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Security Watch: September 19, 2002


19 September 2002, Volume 3, Number 32
WAR AGAINST TERRORISM
UNITY LEADER TO CALL FOR INCREASED FUNDING IN TERRORISM WAR. Vladimir Reznik (Unity), co-chairman of the State Duma oversight commission on budgetary expenditures in the sphere of state security, announced that his faction plans to call for a substantial increase in state funding for the fight against international terrorism in the 2003 federal budget, RTR television and RIA-Novosti reported on 16 September. Reznik said that the threat of international terrorism is as real today as it was a year ago and that it has spread to a larger geographical area since being isolated in Afghanistan. As far as Russia is concerned, Reznik said, the threat of terrorism is concentrated mainly on its southern borders and also involves the flow of illegal immigrants and drug trafficking. Reznik added that because the Federal Security Service, or FSB, and other state agencies involved in the fight against terrorism have experienced acute shortages of equipment and funding, they need to be given increased financing in order to take the fight against terrorism outside Russian territory.

U.S. SANCTIONS RUSSIAN FIRMS FOR ALLEGED TIES WITH TERRORISM... The U.S. State Department has announced the imposition of economic sanctions against three Russian state enterprises that are allegedly producing military supplies for states that the United States claims support international terrorism, Western and Russian news agencies reported on 12 September. The companies are the Tula Instrument Construction Bureau, the Basalt research-industrial enterprise, and Aviation Factory No. 168 in Rostov-na-Donu. According to RBK, the three companies are suspected of providing military-use equipment to Libya, Sudan, and Syria.

...WHILE OTHER COMPANIES ARE ALREADY ON U.S. BLACKLIST... The companies are not the first Russian firms to be so sanctioned, gazeta.ru noted on 13 September. In 1998, the State Department listed several companies linked to the Atomic Energy Ministry for allegedly exporting equipment used for conducting nuclear-weapons tests. The following year, 10 other firms were listed for allegedly transferring sensitive technologies to Iran and three more for selling military equipment to Syria. Companies on the State Department list are barred from working with the U.S. government or U.S. companies and from selling their products in the United States. Although many of the Russian firms under sanction are state-owned, the United States does not plan to impose sanctions against the Russian government, RBK reported. According to ITAR-TASS, officials at Basalt and the Tula design bureau have denied the U.S. allegations.

...BUT RUSSIA REJECTS SANCTIONS AS 'ILLEGITIMATE.' Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Malakhov said that he had handed to U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John Bolton a note of protest concerning the sanctions, NTV and the ABNews reported on 13 September. The Kremlin's note says that Moscow considers the U.S. sanctions "illegitimate" because there are no internationally approved bans on selling weapons to Sudan, Syria, or Libya.

RUSSIA WELCOMES IRAQI STATEMENT ON UN INSPECTORS... Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said in New York on 17 September that Iraq's statement evidently agreeing to the immediate and unconditional return of United Nations weapons inspectors "transfers developments around this country from a military scenario to the political plane," Russian news agencies reported. He added that it might soon be possible to discuss conditions for the lifting of economic sanctions against Baghdad. Ivanov said this development means the Security Council should not consider any new resolutions on Iraq.

...AS DUMA DEPUTY SAYS INSPECTIONS MIGHT NOT PREVENT U.S. MILITARY STRIKE. Deputy Duma Speaker and Yabloko party leader Vladimir Lukin said on 17 September that the prevalent opinion in the Duma is that Iraq agreed to the return of weapons inspectors because Baghdad feared the UN would approve a U.S. military strike against the country, RIA-Novosti and other Russian news agencies reported. However, he added that, although the Iraqi move might make a strike more difficult, it might not be sufficient to restrain the United States.

U.S. RULES OUT QUID PRO QUO ON IRAQ, GEORGIA. Speaking to reporters in Moscow on 13 September, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bolton ruled out any "understanding" between Moscow and Washington concerning Iraq and Georgia, Interfax and other Russian news agencies reported. Bolton added, however, that he does see similarities between Iraq and Georgia and hopes bilateral Russian-Georgian talks will lead to a peaceful resolution of the Pankisi Gorge problem.

