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Russia Report: January 14, 2002

14 January 2002, Volume 2, Number 2
The embattled independent television station TV-6 effectively ran out of legal options on 11 January for forestalling its liquidation, when the presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court canceled a 29 December ruling and upheld a 27 November decision ordering the company's liquidation. TV-6 chief shareholder Boris Berezovsky told Ekho Moskvy that he intends to take the case to Russia's Constitutional Court and if necessary, to the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR). "We will act only legally. We will not stop and will struggle for the station until the end," he said. However, Peter Maggs, an expert on Russian civil law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign told RFE/RL that such a case is unlikely to succeed on legal grounds in the Constitutional Court, and would likely only be a pretext for presenting a case to the ECHR. According to Maggs, TV-6 must exhaust its possibilities for appeal in the Russian court before it can turn to Strasbourg.

But bringing a case before the ECHR would at best generate only publicity for TV-6 cause and could not stop a liquidation commission from being formed for the company. Under Russian law, a liquidation commission would be set up to distribute the stations' assets among its shareholders within six months of the 27 November ruling. In TV-6's case, its most valuable assets are its television licenses. And these would likely be auctioned off to someone with enough cash to buy them. On 12 January, at least one candidate with lots of cash, LUKoil, announced it would be ready come auction time. LUKoil announced that it would participate in a tender for MNVK's TV and radio broadcasting rights. (Moscow Independent Broadcasting Corporation, MNVK, owns TV-6.) It was LUKoil, which had launched the liquidation proceedings in the first place.

The 11 January decision prompted ringing condemnations of the court's ruling from a variety of sources such as the Union of Journalists and National Association of Television and Radio Broadcasters, Union of Rightist Forces leader Boris Nemtsov, State Duma deputy (Yabloko) Sergei Mitrokhin, among others. However, Maggs contends that the court could not have acted otherwise or it would have been accused of judicial activism. According to Maggs, if and when the Presidium of the High Arbitration Court issues a written opinion it is likely to cite Article 4 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, which deals with effectiveness of civil legislation in time. The Law on Joint Stock Companies was amended, effective 1 January 2002, to remove the right of a minority shareholder, such as LUKoil in this case, to force liquidation of a company whose capital fell below the minimum for two years in a row. However, Maggs notes, unfortunately for TV-6, civil legislation is normally not retroactive.

Therefore, the Supreme Arbitration Court may be able to defend its ruling from accusations that it was "purely political." But, LUKoil, on the other hand, can still be accused of acting in bad faith. After all, it sought the liquidation of a company whose profits were rising (see also "Will TV-6 Go Out with a Whimper or A Bang," "RFE/RL Russian Political Weekly," 10 December 2001). A new "reality" TV series, "Za Steklom," which the station had aired, had been extraordinarily successful. How is LUKoil acting in the interests of its shareholders, who could hardly profit from the destruction of a profitable business in which LUKoil had investments? But LUKoil, like energy companies around the world, likely realized long ago that political influence and access can be priceless. And helping the presidential administration impose more controls on a media outlet, which was occasionally critical and held the danger of being more so in the future, may generate enough good will to offset months and months of positive balance sheets at a smallish national TV station. (Julie A. Corwin)

On 16 January, Russia's Federation Council will meet for the first time in its new form, that is, composed only of senators chosen under the new rules. Hopefully, the sum will be greater than its parts, because the new organ is composed of a odd mishmash of diverse individuals. The previous council was composed entirely of elected officials, the governor and/or president of each federation subject as well as the speaker/chairman of each region's legislature assembly. And, while the new organ has many representatives of the old Federation Council -- some 7 former governors and presidents and 17 former speakers -- a much larger number of new senators have never held any kind of elective office.

