Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 155

Protests have greeted Sergei Glazyev’s allegation, made in a televised press conference on August 20, that supporters of Russia’s production-sharing law are in the pay of transnational corporations. Glazyev was addressing his first press conference in his capacity as head of the economic security directorate of the Russian Security Council. Aleksei Melnikov, the Duma deputy and member of the Yabloko party who drafted the original version of the law, is threatening to take Glazyev to court over the accusation. (RTR, August 20; Interfax, August 21)

Glazyev’s prediction that the list of natural resource deposits in the exploitation of which foreign investors will be allowed to participate will also have provoked dismay among potential foreign investors. The law on production sharing — which aims to encourage confidence on the part of foreign investors — was adopted in December 1995. It has not yet come fully into force since legislation specifying the oilfields, goldfields and other natural-resource locations at which foreign investors may get concessions has not yet been approved by the Duma. In July, the Duma rejected a list of 250 locations proposed by the government. Last month there were reports that the government was going to reduce the list of locations to about sixty sites. (Interfax, July 25 and August 1; Financial Times, July 30; Izvestiya, August 13) But Glazyev predicted on August 20 that the list will be still further reduced; he said that, when the Duma reassembles after its summer break in October, it will approve only ten to fifteen sites. Had the Duma approved the government’s original list of 250 sites, Glazyev went on, deposits worth millions of dollars with would already be in the hands of "dubious companies consisting of three or four people and registered somewhere in the Bahamas." Glazyev said that from now on the Security Council would examine all economic decisions to ensure they did not harm national security. He hinted that steps would be taken to reverse some contracts already signed under the production sharing law and, for good measure, described last year’s "shares-for-loans auctions" as "yet another example of the lobbying power of private interests."

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