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February 2003

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Publications 2003
February 2003

Kremlin Tightening Reins Ahead of Polls
By Natalia Yefimova, Staff Writer, The Moscow Times, February 14, 2003

Worried that its most loyal party won't manage to sweep the December parliamentary elections, the Kremlin is trying to help it along by squeezing out competitors from the middle of the political spectrum.


Sergei Mitrokhin refutes allegations about YABLOKO's talks with Boris Fyodorov
Rosbalt, February 27, 2003

"Boris Fyodorov has not conducted and is not holding any talks with our party on including his candidacy in the federal list of YABLOKO at the State Duma elections," said Deputy Head of theYABLOKO party Sergei Mitrokhin to the Rosbalt correspondent on Thursday, February 27, 2003.


Media freedom under threat, states Russian opposition party
Interfax, February 25, 2003

Moscow, 25 February: The Russian democratic party Yabloko has said that "The freedom of the media in Russia is in danger".


Teachers Coming Out in Protest
Interview with Alexander Shishlov, Moscow News, February 26-March 4, 2003

Alexander SHISHLOV, Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Education and Science, tells MN's Andrei Stepanov about possible ways of resolving the problems of wage arrears and increasing teachers' salaries.


Russia Sentences 73-Year-Old Academic for Spying
By Vladimir Kovalev, Transitions Online, February 24, 2003

The sentence against Anatoly Babkin is the latest in what liberal politicians see as a concerted campaign by the Federal Security Services (FSB) to target environmentalists and scientists with charges of espionage.


Opponents to war should realize that their protest is fruitless without an alternative. Peaceful means of changing the Baghdad' s policy or a change in the Iraqi regime.
Novaya Gazeta, February 20, 2003

The Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO thinks that the Iraqi crisis can be resolved by stationing on Iraq’s borders a powerful international contingent of military forces to control the situation during the transitional period and ready to carry out immediate acts of force in the event of a corresponding political decision, as well as activisation and expansion of the scope of work of the UN inspectors.


YABLOKO proposes an alternative variant to resolve the Iraqi crisis
Rosbalt, February 19, 2003

MOSCOW. February 19, 2003. Deputies from the YABLOKO faction of the State Duma are convinced there are other ways and to resolve the Iraqi crisis without war.


The Regional Resources of Federal Parties
By Alexander Khramchikhin, head departmental analyst of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, Vremya MN, February 18, 2003

The size of the population and its activity at elections, the political preferences of the electorate and the strength and direction of the administrative resources -- these parameters determine the value of each of the 89 RF regions for the political parties during elections to the State Duma.


Senior MP mulls Russian role in light of US-Europe standoff.
Interview with Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Vladimir Lukin (YABLOKO), Interfax, February 10, 2003

Russia today "can and must play the role coordinator for the Euro-Atlantic community, and Russian diplomacy should focus on putting forward ideas to help find a common position for continental Europe and America, without hurting one another's dignity," Lukin said in a Monday [10 February] interview with Interfax.


More Efficient Than War
By Grigory Yavlinsky, Izvestia, February 11, 2003

Nowadays it is difficult to find a politician in Russia who will not talk about the need to "join Europe". Russia is a European country. I am convinced that if everything goes well, Russia will be a member of all European political, economic and defence structures in 10-15 years. These will be mostly new organisations.


After the referendum - not too much
By Andrei Piontkovsky, The Russia Journal, February 21-27, 2003

A demonstration against the Chechen War in central Moscow on Feb. 1 attracted just a few hundred people. Wet snow fell on the yellow robes of Buddhists beating a tambourine that somehow made a particularly mournful and lonely sound. The state TV channels either ignored the demonstration altogether or emphasized the small number of people it drew.


Court Back in Zorkin's Hands
By Natalia Yefimova, Staff Writer, Moscow Times, February 25, 2003

A controversial former chief judge of the Constitutional Court, who quit in 1993 after unsuccessfully opposing President Boris Yeltsin in his violent stand-off with rebellious lawmakers, was elected to the post once again on Friday.


How Do You Say 'Shut Up' In Russian?
By Michael Wines, The New York Times, February 9, 2003

TAKING a leaf, perhaps, from the English-first movement in the United States, Russia's dominant lower house of Parliament, known as the Duma, passed legislation recently designating Russian as the nation's official language.


Rivalry Fragments Russia's Liberals
By Sharon LaFraniere, Washington Post Foreign Service, Washington Post, February 7, 2003

MOSCOW, Feb. 6 -- Moscow was poised last week for a major political event: a meeting between two of Russia's best-known politicians who embrace Western-style market democracy. After not speaking to each other for six months, they were supposed to discuss uniting their political parties in a bid to widen their slender niche in a parliament dominated by President Vladimir Putin.


Chechen Referendum Will Solve Nothing
By Grigory Yavlinsky, The Moscow Times, February 20, 2003

It is clearly unrealistic to expect a referendum can be held in just over a month that will foster a political process which will put an end to the bloodshed -- given the existing situation in Chechnya and the time constraints.


Experts: U.S. Must Not Act Like a Cowboy in a Saloon
By Natalia Yefimova, The Moscow Times, February 18, 2003

While there is little Russia can do to stop U.S. military action against Iraq, Moscow should position itself as a "responsible partner," pushing Washington to abide by international law and avoiding rash moves that could jeopardize Russian interests in a postwar Iraq, foreign policy and security experts said Monday.


