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The latest news and stories from Russia. Stay tuned for updates and breaking news on defense, politics, economy and more.

Digest of the Russian press, October 25

(RIA Novosti does not bear any responsibility for the articles published in the Russian papers)



- What can be expected from Lech Kaczynski? What will the new Polish leader's foreign policy be? How will relations with America and the European Union change? Experts comment on the issue.

- Jean-Martin Folz, president of carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen says that the time has not yet come for production in Russia, as customs regulation stimulates imports.

- Alfa Group, a Russian financial and industrial conglomerate, has been given permission to buy a major stake in Turkey's biggest cell operator Turkcell for $3.3 billion. History, though, shows that Russian businessmen do not have a good record in the country.



- Members of the Moscow city legislature have considered a security plan for the city for 2006-2010. Under the document, 64 billion rubles ($2.2 billion) will be spent on this purpose in the next five years, city security head Nikolai Kulikov tells the paper.

- No surprises are in store for the Russian automotive industry when the country joins the World Trade Organization. Import duties on new foreign cars will eventually fall from 25% to 15%, and the other negative points for the industry have already happened.



- The Russian government has decided against sending back the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade's mid-term economic program for revision. According to the paper, this program did not include any measures to cut VAT from 18% to 13% as ordered by Prime Minster Mikhail Fradkov, but ministers will solve the issue together.

- Russia is in for a gasoline crisis. By 2010, the country will have to import high-octane gasoline, as the nation's plants will be unable to keep up with growing demand. Prices will hit European levels, but most oil companies are in no hurry to reconstruct current or build new refineries because it takes about seven years.

- Leonid Fedum, the vice-president of Russia's largest private crude producer, LUKoil, tells the paper in an interview that refineries in the country are working at the limit.

- Gigory Sergiyenko, the executive director of the Russian Fuel Union, says that modernizing the refineries will cost $30 billion.

- The privatization of telecommunications giant Svyazinvest has been put off again. The Kremlin wants to ensure that the military and law-enforcement agencies have constant servicing from Svyazinvest operators before putting a major stake up for auction. And that means the process could go on for years.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta


- Belarusians have been promised an economic miracle in six months. President Alexander Lukashenko has said that he is prepared not to run in the 2006 presidential election if this is what the people want. "I won't withdraw my candidacy myself. You should say: 'Lukashenko - enough is enough!'" he told the residents of a small town recently. They were also promised wages of $500, the cancellation of a number of taxes and GDP growth by 1.5 times. How could you let a president like that go?

Rossiiskaya Gazeta


- Energy and Industry Minister Viktor Khristenko on the future of the Russian automotive and aviation industries.

- Students who traditionally have studied for free are being forced to take up their studies on a fee-paying basis.

- The new president of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, will be a difficult leader for both the European Union and Russia. He is a politician from the past with ideas that were popular in Europe a hundred years ago. Commentary.

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