The Kremlin property department, which was put under the management of Vladimir Kozhin following Pavel Borodin’s removal early last year, has continued to extend its purview. It and the Russian Foreign Ministry have been given the sole right to manage Russian state property abroad–which Borodin once said was worth $50 billion but another estimate put at US$250 billion–and Kozhin said last year that his department would end up managing 60 percent of that property (Obshchaya Gazeta, November 16, 2000; see also the Monitor, October 20, 2000). The Kremlin also has embarked on a US$160 million project to build a hotel and gem-auction complex on Red Square, where precious stones from the state depository Goskhran will be sold. Kozhin held a conference last month to try and attract foreign investors for the project (Russian agencies, April 15).
In March, Kozhin went to St. Petersburg to ask local businessmen to help finance the reconstruction of the Konstantinov Palace, just south of St. Petersburg, which was built in 18th century and is set to become President Vladimir Putin’s state residence in St. Petersburg. The renovations, which are slated for completion by 2003, will cost US$170 million. Kozhin’s department hopes to raise the money through private donations to a presidential charity fund (Moscow Times, March 19).
KYIV PONDERS SIGNIFICANCE OF CHERNOMYRDIN’S APPOINTMENT.