Instead, they have experience in a wide range of fields, such as business, banking, the military, as well as with the apparatus of the federal government. Although they are hardly the largest group with some 35 members, the businessmen are perhaps the most noticeable since they often lack not only legislative experience but also any discernible ties with the regions that they will represent. Mezhprombank head Sergei Pugachev, for example, is best-known for his closeness to President Vladimir Putin and Patriarch of Moscow and All-Russia Aleksii II. Pugachev has spent almost his entire professional life in St. Petersburg -- not Kyzyl. But it is the republic of Tuva that Pugachev will represent.

Thomas Remington, professor of political science at Emory University, explains that with regard to the new influx of business leaders to the upper chamber, "supply met demand." The regions wanted someone who they hoped would be influential enough to win them continued or new federal government support along with new investment. And, the businessmen wanted a more effective base from which to lobby their interests in Moscow. As new senators, the businessmen will get not only a prestigious title but an office and staff. In addition, as legislators, they get a guarantee of immunity from criminal prosecution.

Another new grouping in the upper house of about the same size as the former businessmen are the former federal officials based both in Moscow and the regions. There are already three former ministers and one former deputy prime minister in the new Federation Council. There is also a smattering of first deputy ministers and deputy ministers along with chief federal inspectors and deputy presidential envoys. Less numerous but still significant are the more than a half-dozen officials from the Federation Council's apparatus. Valerii Goreglyad, the new senator from Sakhalin Oblast and head of the pro-Kremlin Federation Group, is perhaps the best-known: Goreglyad used to head the Federation Council's Budget Committee staff. As was the case with the new businessmen/senators, the former apparatchiks get a promotion and more job security, while the regions get an insider, who knows how legislation gets processed. One of Khakasia's new senators, Valentina Petrenko, worked in the apparatus of the Federation Council. According to a local Abakan newspaper, she has only visited the republic twice: once, to attend the inauguration of Khakasian President Aleksei Lebed and the second time to attend the session of the local legislature at which her nomination to the Federation Council was confirmed. At the legislative session, Lebed did not provide much of an introduction for someone who was an unknown locally other than to say that "her connections" would likely prove useful to the region.

How will all these groups work together? The Federation group members would have people believe that a pro-Kremlin majority like that which operates in the State Duma will be recreated. But Remington suspects that process might not be so smooth -- and more than a few independent interest groups will eventually form to pursue their own interests -- which may not be the same as Kremlin's. (Julie A. Corwin)

The following table lists the new members of the Federation Council as of 10 January 2002. By that date, a few regions had not yet appointed both of their representatives. For example, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 11 January that Tatarstan's legislative assembly was still mulling various candidates. In the table below, the representative for the region's executive organ is listed first and the representative for the legislative assembly is listed second. In addition, the representatives' most recent professional positions before becoming a senator is included. A blank space indicates that an appointment is still forthcoming. JAC

Adygei Republic
2. Adam Khuseinovich Tleuzh, former republican legislator

Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug
1. Vladimir Dymbrylovich Shoizhilzhapov, deputy chairman of okrug duma (F)
2. Bato-Zhargal Zhambalnimbuev, former chairman of okrug duma (F)

Altai Krai
1. Vladimir Sergeevich Germanenko, deputy governor (in charge of energy, road construction etc.)
2. Sergei Pavlovich Onenyshev, former auditor Audit Commission

Altai Republic
1. Mikhail Zakharovich Gnezdilov, first deputy chair of republican administration (F)

Amur Oblast
1. Aleksandr Mikhailovich Karpov, former first deputy general director of the Pervouralskii factory, general director of Aviatrast
2. Galina Semenovna Buslova, former chair of oblast duma

Arkhangelsk Oblast
1. Mikhail Antonovich Korobeinikov, director of the Federation Council chairman's secretariat
2. Yurii Sergeevich Sivkov, oblast deputy

Astrakhan Oblast
1. Konstantin Alekseevich Markelov, head of election staff for Astrakhan Oblast Governor Guzhvin (F)
2. Gennadii Aleksandrovich Gorbunov, head of the administration for federal Tax Ministry