DISPUTE WITH GEORGIA
PUTIN WARNS GEORGIA OVER TOLERATION OF CHECHEN 'TERRORISM'... Addressing a meeting of military and law-enforcement officials in Sochi on 11 September, President Vladimir Putin warned the Georgian leadership that if it fails to take effective measures to prevent "bandits" from launching attacks on Russian territory from bases in Georgia, Russia will avail itself of its right, which is guaranteed by the UN Charter, to take appropriate action in self-defense either on its own or collectively, Russian news agencies and Caucasus Press reported. He said that "today nobody can deny...that those who had a hand in the terrorist attacks in the United States one year ago and the perpetrator of [the 1999] apartment bombings in Russia have taken refuge in Georgia," Interfax reported. Putin instructed the General Staff to provide proposals on whether it is possible and expedient to launch strikes on terrorists bases in Georgia that have been reliably identified in intelligence operations, Reuters reported. Putin did not specify a time frame within which he expects the Georgian leadership to comply with his demand to neutralize the presence of Chechen militants. "Vremya novostei" reported on 12 September that the chief of the General Staff, General Anatolii Kvashnin, has already drafted the plan of a potential Russian operation in the Pankisi Gorge. According to Kvashnin's plan, the operation would be spearheaded by the 42nd Motorized Division -- currently deployed in Ingushetia -- and detachments of the Federal Border Guard Service, special-task units of Military Intelligence (GRU), and the theater air wing.

...APPEALS TO UN, OSCE... In an 11 September missive addressed to the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and carried by strana.ru, President Putin noted that Russia has largely succeeded in destroying the "terrorist infrastructure [created in Chechnya] with the support of the criminal [Chechen] regime" and is now beginning to reduce its military presence there. He claimed that peace is gradually returning to Chechnya, the economy is recovering, and preparations are in progress to adopt a new constitution and elect new republican and local authorities. But some Chechen militants have taken refuge in Georgia where, Putin claimed, they have the support of that country's leadership. Putin noted that Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze in 1999 rejected Russian proposals to cooperate in order to prevent Chechen militants from infiltrating Georgia and repeatedly denied their presence on Georgian territory until he was constrained to admit it. Putin claimed Shevardnadze did not react "constructively" to Putin's letter of 3 September calling for joint military action against the Chechens in the Pankisi Gorge. Putin accused Georgia of blatantly violating the UN Security Council's antiterrorism resolution, No. 1373, and argued that Georgia must be made to comply with its international obligations. Putin said Russia might be constrained to resort to its right under UN Security Council Resolution 1368 and the UN Charter to individual or collective self-defense and will act "in strict accordance with international law" to neutralize the "terrorist threat," if Georgia fails to do so.

...AS DUMA DRAFTS RESOLUTION ON ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST GEORGIA. State Duma Defense Committee Chairman Andrei Nikolaev (People's Deputy) said on 13 September that his committee, together with the International Affairs, Security, and CIS Affairs committees, has drafted a resolution asking President Vladimir Putin to consider ending economic aid to Georgia, "including the supply to [that county] of subsidized electric power," ITAR-TASS and other Russian news agencies reported. The draft resolution also calls on Putin to impose a more severe visa regime for Georgian citizens entering Russia. Finally, it urges Putin to take "most resolute action in order to cut off the penetration of international terrorists into Russia from the territory of Georgia," Nikolaev said.

RUSSIAN, CHECHEN OFFICIALS ENDORSE PUTIN'S WARNING... Dmitrii Rogozin, who chairs the State Duma's International Affairs Committee, expressed his approval of Putin's 11 September statement, which he construed as "the final warning to the Georgian leadership," Interfax reported. Chechen administration head Akhmed-hadji Kadyrov termed Putin's statement "a forced and necessary step" that, he predicted, the international community will understand and approve, Interfax reported. Kadyrov also accused Shevardnadze of "failing to take a single step" to neutralize the threat posed by Chechen militants in the Pankisi Gorge. Chechen Prime Minister Stanislav Ilyasov similarly expressed approval of Putin's statement, arguing that "terrorists must be destroyed on any territory, on the ground, in the air, and if necessary under water," ITAR-TASS reported. He added that Shevardnadze's protection of Chechen "terrorists" disqualifies him from acting as a mediator between representatives of Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov and the pro-Moscow Chechen leadership.

