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Russia starts importing electricity from Kazakhstan

CEP20021210000190 Moscow ITAR-TASS in English 1341 GMT 10 Dec 02

[FBIS Transcribed Text]

  MOSCOW, December 10 (Itar-Tass) -- Russia has started to import electricity from Kazakhstan. Representatives of the press service of Unified Energy Systems (UES) of Russia confirmed the report in an interview with Itar-Tass.
  They added, however, that the time left before the New Year would hardly be enough for adopting all the documents needed for the creation of a joint Russian-Kazakh fuel and energy company. The company is going to include the Severny opencast colliery and the Ekibastuz Thermal Power Plant No.2, both located in Pavlodar Region, as well as a power transmission line connecting Ekibastuz and Omsk.
  There are no major differences between the parties to the contract, the UES representatives said. "Nevertheless, we shall hardly be able to adopt a final resolution in December. All the documents should be approved by the council and the board of directors of UES of Russia. The next meeting of the board of directors is scheduled for December 27. Even if all is ready by that time, we shall hardly be able to sign the contract within the remaining four days," they explained.
  In their opinion, it is not so important whether the documents will be signed a little earlier or a little later, because the process of the creation of the joint company has been going on for several years, and all the main issues have been coordinated.
  Kazakh Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Vladimir Shkolnik said in Astana recently that they were going to bring electricity exports to Russia to three billion kilowatt-hours in the near future. He admitted that the Kazakh debt to Russia for electricity imports in the 90s amounted to 239 million dollars. Part of the debt will be paid back with the help of the new joint enterprise.

[Description of Source: Moscow ITAR-TASS in English -- main government information agency]


Putin aide: administrative reform will pass power down to local government

EUP20021210000141 St Petersburg Russian RTR TV in Russian 0635 GMT 8 Dec 02

[FBIS Translated Text]

  [Presenter Aleksandr Korennikov] The new St Petersburg Legislative Assembly will be in session when the administrative reform is implemented in Russia. The reform affects all three levels of government: federal, regional and municipal. The last touches to a bill already being described as revolutionary are being made by a commission charged with demarcating the powers of the various branches. That commission is headed by Dmitriy Kozak, deputy head of the Russian Presidential Administration. In the next few days, the bills, including the one on general organizational principles for the legislative and executive bodies in constituent parts of the Russian Federation, will be shown to the president and later submitted to the State Duma.
  In an exclusive interview to St Petersburg Vesti news, Kozak stressed the vital importance of regional legislative bodies in the future new Russian power structure.
  [Correspondent] At present some people in Russia believe that legislative power is less efficient than executive power. The president is popular while the State Duma is not. In the regions the governor is popular, legislative bodies less so, to say nothing of local government bodies. How is this situation to be changed? How can representative and municipal power be made more popular?
  [Kozak] If we talk about legislative power, and about representative power as a whole, the reason for this is that the activities of the representative power bodies and local government bodies is less conspicuous. These bodies write and set rules. Citizens do not see their work directly, although it is extremely important. In fact, it is more important than the activities of executive bodies because - and this is the president's position which was openly declared in the president's address - all the activities of executive power bodies should be regulated by law. If we take into account the fact that the rules of behaviour of Russian citizens can be regulated by law alone, we should realize that legislative power bodies are the key public power bodies.
  As for the St Petersburg legislative assembly, it is an extremely important body.
  If we take into consideration the reforms that the Russian president intends to implement, and I mean the reforms of federal relations first and foremost, the legislative assembly is all the more important. It is the assembly which will regulate the bulk of everyday life of the citizens of St Petersburg and other constituent parts of the Federation. It is very important for the residents of St Petersburg to make a conscious choice, for everybody to take part in the formation of the assembly, because the quality of its work depends on us voters. The assembly consists of specific people - politicians. Taking part in the assembly poll, voters will define the quality of those politicians, their views and their decency and diligence.
  I would like to say once again that we have no reason to underestimate the importance of the legislative assembly in the life of St Petersburg as a constituent part of the Russian Federation.



Source-Date: 12/10/2002

Russian financial official: capital flight situation shows 'correctness of reforms'

CEP20021210000063 Moscow Interfax in English 1023 GMT 10 Dec 02

[FBIS Transcribed Text]

  MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) - Net flight of private capital from Russia in the first 10 months of the year amounted to $3 billion, Deputy Finance Minister Andrei Petrov said at an international conference on business services in Russia on Tuesday.
  He said that in 2001, capital flight stood at $16 billion, and in 2000, at $24 billion.
  "This means capital feels more and more comfortable in Russia, which confirms the correctness of the reforms conducted by the government," Petrov said. He added that the policy of reducing the tax burden and maintaining a budget surplus meets the interests of business, and is intended to promote it.

[Description of Source: Moscow Interfax in English -- non-government information agency known for its aggressive reporting, extensive economic coverage, and good coverage of Russia's regions]

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