Bashkortostan Republic
1. Aleksandr Rustamovich Yakubov, former advisor to Bashkir presidential administration
2. Igor Vladimirovich Izmestev, former chairman of republic legislature

Belgorod Oblast
2. Georgii Georgievich Golikov, former mayor of Belgorod

Bryansk Oblast
1. Leonid Aleksandrovich Lushkin, head of department for work with regions for Gazprom (F)
2. Valentina Sergeevna Demina, deputy speaker oblast duma (F)

Buryat Republic
1. Vladimir Konstantinovich Agalov, first deputy chairman of republican government (F)
2. Vladimir Nikolaevich Bavlov, deputy chair committee on natural resources for Buryatia

Chavash Republic
2. Vyacheslav Borisovich Borovik, president Yamalstroi

Chelyabinsk Oblast
1. Yevgenii Aleksandrovich Eliseev, first deputy head of city of Chelyabinsk (F)
2. Aleksandr Mikhailovich Aristov, chairman of board of directors of Cheyabinsk electro-metallurgical combine ChEMK (member of oblast Unity branch)

Chechen Republic
1. Akhmar Gapurovich Zavgaev, general director Avtomagroservis (F)

Chita Oblast
1.Vladimir Ilich Melnikov, former presidential envoy to oblast
2. Vitalii Vishnyakov, former oblast duma chairman

Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
1. Aleksandr Viktorovich Nazarov, former governor (F)
2. Yefim Malkin, department head at Siberian Oil Company

Daghestan Republic
1. Ilyas Magomed-Salamovich Umakhanov, deputy chairman of the republican government
2. Shamil Magomedovich Zainalov, former republican minister for industry and trade

Evenk Autonomous Okrug
1. Yurii Afanasevich Sharandin, former deputy in the Moscow City Duma (F)
2. Nikolai Anisomovich Anisimov, former local legislator

Ingush Republic
1. Ruslan Sultanovich Aushev, former president of republic
2. Sergei Mazhitovich Bekov, vice president Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (F)

Irkutsk Oblast
1. Dmitrii Mezentsev, president Center for Strategic Research, chair of Mass Media Committee for St. Petersburg mayor from 1991-96
2. Valentin Yefimovich Mezhevich, deputy general director Irkutskenergo (F)

Ivanovo Oblast
1. Vladimir Kuzmich Gusev, former chairman of State Duma Industry Committee (F)
2. Valentin Ivanovich Bakulin, member Central Committee KPRF

Kabardino-Balkaria Republic
1. Mukharbi Ulbashev, assistant to Kabardino president in the Federation Council
2. Khachim Mukhamedovich Karmokov, former head of Audit Chamber

Kaliningrad Oblast
1. Valerii Nikolaevich Ustyugov, former chair of oblast legislature
2. Nikolai Petrovich Tulaev, former military officer with the Baltic Fleet, oblast legislator

Kalmykia Republic
1. Rustem Iskhakov, former head of aviation company Aerostan
2. Igor Provkin, president of Russian Bankers House

Kaluga Oblast
1. Valerii Vasilievich Sudarenkov, former oblast governor
2. Viktor Mikhailovich Kolesnikov, former chairman oblast legislature

Kamchatka Oblast
1. Valerii Klavdievich Bykov, former tax inspector for city of Vilyuchinsk
2. Lev Nikolaevich Boitsov, former chairman of oblast duma

Karachaevo-Cherkessia Republic
1. Stanislav Edikovich Derev, mayor of Cherkessk
2. Ratmir Umarovich Aibazov, local legislator

Karelia Republic
1. Viktor Stepanov, former head of republic

Kemerovo Oblast
1. Sergei Vladimirovich Shatirov, Vagon Leasing head (F)
2. Svetlana Yurevna Orlova, former State Duma deputy