...AS DOES SPS. The Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) expressed support for President Putin's statement on Georgia, RIA-Novosti reported on 12 September. "One should accustom world public opinion and the United States to the idea that it is impossible to destroy terrorism on the territory of Georgia through consultations," said Deputy Duma Speaker and SPS leader Irina Khakamada. She added that Putin's statement is a warning and an offer to help resolve a problematic situation.

PUTIN UNHAPPY WITH SHEVARDNADZE'S RESPONSE... Speaking at a news conference in Sochi on 17 September, President Vladimir Putin said he is not satisfied with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze's response to his recent message about the Pankisi Gorge problem (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12, 13, and 14 September 2002), RTR reported on 17 September. "We wanted guarantees that there will be no terrorist attacks on our territory from the Georgian side, but we did not get such guarantees or commitments," Putin said. He added that Georgia is virtually not cooperating with Russia to combat terrorism and that more and more information indicates that Georgia is cooperating with terrorists. He repeated his demand to Shevardnadze to clear the gorge and said that he hopes he will be able to meet with his Georgian counterpart in Chisinau in October. He also rejected recent calls for economic sanctions against Georgia. "Tough economic sanctions will affect the Georgian people, with whom we traditionally have very warm relations," Putin said.

...AS TOP MILITARY OFFICIAL CALLS FOR SECURITY ZONE ALONG GEORGIAN BORDER. Federal Border Guard Service Director Colonel General Konstantin Totskii said after a meeting with President Putin in Sochi on 17 September that he and Chief of the General Staff General Kvashnin briefed the president about measures for "strengthening the Russian border from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea," Russian news agencies reported on 18 September. Totskii said that Russia considers it "extremely necessary to create a 20- to 40-kilometer security zone along the border region with Georgia." Totskii added that the creation and functioning of such a zone should be the subject of negotiations with "our Georgian colleagues." Kvashnin compared the administration of Georgian President Shevardnadze to the former Taliban leadership in Afghanistan and added that Georgia must still do a lot "to take the same stand against terrorism as was taken by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf," lenta.ru reported on 18 September.

FOREIGN POLICY
PUTIN SAYS BELARUS SHOULD ACCEPT RUSSIAN CONSTITUTION. Answering a question about the Russia-Belarus Union during his Sochi news conference, President Putin reiterated his proposal that the unification of the two states proceed on the basis of the Russian Constitution (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 15 August 2002), RTR reported on 17 September. Continuing to oppose Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who insists on Belarus's political and financial sovereignty within the union, Putin said that the merging of the two countries will only be possible if Belarus accepts the federalist basis of the Russian Constitution. "The future union state can only be a federation," Putin declared. He also categorically rejected the idea of two banks controlling the union's single currency. "There will be only one [currency-] emission center, and it will be in Russia," Putin said.

SENATOR ADVOCATES PIPELINES THROUGH AFGHANISTAN. Speaking at the European Economic Forum in Salzburg, Austria, Federation Council International Affairs Committee Chairman Mikhail Margelov said that Russia is interested in reconciliation and stability in Afghanistan and that one lever for achieving these goals is international pipelines through Afghanistan from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, regions.ru reported on 17 September. Instability in Afghanistan has triggered confrontation in the past -- first between the Russian and British empires and later between the United States and the Soviet Union -- Margelov pointed out. He added that all countries -- Afghanistan most of all, but the countries of Central Asia, Russia, and the United States as well -- can benefit from peaceful development in the country. Margelov said that the main lesson Russia has learned over recent years is that its interests can only be advanced in the absence of confrontation.

POLITICAL ECONOMY
ECONOMICS ADVISER CONVINCED PUTIN TO RENATIONALIZE NATURAL WEALTH. Academician Dmitrii Lvov, an economics consultant to the Russian government and long-standing advocate of state control over natural-resource revenues, told "Komsomolskaya pravda" on 17 September that as a result of his ideas, President Vladimir Putin is inclined to support increased state control over revenues from the export of mineral resources. This proposal has been incorporated into the amendments to the Mineral Resources Code drafted by deputy head of the presidential administration Dmitrii Kozak (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 September 2002). Lvov said that just 5 percent of the country's gross revenue is generated by labor. Twenty percent is produced by capital and investment, and a full 75 percent is generated through the exploitation of natural resources. He said that much of that 75 percent is currently going directly into the pockets of a small group of oligarchs. Lvov proposed that the state take control of these funds and use them to finance education, health care, and housing, as well as to reduce taxes. Lvov said that Putin -- who wrote his dissertation in economics on the topic of "the rational use of natural resources" -- was very receptive to his ideas.

