Russia 110419 Basic Political Developments

NY Times Moscow reporters get Pulitzer

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NY Times Moscow reporters get Pulitzer
RT News line, April 19

Clifford J. Levy and Ellen Barry, Moscow-based reporters for the New York Times, have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for their commentary on the Russian justice system. The Pulitzer board gave them the award in the category of international reporting and noted that their covering of judicial problems in Russia “remarkably influenced the discussion inside the country.” The most prestigious award, the coveted public service, was given to the Los Angeles Times for their article on corruption in California. The Pulitzer Prize is one of the most prestigious awards in journalism and literature. It was started in 1917 by Joseph Pulitzer and is now administered by Columbia University.

Ukrainian Nationalists Picket Russian Embassy In Kyiv

Ukrainian nationalists submit a petition to the Russian Embassy in Kyiv demanding more rights for ethnic Ukrainians living in Russia.

April 19, 2011

KYIV, April 19, 2011 -- Some 50 Ukrainian nationalists have picketed the Russian Embassy in Kyiv to demand that the rights of ethnic Ukrainians in Russia be respected, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

The organizers of the rally on April 18 say the Ukrainian minority in Russia is deprived of the right to education in the Ukrainian language, but in Ukraine ethnic Russian children can attend Russian-language schools.

The picketers held placards saying such things as "We Shall Not Give Our Sovereignty to the Kremlin!" "Down with Russian Imperialism!" and "Moscow, Repent!"

The protesters also displayed the banners of the Ukrainian National-Patriotic Liberty movement, the People's Movement of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Nationalists' Congress, and the Ukrainian flag.

Nobody came out of the Russian Embassy to talk to the protesters, who managed to give their petition to the security officers to pass on to embassy officials.

Activists from the Ukrainian National-Patriotic Liberty movement told journalists that they will picket the Russian Consulate in the Black Sea port of Odesa today. The protest actions are part of a so-called "Week of Solidarity with Ukrainians in the Russian Federation."

Tajik-Russian border guard pact expected

Staff Report


DUSHANBE – Tajikistan and Russia have completed work on a draft agreement governing the presence of Russian border guard advisers and will sign the treaty soon, Tajik Deputy Foreign Minister Nizomiddin Zokhidov said April 18. The present agreement expires this year.

Tajikistan has guarded its borders on its own since 2005, with Russia basing advisers in Dushanbe.

Uzbekistan is not hindering passage of Tajik-bound freight through its territory at this time, Zokhidov added. In past months Tajikistan complained that Uzbekistan delayed Tajikistan-bound freight to block construction of the Rogun hydroelectric dam.

Russia lifts warning against travel to Japan over disaster
Monday, April 18, 2011 10:36 PM

MOSCOW, Apr. 18, 2011 (Kyodo News International) -- Russia on Monday lifted its advisory against travel to Japan issued after the March 11 earthquake and ensuing nuclear crisis in the country, but urged its nationals to continue refraining from visiting disaster-hit areas in Japan.

The Foreign Ministry cited the gradually normalizing situation in Japan, the release of a road map for bringing the nuclear crisis at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant under control and normal levels of radiation in Tokyo.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued the advisory not to visit Japan a day after the massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami hit northeastern Japan.

The head of Russia's Federal Medical-Biological Agency Vladimir Uiba then visited Japan with other nuclear experts to survey the impacts of the nuclear accident.

On Friday in Tokyo, Uiba said he would recommend that the Foreign Ministry lift its advisory against travel to Japan as his team did not find abnormal levels of radiation during its trip.

He said no problems were detected among either officials at the Russian Embassy in Tokyo or Russians who were checked after returning from Japan following the start of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

But Uiba said he would recommend that the ministry continue advising Russian nationals to stay out of the 30-kilometer zone around the Fukushima facilities, where local residents have been ordered to evacuate or stay indoors.


Radioactive cars from Japan found at Nakhodka Port


Radiation levels normal in Russia's Far East

AEM deal with UAE's Dodsal for India factory
April 18, 2011
Vladimir Dzaguto, Kommersant

In a first of sorts, Russia’s Atomenergomash (AEM) strikes a deal with UAE's Dodsal Group to create a manufacturing unit in India in 2013 at a cost of $150 million.

Russia’s Atomenergomash (AEM), a heavy equipment engineering company that specializes in nuclear and conventional energy, plans to create a manufacturing unit in India in 2013. Its partner in this venture will be the Dodsal Group, a multinational based in the United Arab Emirates. This is the first project of its kind for Russian producers of energy equipment. AEM, a division of the state atomic energy concern Rosatom, may consequently count on having the status of an Indian producer. This in turn will allow it to increase its share in contracts to build nuclear power stations in India. India has made a high degree of localization a requirement.

Atomenergomash may become the first Russian company to export the production of power equipment abroad. On April 13 AEM confirmed that it would be ready by 2013 to create in India a manufacturing unit to produce nuclear power equipment for nuclear power stations, thermal energy and the oil-and-gas industry. Its partner in this enterprise will be the diversified multinational Dodsal Group. Investment in the project has been estimated at $150 million.

The Dodsal Group is involved in engineering power stations, extracting gas and oil, and building turbodrives. Although Dodsal is headquartered in Dubai, the new joint venture will be based in India and do most of its work there. In March Dodsal acquired the Chennai-based company AE&E I.D.E.A., which specializes in power engineering.

Joint projects by Russian and foreign companies in the field of power machinery construction have recently become a widespread practice. But in most cases they involve the creation in Russia of factories where the technology of the foreign partner is used. AEM already has a project of this kind with TVEA (a producer of power-supply equipment); future cooperation with this Chinese company may include the production of transformers in Russia. Moreover, at the end of March, AEM announced a partnership with the British division of the Korean Doosan Group, which makes equipment for thermal energy (this would be limited to deliveries of manufactured articles to Russia). In 2007 AEM created a joint enterprise with the French concern Alstom to produce low-speed turbines and generators for nuclear power stations. Similar projects exist elsewhere. FSK and Hyundai Heavy Industries, for example, have plans to build a factory to manufacture energy-supply equipment in Primorye. Inter RAO EES and Rostekhnologia have a project with General Electric to localize the production of gas turbines. In 2009 the MRSK holding made plans to create a joint enterprise with Shanghai Kirtun to create power-supply equipment.

But all these projects are primarily oriented toward the Russian market and the modernization of domestic power engineering. The aim of their AEM-Dodsal venture is to deliver equipment to India. Vladimir Kashchenko, AEM’s Chief Executive Officer, considers that “the holding’s scientific-industrial base allows it to compete in leading power-equipment markets, such as India.” As early as last year Mr. Kashchenko announced plans to enter the Indian market, but then it was a question of buying equipment-manufacturing assets. Later he explained that he had in mind the localization of nuclear-power-equipment manufacturing, and added that India “is very interesting for the development of coal generation.”

The localization of production in India may allow the joint AEM-Dodsal venture to be considered a local manufacturer and to lay claim to part of the orders for building Russian-designed nuclear power plants. Rosatom is currently completing construction of the first two reactors at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, and has agreed to build two more. Meanwhile, the overall portfolio of Indian orders for Rosatom-built reactors may add up to as many as 18. At the same time, according to the contract, at Kudankulam Russian enterprises will receive up to 50% of the of the total volume of work, while 30% will go to local companies.

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