Khabarovsk Krai
1. Andrei Chirkin, first deputy governor and head of krai's representative office in Moscow
2. Viktor Ozerov, chair of krai legislature

Khakasia Republic
1. Valentina Aleksandrovna Petrenko, deputy head of the administration for organizational work of Federation Council (F)
2. Arkadii Rafikovich Sarkisyan, deputy republican prime minister and former deputy director of Sayanskii Aluminum Works (F)

Khanty-Mansii Autonomous Okrug
1. Gennadii Dmitrievich Oleinik, former deputy head of okrug administration responsible for external and interregional relations, deputy chairman of board of directors for Khanty-Mansy bank
2. Petr Stanislavovich Volostrigov, former deputy chairman of okrug duma

Kirov Oblast
1. Vladimir Sysolyatin, general director central financial-industrial group Vyatkalesinvest
2. Mikhail Aleksandrovich Mikheev, former chairman of oblast duma

Komi Republic
1. Yurii Nikolaevich Volkov, head of the KGB administration and deputy envoy to the Northwest federal district (hails from St. Petersburg)
2. Yevgenii Trofimov, deputy head of republic's legislature

Komi-Permyak Autonomous Okrug
1. Oganes Armenakovich Oranyan, chairman of board of directors of Moscow-based Frezer factory, director of Business Roundtable of Moscow (F)
2. Vladimir Karimullovich Solomonov, former federal inspector for Perm Oblast

Koryak Autonomous Okrug
1. Viktor Petrovich Orlov, former federal minister for geology and former federal minister for natural resources (F)
2. Aleksandr Sergeevich Suvorov, former chairman of okrug duma

Kostroma Oblast
1. Ivan Valentinovich Starikov, former federal deputy economics minister
2. Vycheslav Nikolaevich Vinogradov, Kostromaenergo general director (F)

Krasnodar Krai
1. Nikolai Ignatovich Kondratenko, former governor
2. Konstantin Meremyanin, former envoy of the prosecutor-general to the Federal Assembly

Krasnoyarsk Krai
1. Pavel Stepanovich Fedirko, deputy governor, head of the department for cooperation with the federal government and federal organs
2. Vyacheslav Novikov, former krai duma deputy

Kurgan Oblast
1. Oleg Yevgenevich Panteleev, first deputy governor (F)
2. Andrei Anatolevich Vikharev, chairman of the board of directors of the Uralgiprotyazhmash (F)

Kursk Oblast
1. Gennadii Vasilevich Shirokonosov, Geomash general director-Moscow
2. Viktor Dmitrievich Chernykh, former oblast duma chairman

Jewish Autonomous Oblast
1. Igor Gennadevich Glukhovskii, Energomash-kompleks head (F)
2. Stanislav Vladimirovich Vavilov, former oblast duma chairman (F)

Leningrad Oblast
1. Sergei Aleksandrovich Vasilev, former federal deputy economy minister (F)

Lipetsk Oblast
2. Maksim Gennadevich Kabdzharadze, first deputy head of the federal agency for regulating the food market

Magadan Oblast
1. Colonel General Vladimir Fedorovich Kulakov, head chief administration for educational/cultural work at Defense Ministry
2. Yurii Yevgenivich Zasko, Arkagalinskii GRES general director (F)

Marii-El Republic
1. Aleksandr Porfirevich Torshin, ARKO state secretary (F)
2. Ilya Vadimovich Lomakin-Rumyantsev, the director of the Fund for Complex Applied Research and former federal Finance Ministry official (F)

Mordovia Republic
1. Leonid Borisovich Nevzlin, YUKOS deputy chairman, president of Russian Jewish Congress
2. German Stanislavovich Petrov, deputy presidential envoy to the Volga federal district

Moscow City
1. Boris Nikolskii, first deputy mayor and head of Moscow Komplekh for city economy
2. Vladimir Plotnikov, former speaker of Moscow City Duma