AVIATION GIANTS NET ORDERS FOR 97 AIRLINERS. Aleksandr Lebedev, president of National Reserve Bank, which is co-owner of the Ilyushin-finans aviation leasing company, has announced that Ilyushin-finans has signed contracts to lease 97 new, Russian-made passenger airliners, polit.ru reported on 13 September. The contracts involve the Il-96, Tu-204, Tu-214, and Tu-334 models, which compete with several Boeing and Airbus models. Lebedev said the production of these planes is capable of reviving the domestic aviation industry over the next decade. He also said that National Reserve Bank is studying the possibility of purchasing state-owned aviation plants in Voronezh, Ulyanovsk, and Kazan.

MILITARY
DEFENSE MINISTER REPORTS TO DUMA ON ARMY. Sergei Ivanov addressed a closed session of the Duma on 11 September, "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 12 September. According to the report, Ivanov complained that the armed forces are facing an acute crisis of conscripts, as the military receives only 11 percent of the draftees that it needs. He added that most of those who do report for duty are from low-income families and are in poor physical condition. He said that the army often must provide supplementary nutrition for three months just to get the recruits into satisfactory condition.

SECRET SERVICES
11 SEPTEMBER: BIRTHDAY OF THE FOUNDER OF SOVIET SECRET POLICE... Eleven September marked the 125th anniversary of the birth of Feliks Dzerzhinskii, founder of the Soviet secret police, RosBalt and "Izvestiya" reported on 12 September. "Izvestiya" described Dzerzhinskii as a person who chose security over freedom. An impoverished Polish nobleman who once dreamed of becoming a priest, Dzerzhinskii became a fanatic in the mold of Osama bin Laden, a man who was willing to commit terrorist acts for the sake of goals he believed were noble, the daily continued. Dzerzhinskii organized the Red Terror in order to combat injustice and was a man who saved children by killing adults, the paper said. "Dzerzhinskii has never left us. He remains in our hearts, souls, and minds," "Izvestiya" concluded.

...AND MOSCOW MAYOR ADVOCATES RESTORATION OF MONUMENT IN HIS HONOR... Yurii Luzhkov on 13 September called for the restoration of a monumental 15-ton statue of Dzerzhinskii, Russian and Western news agencies reported. The statue, which formerly stood in front of the headquarters of the Soviet and Russian secret services on Lubyanka Square, was dismantled by the city council, of which Luzhkov was deputy chairman, following the demise of the August 1991 coup attempt against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. After it was removed, it was quietly taken to a park where many Soviet-era statues have ended up and was repaired. Speaking to a meeting of the municipal architectural council, Luzhkov called the monument an "impeccable sculptural composition." Luzhkov, who has opposed restoring the monument in the past, justified his turnabout by focusing selectively on some of Dzerzhinskii's achievements, saying, "We should remember that he solved the problem of homeless children and that he bailed out the railroads in a period of devastation." Luzhkov downplayed Dzerzhinskii's role in the "excesses" of the Red Terror.

...AS LIBERALS VOW TO OPPOSE THE MOVE... Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) leader and Duma Deputy Boris Nemtsov said that the proposal to restore the Dzerzhinskii monument is part of a clear trend toward increasing authoritarianism, "Izvestiya" reported on 16 September. He said SPS will attempt to gather 1 million signatures in protest against Luzhkov's proposal. Grigorii Yavlinskii's Yabloko party also came out against the restoration, RosBalt reported on 16 September. "The personality of Dzerzhinskii is inseparably linked to the creation of the system of concentration camps and the destruction of millions of people, including the best representatives of the intelligentsia, the clergy, the Cossack community, the working class, and the peasantry during the period of the Red Terror," a Yabloko statement asserted. The party once again urged the city to place a monument to the victims of political repression on the spot where the Dzerzhinskii monument stood.