UES Revamp Gets the Green Light
By Alla Startseva, The Moscow Times, February 17, 2003

The State Duma passed in the key second reading a total of six bills that pave the way for industry-wide modernization, the creation of a free market for electricity and the breakup of Unified Energy Systems' sprawling monopoly.


Vote on UES Overhaul Goes Down to the Wire
By Alla Startseva, The Moscow Times, February 14, 2003

Tempers flared Thursday as lawmakers scrambled for last-minute concessions ahead of Friday's crucial vote on a government-backed plan to radically overhaul the nation's electricity sector.


Duma Corrects Putin
By Natalya Galimova, Moskovsky Komsomolets, February 6, 2003

Yesterday, Duma members discussed the public obscenities of Vladimir Zhirinovsky as well as the problems of the Russian language in general: the Duma approved in the third reading a law on the state language of the Russian Federation.


State Duma committee approves amendments to the draft laws on energy sector reform
RosBusinessConsulting, February 6, 2003

RBC, February 6, 2003, Moscow. The Russian State Duma Committee for Energy, Transport and Communications approved the amendments to the government package of draft laws aimed at electricity reform that will be submitted for a second reading by the State Duma.


Parliament Approves a Ban on Rude and Foreign Words
Reuters, February 6, 2003

The State Duma on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill banning the use of foreign or offensive words, which have been used by President Vladimir Putin and other politicians to spice up public addresses.

President does not know what draft laws are discussed by the State Duma
Rosbalt, February 3, 2003

St. Petersburg. February 3, 2003. "President does not dispose of all available information on draft laws submitted to parliament," stated deputy of the State Duma Sergei Mitrokhin in comments on Vladimir Putin's statement regarding energy sector reform and reform in the housing and communal sector made during a meeting with Chairman of the State Duma Gennadi Seleznyov on January 29, 2003.


Grigory Yavlinsky on the War in Iraq
By Nikolai Svanidzye, RTR television channel, February 1, 2003

Russia opposes the war with Iraq. If there is a war, Russia should do everything it can to minimize the number of victims, especially civilian casualties. In addition Russia must ensure a change of Iraqi regime. The totalitarian regime is dangerous for us..


Chubais pushes for UES transformation
By Andrew Jack, Financial Times (UK) February 5, 2003

With 680,000 staff, the company is the largest and most inefficient power generator in the world, analysts say. Now the former Kremlin chief of staff wants to privatise it.


Remembrance of the Feat of Arms Will Spring Eternal
By Grigory Yavlinsky, Krasnaya Zvezda, January 30 , 2003

The previous week according to media reports deputies of the State Duma refused to discuss sending a parliamentary delegation to the celebration of the great battle at the Volga. The discussion fell one vote short. Deputie took three attempts to vote, but still failed to reach agreement on a common position.
"Krasnaya Zvezda" asked Chairman of the Russian Democratic YABLOKO party and the YABLOKO faction in the State Duma Grigory Yavlinsky to comment.


60th Annyversary of The Battle of Stalingrad
Remarks by Alexander Vershbow, U.S. Ambassador to The Russian Federation, at the Commemorative Ceremony in Volgograd, Russia February 1, 2003.


Russia on the Threshold of Elections
By Andrei Ryabov, Profil, No. 4, January 2003

Although a considerable amount of time remains until the official start of the parliamentary election race, the parties are taking up their positions now. It is crystal clear that the Kremlin will pull the strings in the forthcoming elections.


See Murmansk and die!
By Paul Keysers, MAXIM magazine, Belgium, no. 20, December 2002

Russia dumped tons of nuclear waste in the region around Murmansk for 50 years. At present about 100 nuclear submarines are laid up there awaiting decommissioning. At a rate of between six and, at best, eight vessels per year, progress is hardly overwhelming. Engineers can only observe that the level of radioactivity above ground is 5,000 times that of France's underground nuclear test on Mururoa atoll.


Grigory Yavlinsky: "Dangerous" Iraqi regime must be changed by peaceful means
Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky, RTR television channel, February 3, 2003

Our first point is that Russia should oppose war in Iraq. If there is a war, Russia must do everything possible to minimize the number of casualties, especially among civilians. Another important task for Russia is to contribute to a change of regime in Iraq.


Only four parties will make it into next State Duma according to poll
Interfax, January 30, 2003

According to a new poll, if State Duma elections were held today, the United Russia party would win 26% of votes, the Communist Party 22% and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and the Yabloko Party 5% each.


U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia 'Is Lost'
By Marcia Dunn and Pam Easton(AP), The Moscow Times, February 03, 2003

High over Texas and just short of home, space shuttle Columbia fell to pieces, raining debris over hundreds of kilometers of countryside. Seven astronauts perished.


For Their Families, Pride Turns to Grief
By Pauline Arrillaga(AP), The Moscow Times, February 03, 2003

And at a majestic waterfront launch site in Florida, families of divergent backgrounds and cultures had come together to celebrate an event that bridged the differences: welcoming their loved ones home from space.
In one gut-wrenching moment, their common pride became shared grief as they struggled to understand the incomprehensible.

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