News From Russia: December 12th, 2008!

RBC, 12.12.2008, Moscow 15:51:03.The Russian Constitution must be a directly applicable law, President Dmitry Medvedev told a conference marking the 15th anniversary of the Russian Constitution. “The most important recent achievement is that any amendments to the Constitution and other laws must be made according to the rules that we have established for ourselves,” the president said. He called the Constitution “the indisputable backbone of the Russian legal system.”

RBC, 12.12.2008, Moscow 15:19:30.According to the truck maker’s General Director Sergei Kogogin, KAMAZ believes that it would be economically senseless to suspend production. He noted that the company had received orders for trucks that are not available at the warehouse. For instance, KAMAZ has orders for 1,800 trucks for December, of which it planned to produce 1,000 trucks and take the remaining 800 from the warehouse.

RBC, 12.12.2008, Moscow 13:59:10.Moscow needs a financial development plan until 2025, the Russian capital’s First Deputy Mayor Yury Roslyak told an international conference today. According to him, a financial plan like this will help project further development for the city’s social, tax, and other spheres, as well as city infrastructure. Roslyak added that the document would help determine when the standard of living in Moscow will reach the same level as any average European country, and pointed out that the plan would play an especially important role amid the financial crisis.

RBC, 12.12.2008, Moscow 13:45:48.The German automotive giant Daimler will get one seat on the Russian truck maker KAMAZ’s Board of Directors, the companies reported.

RBC, 12.12.2008, Moscow 13:34:44.Gazprom and Japan’s Economy, Trade, and Industry Ministry plan to build natural gas processing and chemical facilities at the Sobinsk oil and gas condensate field in the Krasnoyarsk region, the Russian gas monopoly’s press office reported today. The move to allow the project’s joint feasibility study was approved during a meeting of the coordination committee of Gazprom and the Japanese Natural Resource and Energy Agency. The study will be carried out while taking into account a preliminary study held by Japanese companies based on Gazprom’s original data. The parties have signed relevant agreements.

RBC, 12.12.2008, Togliatti 11:50:06.AVTOVAZ plans to float five commercial paper issues worth a total of RUB 5bn (approx. USD 179m), or RUB 1bn (approx. USD 35.8m) each, the Russian car producer said in a statement today. The decision to place the commercial paper was approved by AVTOVAZ’s board of directors. Each issue will consist of 1m securities worth RUB 1,000 (approx. USD 35.8) each, maturing on the 364th day from the beginning of the placement.

RBC, 12.12.2008, Moscow 11:08:17.Russia may reduce oil production to provide support for oil prices, President Dmitry Medvedev said during a meeting on the social and economic development of the Urals Federal District in Kurgan, one of the oldest cities in Siberia. He also did not rule out the possibility of Russia joining OPEC, or other organizations of oil exporters that might be established in the future. Medvedev noted that Russia was ready to coordinate its oil and gas supply policies with other hydrocarbon exporters, including OPEC, adding that representatives of this organization were “rather actively asking Russia” to do so. The president also stressed that it was necessary for the Russian government to consider all possible options, as oil prices directly affected the country’s national interests, its budget, and development. Russia could not be guided by any “abstract criteria” or international organizations’ recommendations while making decisions on such issues, Medvedev stated.

RBC, 11.12.2008, Moscow 18:40:55.Russia and the United States will hold another round of talks over the missile defense issue in Moscow on December 15, the Russian Foreign Ministry told RBC. The meeting is to be attended by U.S. experts and representatives of the U.S. State Department.