...AS DO WRITERS... Nobel Prize laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn told "Izvestiya" on 17 September that the restoration of the monument to Dzerzhinskii would be an outrage to the millions who perished in the concentration camps. "[Dzerzhinskii] was a Red henchman, and his figure is a symbol of the punitive organs of the USSR," said the writer, who himself served time in the Gulag and documented it in his "Gulag Archipelago." Another well-known writer, Fazil Iskander, said that he opposes the proposal because "this measure does not frighten embezzlers of public funds, brings nothing to ordinary people, and gives intellectuals reason for gloomy thoughts about the future of the country." Aleksandr Gelman told the daily that playing with symbols begets false fears in some and false hopes in others. He said that if the proposal was made in order to please President Putin, then it is mistaken, because the move would simply prove to the world that the president is a creature of the secret services.

...AND RIGHTS ACTIVISTS... The restoration of the Dzerzhinskii monument would mean "the complete revision of 12 years of the new Russia," Yelena Bonner, widow of Nobel Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov, told "Komsomolskaya pravda" on 17 September. Valerii Abramkin, a former Soviet political prisoner who is now a leading human rights advocate, pointed out that a stone from the Solovetskii Island concentration camp has now been placed on Lubyanka Square to commemorate the millions of victims of Soviet-era terror. "To erect the Dzerzhinskii monument nearby is ridiculous and to put it in place [of the Solovetskii stone] would be blasphemous," Abramkin was quoted by the daily as saying. Aleksei Molyakov, a former KGB colonel general and the former head of the FSB's military counterintelligence, said that as a person who was educated in the chekist tradition, he was pained by the demolition of the monument in 1991. "But I am not sure that today we should return to the past," Molyakov told "Komsomolskaya pravda," quoting the Greek philosopher Heraclitus's observation that, "One cannot step twice into the same river."

...AS DEPUTY PROPOSES A MONUMENT TO ANDROPOV. At its plenary session on 18 September, the Duma rejected a proposal by Deputy Aleksei Mitrofanov (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia) to erect a monument to former KGB Chairman and former General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Yurii Andropov on Lubyanka Square instead of restoring the Dzerzhinskii statue, polit.ru and other Russian news agencies reported. Mitrofanov argued that Andropov is a much less controversial figure than Dzerzhinskii and noted that many people currently in the government and the security organs began their careers under Andropov. However, only 23 deputies voted in favor of the initiative.

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
OIL GIANT'S EXECUTIVE KIDNAPPED... LUKoil First Vice President Sergei Kukura, who acts as the company's chief financial officer, was abducted from his car outside Moscow on 12 September by a group of masked gunmen, Russian and Western news agencies reported on 13 September. LUKoil, Russia's largest oil producer, is offering a 30 million-ruble ($948,000) reward for information leading to his return, Reuters reported. Kukura's Mercedes was reportedly stopped by a group of masked men carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles who were driving a car with Moscow police license plates. The men handcuffed Kukura's bodyguard and driver before abducting the 48-year-old official. The incident is being investigated by the Interior Ministry, the Federal Security Service, and LUKoil's security service, which is considered one of the best in Russia. Investigative journalist Yuliya Latynina told RFE/RL's Russian Service that she believes the authorities should look into the possible involvement of state organs or of LUKoil's major competitors. "An ordinary criminal group is too small to take on LUKoil's powerful security service," Latynina said.

...AND ABDUCTORS DEMAND $6 MILLION RANSOM. Kukura's kidnappers are reportedly demanding a $6 million ransom for his release, "Kommersant-Daily" and other Russian news agencies reported on 17 September. According to the reports, a man claiming to represent the kidnappers telephoned LUKoil and said before demanding the money that Kukura is safe and unharmed. Investigators working on the case said the kidnappers "certainly have security-services training," "Kommersant-Daily" reported.

MVD OFFICIAL TARGET OF GRENADE ATTACK. The chief of the Interior Ministry (MVD) office in the Moscow Oblast town of Ozersk, Anatolii Kamyshin, was the apparent target of an attack from a rocket-propelled grenade launcher (RPG), Interfax reported on 17 September. Kamyshin, who was riding in his car at the time of the attack, was apparently uninjured, although the report gave no additional details. In March, an MVD officer named Vladimir Sashchikhin and his wife were killed in an RPG attack in Moscow. The killers have not yet been found. Shortly after Sashchikhin's murder, the MVD issued a statement saying he had links to organized crime.