Moscow Oblast
1.Nikolai Churkin, Agroimpeks general director

Murmansk Oblast
1. Vyacheslav Popov, former Northern Fleet commander, admiral
2. Andrei Grigorievich Guriev, deputy director Menatep, first deputy general director Rosprom

Nenets Autonomous Okrug
2. Tatyana Ivanovna Konovalova, former advisor to presidential envoy to the Federation Council

Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast
1. Yevgenii Viktorovich Bushmin, former deputy finance minister
2. Anatolii Aleksandrovich Kozeradskii, former chairman of oblast duma

North Ossetia Republic
2. Valerii Totrazovich Kadokhov, head of the agrarian committee of North Ossetian parliament

Novgorod Oblast
1. Gennadii Eduardovich Burbulis, former state secretary under then-President Boris Yeltsin
2. Mikhail Mikhailovich Sorokin, former deputy head of the administration for cadre and state service for Federation Council

Novosibirsk Oblast
1. Viktor Aleksandrovich Ignatov, former oblast duma deputy
2. Yurii Alaferovskii, former head of Federation Ministry's office in Novosibirsk

Omsk Oblast
1. Valerii Tikhomirov, former federal deputy tax minister
2. Viktor Mironov, former chief federal inspector for Omsk Oblast

Orel Oblast
1. Pavel Merkulov, former deputy head of oblast administration
2. Sergei Shcheblygin, former advisor to Orel Oblast Governor Yegor Stroev

Orenburg Oblast
1. Aleksandr Zelepukhin, first deputy governor
2. Viktor Nefedov, deputy chairman of oblast's legislature

Penza Oblast
1. Aleksandr Petrovich Pleshakov, chairman of board of directors of Transaero (F)
2. Aleksandr Pashkov, director of Avers

Perm Oblast
1. Oleg Anatolevich Chirkunov, director EKS group of enterprises
2. Viktor Ivanovich Dobrosotskii, deputy general director of the firm Mineral Trading (F)

Primorskii Krai
1. Valerii Leonidovich Manilov, former first deputy head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces

Pskov Oblast
1. Mikhail Vitalevich Margelov, director of the Russian Information Center (F)
2. Nikolai Yakovlevich Medvedev, headed Putin presidential campaign headquarters and advisor to Duma's Energy Committee

Rostov Oblast
1. Sergei Anokhin, director of Moscow Institute for humanitarian technology
2. Aleksandr Kazakov, former head of the department for the administration of property of Gazprom, comrade in arms of Anatolii Chubais, former first deputy head of presidential administration

Ryazan Oblast
1. Mikhail Odintsev, assistant to governor for economics, chairman of board of directors of Iberdkrakhmalonatok (F)
2. Igor Nikolaevich Morozov, former advisor to presidential envoy to the Central federal district Georgii Poltavchenko

St. Petersburg City
1. Mikhail Mikhailovskii, deputy governor
2. Sergei Mikhailovich Mironov, deputy chairman of city duma

Sakha Republic

Sakhalin Oblast
1. Valerii Goreglyad, head of Federation Council's Budget Committee staff (F)
2. Boris Tretyak, former chairman of oblast duma (F)

Samara Oblast
1. German Vladimirovich Tkachenko, vice president of Siberian Aluminum
2. Leon Iosifovich Kovalskii, former chair of oblast duma

Saratov Oblast
1. Ramazan Gadzhimuradovich Abdulatipov, former federal nationalities minister and deputy speaker of the Federation Council (F)
2. Valentin Georgievich Zavadnikov, former deputy chair of administration EES

Smolensk Oblast
1. Vladimir Nikitov, director of Federation Council's apparatus

Stavropol Krai
1. Anatolii Antonovich Korobeinikov, first deputy head of analytical administration for State Duma

