Medvedev tours APEC sites
Last weekend President Dmitry Medvedev visited the construction sites of infrastructure for the 2012 APEC summit in Vladivostok.
He examined the site of the bridge being built over the Golden Horn Bay which will be the final stage of the highway from Vladivostok Airport to Knevichi Sanatorna station which will be used to ferry guests for the Summit to Goldobina Peninsula and the bridge to Russky Island which will be the summit venue.
Siberian mayor's choice of foe cost her jail-time
By John Bonar
The Mayor of the Siberian village of Listvyanka, Tatyana Kazakova, 47, has been released after nearly two and a half years pre-trial detention following an intervention by The New York Times. The paper was investigating her case for a series of articles examining corruption and the abuse of power in Russia two decades after the fall of communism.
Ms Kazakova was arrested in 2008 after an unprecedented investigation by the F.S.B., Russia’s successor to the KGB. According to the NYT “More than 25 agents have delved into every aspect of Ms. Kazakova’s life, carrying out what they have termed a ‘counterintelligence operation.’ Masked special service officers with automatic weapons have raided her associates’ homes. More than 250 witnesses have been interrogated, and 67 volumes of evidence have been amassed, according to the trial records.”
The investigation was apparently triggered by Ms. Kazakova’s complaints against a secretive FSB vacation resort near the village. According the NYT, “A major construction project at the resort had exposed a hot water main, threatening the heating supply for the entire village as temperatures plunged to 30 degrees below zero.”
Ms. Kazakova, had enough. She filed a lawsuit against the resort, and asked the regional prosecutor to open a criminal inquiry.
A criminal inquiry was indeed opened — against Ms. Kazakova, reported the NYT.
She is now on trial in a case that the NYT describes as “already become a disquieting example of the power of the security agency in today’s Russia.”
After The New York Times made repeated inquiries to the F.S.B. about the charges against Ms. Kazakova, the judge in the case reversed previous decisions and agreed to release Ms. Kazakova on bail. The next day, Ms. Kazakova embraced her family for the first time since 2008.
The F.S.B., which protects national security and investigates major felonies, has never publicly explained why it decided to devote such resources to pursuing the mayor of a village of 1,700 people. She was charged with abuse of office and election irregularities, crimes that the F.S.B. rarely scrutinizes at the local level.
After her arrest in March 2008, she was held in a cell at Pre-Trial Detention Center No. 1, a jail in the Siberian regional capital of Irkutsk that was once used by Stalin’s secret police. For nearly two and a half years, she was denied all contact with her fiancé, mother and three children, including a 15-year-old daughter who has a neurological disease.
Ms. Kazakova, described by the NYT as a “a real-estate magnate with a blond ponytail who represented a new breed of Russian entrepreneur” made her fortune in hotels and markets in the Regional capital of Irkutsk.
Listvyanka is the most popular place on Baikal lake. Many travelers visit it, because it's the easiest way to reach Baikal. Listvyanka is located 60 km south-east from Irkutsk, and it takes about 1 hour to get there by car.
There is a wide range of accommodation (from luxury hotels for $100 / room to budget, but clean, dorm rooms for $5 a night, and bed and breakfast accommodations with locals).Since 2006 Ms. Kazakova has been mayor and built a hotel there. Aafter her election she promised to spur an economic revival. She planned a major vacation complex, called Baikal City, and even proposed building a residence for the Russian president.
Her family said she spent more than a million dollars of her own money building a municipal government headquarters for Listvyanka and modernizing utilities and other services. Those figures could not be confirmed independently by the NYT. Still, the revival of the village was widely praised around Siberia by leaders of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s governing party, and residents said the changes were notable.
When the F.S.B. resort, which is also a rehabilitation center, began renovations and expansion, it would not divulge its plans to local officials. It said the work was being done under an “antiterrorism program” and thus had to be kept secret, according to court records.
THE 'SPY' SCANDAL: A DOG THAT COULDN'T BARK
by Gordon Hahn
The present ‘spy’ scandal is a tempest in a teapot that will have no effect on the thaw in U.S.-Russian relations, the balance of power within Russia’s ruling tandem of President Dmitry Medvedev and Premier Vladimir Putin, or the Barack Obama administration’s credibility.
Right Direction, Wrong Speed for Global Economy
Trading this week will start slowly due to the 4th of July holiday in the US and the uncertainty concerning the strength of global economic recovery. Markets traded lower across the Middle East on Sunday, reflecting the global uncertainty and lower oil. That will likely also be the trend for Russian equities and the ruble at the start on Monday morning’ albeit most investors will choose to stay sidelined while watching international market trends.
President urges better cooperation with Asia-Pacific Countries
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has held a meeting in Khabarovsk on the Far East’s socioeconomic development and cooperation with the Asia-Pacific region countries (APEC).
Better human rights for detainees now law
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed the Federal Law On Amending Various Laws of the Russian Federation with Regard to Adopting the Federal Law On Public Supervision over the Observance of Human Rights at Detention Facilities and Assistance to Persons at Detention Facilities.
Comepay prepares for expansion of payment kiosk network
Comepay, whose 200 distinctive red payment terminals are currently installed in 11 Russian Regions is preparing for expansion and in anticipation have selected an IBM System z10 mainframe to run its core business operations. Comepay joins a growing list of companies in growth markets deploying IBM mainframes for the fist time including China Internet Network Information Center, Korea's BC Card and Dongbu Insurance and The First National Bank of Namibia.
AGM approves all X5 plans
Russia's largest retailer in terms of sales, X5 Retail Group, has announced that all the resolutions proposed at the Annual General Meeting of shareholders held on 25 June 2010 were approved by the shareholders / holders of global depository receipts.
Russia: A Bumpy Recovery
Amid heightened global uncertainties, Russia is experiencing a bumpy recovery, The World Bank Economic team for Russia headed by Zeljko Bogetic the World Bank’s Chief Economist for Russia has said in the introduction to its latest Economic Report on Russia. Domestic demand is rising, but unemployment remains high, and credit and investment remain limited, the report says.
Domodedovo flight schedules increase
Reflecting the summer tourist season a number of airlines have increased their schedules to Domodeovo Airport in Moscow.
TAP Portugal increased its frequency on the Lisbon-Moscow route to six times a week. The airline launched flights to Russia through Domodevo a year ago and has carried about 43 thousand passengers to date.