MOSCOW CUSTOMS CHIEF KILLED. Shamil Altyshov, director of the Domodedovo customs terminal in Moscow, was shot dead near his home on 13 September by unidentified gunmen, Russian news agencies reported. Altyshov was struck five times in the chest and back. According to police reports, Altyshov's fully loaded personal handgun was found on his body, indicating that he did not have time to respond to the attack. Investigators are looking into the possibility that Altyshov was killed by drug traffickers. The Domodedovo customs terminal is one of Russia's largest.

PROSECUTOR ASKS GREAT BRITAIN AND GEORGIA TO EXTRADITE BEREZOVSKII AND HIS AIDE... Speaking in Samara, Deputy Prosecutor-General Vladimir Kolesnikov said his office has nearly completed its investigation into LogoVAZ, which was formerly Russia's largest automobile dealer and which was controlled by now-disgraced oligarch Boris Berezovskii, Russian news agencies reported on 11 September. Kolesnikov said that the investigation has uncovered information that in 1994-95, Berezovskii and his associates -- particularly his aide Badri Patarkatsishvili -- allegedly fraudulently misappropriated 2,033 automobiles belonging to the company for their personal enrichment. Kolesnikov said that the prosecutor-general is calling on Great Britain and Georgia, where Berezovskii and Patarkatsishvili, respectively, now reside, to expedite the extradition of the two men so that they can be interrogated. Kolesnikov added that the investigation also raised serious questions relating to Samara Oblast Governor Konstantin Titov, who will also face questioning.

...AS MEDIA SPECULATES ON POSSIBLE POLITICAL MOTIVATIONS BEHIND THE CASE. Kolesnikov's statement can be best explained by the ongoing tension between Russia and Georgia and by the fact that Patarkatsishvili is now an adviser to Georgian President Shevardnadze, gazeta.ru editorialized on 12 September. The website said that Kolesnikov has a reputation for sensational pubic statements that never amount to anything, including a promise to investigate presidential Chief of Staff Aleksandr Voloshin that was never fulfilled. Meanwhile, grani.ru, which belongs to Berezovskii, reported on 12 September that the oligarch's lawyers have not been informed of any request to Great Britain for his extradition.

CORRECTION: In the item titled "Security Council Secretary Injured In Automobile Crash..." in the 12 September issue of "RFE/RL Security and Terrorism Watch," it was erroneously reported that the driver of the Toyota sport-utility vehicle that crashed into Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo's motorcade had been killed in the accident. In fact, the driver, Petr Chistyakov, was not killed but was hospitalized in serious condition following the accident. Ntvru.com reported on 11 September that Chistyakov is facing manslaughter charges.

TRENDS AND IDEAS
STATE UPS FUNDING FOR 'PATRIOTIC' FILMS. The draft 2003 budget that will soon be considered in the Duma contains a 50 percent increase in state funding for the domestic film industry, Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi announced on 13 September, polit.ru reported. Shvydkoi said that by 2006, Russia should be producing up to 100 films per year and the industry should be self-sufficient. He added that most of the funding will be used to produce films ordered by the state, including children's films and films of "a patriotic, historical, or national" nature. "Kommersant-Daily" commented that all the profitable films made in recent years were produced without state assistance and that it would have been better for the industry if the state had not last year rescinded tax incentives for investors in the film industry.

ALL THE PUBLICITY MONEY CAN BUY. The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) will launch a multimillion-dollar campaign intended to improve the image of Russian business abroad, "Vedomosti" reported on 12 September. The union's committee on foreign affairs, headed by Yukos Chairman Mikhail Khodorkovskii, hatched the plan, which will consist of three projects. First, a new English-language Internet portal will inform Western investors about market trends in Russia and especially about "improvements" in the Russian business community. Second, an advertising campaign in prominent Western media will tell the world about progress in "creating a favorable investment climate in Russia" and will also explain "the essence of the RSPP's mission." And third, a new English-language magazine about Russian business will likewise be geared toward persuading foreigners that the Russian business community is "dynamic, transparent, and favorably disposed toward investors."

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