Sverdlovsk Oblast
1. Valerii Trushnikov, deputy speaker of Sverdlovsk Oblast's legislative assembly, general director Ural-Kazakh company, president of the Gornozavodskii Ural Fund
2. Andrei Konstantinovich Shmelev, local legislator and general director of Pervouralskyii Novotrubnyi factory

Taimyr Autonomous Okrug
1. Leonid Bindar, a Norilsk Nickel executive (F)
2. Leonid Yulianovich Roketskii, former Tyumen Oblast governor (F)

Tambov Oblast
1. Vasilii Klyuchenok, first deputy head of oblast administration and air force general
2. Nikolai Kosarev, former tax police head (rank of general) and deputy general director of Interros

Tatarstan Republic
1. Rafgat Zakievich Altynbaev, deputy agriculture minister and former mayor of Naberzhnykh Chelny (F)

Tomsk Oblast
1. Yurii Gurdin, general director of Siblesprom and co-chair of nongovernmental organization, Tomsk association of fellow-countrymen in Moscow
2. Yurii Yakovlevich Kovalev, deputy chairman of oblast duma and director of the intereconomic association Tomskinterservis (together with Gurdin), which is concerned with the supply of oil products

Tula Oblast
1. Anatolii Tikhonovich Vaskov, deputy head of administration of Federation Council apparatus, also an assistant to then-St. Petersburg Mayor Anatolii Sobchak
2. Oleg Vladimirovich Tatarinov, first deputy chairman of oblast duma (F)

Tuva Republic
1. Sergei Viktorovich Pugachev, Mezhprombank head
2. Chanmyr Aleksandrovich Udumbar, FSB head of Tuva directorate, major general

Tver Oblast
1. Anatolii Mikhailovich Dubodel, senior official for Moscow-based Rostrabank
2. Vladimir Petrov, first deputy federal finance minister

Tyumen Oblast
1. Aleksandr Sergeevich Gavrin, former federal fuel and energy minister

Udmurtia Republic
1. Viktor Evgrafovich Shuderov, deputy chair of republic government
2. Anatolii Ivanovich Saltykov, former mayor of Izhevsk (F)

Ulyanovsk Oblast
1. Aleksandr Nikolaevich Kalita, former Defense Ministry official in charge of educational work, rank of major general (F)
2. Valerii Aleksandrovich Sychev, chief federal inspector for Ulyanovsk

Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Okrug
1. Sergei Aleksandrovich Popov, chairman of Unity party's executive committee
2. Leonid Aleksandrovich Khutanov, former chairman of okrug duma

Vladimir Oblast
1. Vadim Anatolevich Gustov, former federal deputy prime minister and former Leningrad Oblast governor
2. Yevgenii Pavlovich Ilyushkin, head of trolleybus administration for city of Vladimir

Volgograd Oblast
1. Sergei Anatolevich Agaptsov, Volgograd Tractor factory general director (F)
2. Aleksandr Borisovich Golovanchikov, oblast legislator

Vologda Oblast
1. Valerii Ivanovich Fedorov, former federal first deputy minister of internal affairs (F)
2. Gennadii Timofeevich Khripel, former chairman of oblast duma

Voronezh Oblast
1. Boris Georgievich Preobrazhenskii, first deputy head of oblast administration
2. Gleb Gennadevich Fetisov, former Alfa-Eko Group president (F)

Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
2. Yefim Levovich Kerpelman, former deputy chairman of okrug duma (F)

Yaroslavl Oblast
1. Viktor Konstaninovich Glukhikh, Saturn enterprise chairman of the board
2. Yevgenii Nikolaevich Zayashnikov, chief executive director of Slavneft-Yaroslavlnefteorgsintez

(F) = Federation group member

Sources: (Federation Council's website as of 10 January), (Federation group's website as of June 2001), "Nezavisimaya gazeta" 27 November, "Parlamentskaya gazeta" 6 December, "Kommersant-Daily," 27 December, "Ofitsialnaya i Delovaya Rossiya 2000/2001"

13-16 January: Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso to visit Russia, according to Interfax on 29 December

14 January: Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Deputy Prime Ministers Valentina Matvienko and Aleksei Gordeev to return from vacation

14 January: Extraordinary shareholders meeting for the Moscow Independent Broadcasting Corporation, the proprietor of TV-6

14-16 January: Lithuanian Foreign Minister Anatanas Valionis to visit Moscow

14-18 January: Next round of Russian-American consultations on questions of strategic stability to take place in Washington, D.C.

