003
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Presidential Plenipotentiary to the Siberian Federal District Leonid Drachevskii to discuss preparations for the 21 June Security Council Meeting and with Farit Mukhametshin, who was appointed Ambassador to Uzbekistan.
- State Duma deputies discussed the vote of no confidence in the government initiated by Communists and the Yabloko faction. Their declaration accused Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov on six points: “inability to achieve increasing tempos of economic development,” the “antisocial policy of the Cabinet,” “protecting the interests of major monopolies and oligarchic structures,” “inability to provide for the needs of the Russian Armed Forces,” “inability to ensure security for the nation and its citizens,” and “inability to curb crime.” The Communists and Yabloko were, however, unable to get the necessary support, gathering only 172 votes instead of the required 226.
- The Russian Ministry of Health is alarmed about the growing amount of counterfeit medicine. According to experts, about 20 percent of all medicine sold in Russia is counterfeit.
- The number of fatalities in the Ziminka mine explosion grew to 12, as the body of Andrei Moshenko was found. Four miners were rescued unharmed. They spent about 40 hours under the ruins.
- The wealth of poor nations in a globalized world and Russia’s plans to enter the World Trade Organization will be discussed at the Seventh International St. Petersburg Economic Forum. At the forum, Prime Minister Kasyanov met with Jean Lemier, the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
- Russian border troops celebrate 110 years of service in Pamir, on the Tajik-Afghan border.
- An unusual literary contest was held in Tver. Contest participants were all prisoners.
- The Talvar Frigate was transferred to the Indian Navy in St. Petersburg. This is the first of three vessels that were ordered at the Baltiiskii Factory in 1997. The total value of the contract is almost $1 billion.
- The first echelon with Russian peacekeepers left Kosovo for Russia. Minister of Defense Sergei Ivanov declared that the reduction of Russian military presence abroad serves Russia’s interests.
- Mosfilm, the state film studio, opened a museum, which will exhibit costumes and props from famous films.
- Forest fires are continuing their advance. 24 homes burned down and 50 were seriously damaged in a settlement in the suburbs of Yakutsk. No one was injured.
- A strong hurricane tore through Rostov-on-the-Don