15 January: Audit Chamber to present its findings of investigation into the use of housing funds in Sakha Republic

16 January: State Duma will hold its first session of the year

16-18 January: President Putin to visit Poland

17 January: First cabinet session of the year will be held

Second half of January: Foreign Minister Ivan Ivanov to visit Japan, ITAR-TASS reported on 28 November

19 January: Communist Party extraordinary congress to take place in Moscow, according to TV-6 on 1 December

20 January: Team from Emergency Situations Ministry is scheduled to complete the first phase of restoration of the Salang Tunnel in Afghanistan, according to Interfax on 3 January

21 January: Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov to visit Moscow

22-24 January: Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliyev will visit Moscow, according to Turan on 4 January

23 January: Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan will visit Moscow

24 January: Russian cabinet to meet to discuss the Railways Ministry's draft investment program

25 January: Unified Energy Systems board of directors to meet and discuss the restructuring of the company

27 January: Presidential elections in North Ossetia

28-29 January: Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel to visit Russia

29-30 January: A international conference on "Globalization and the Trade Union movement in Russia in the 21st Century" will be held in Moscow

30 January: State Council to meet and discuss the role of physical education and sports in the formation of a healthy way of life for Russians

31 January: Prime Minister Kasyanov to arrive in Washington, D.C.

February: Newly established committee for financial monitoring will begin work, according to Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin on 1 November

February: Spain's Crown Prince Felipe will visit Moscow

February: New president of the Alrosa company will be named in the event of the successful election of current president Vyacheslav Shtyrov to head Sakha (Yakutia) Republic

1 February: Deadline by which government will have prepared its strategy for cooperation with the World Bank

1 February: Fast-track, three-day visas for entry into Russia for citizens of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Britain, Switzerland, and Japan will become available, according to "The Moscow Times" on 19 December

13 February: Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien will visit Moscow

23 February: New state holiday honoring "Defenders of the Fatherland"

26 February: All-Russia conference on the Russian Regions and the WTO to be held in Moscow

8 March: International Women's Day

17 March: Tuva Republic will hold presidential elections

March-April: Russia will issue up to $2 billion in Eurobonds, according to Vneshekonombank head Andrei Kostin on 15 November

end of March: CIS Interparliamentary Assembly will hold its 19th plenary session

April: Unified party of Unity and Fatherland to officially register as a political party

April: The St. Petersburg Dialogue, a Russian-German forum, will hold its second conference in Weimar, Germany, according to ITAR-TASS

April: Gubernatorial elections in Penza Oblast

7 April: Presidential elections in Ingushetia

May: Foreign ministers of NATO countries and Russia will meet in Reykjavik

28 May: Russia-EU summit to be held

31 May: CIS summit to be held in Chisinau, Moldova

June: Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit to take place in St. Petersburg, ITAR-TASS reported

June: Baltic State Council meeting to be held in St. Petersburg

June: Government will have drafted a federal program for putting Russia's armed forces on a professional basis, according to Prime Minister Kasyanov on 7 December

June: Russia and the U.S. will have drafted an agreement on radical cuts in strategic offensive weapons, according to Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on 18 December

9 June: Repeat elections for legislature of Primorskii Krai

26-28 June: Group of Seven summit to be held in Canada

9-16 October: All-Russia census

26-27 October: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit to be held in Las Cabos, Mexico

7 November: Day of Reconciliation and Agreement.