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Before leaving the presidential post Medvedev will award many state officials with the orders, the Vedomosti daily reported. This is a sign of gratitude, a good bonus to the pension and a lenient verdict of the court just in case.
About 20 employees of the presidential staff, members of the government and governors will be awarded under the presidential decrees, two Kremlin officials told the Vedomosti daily. The official awarding ceremony will be held on May 3. In particular, two deputy heads of the presidential staff Vyacheslav Volodin and Alexander Beglov, as well as presidential aide Alexander Abramov will be awarded with the Third Degree Order of Merit to the Fatherland. Presidential spokesperson Natalia Timakova and head of the Domestic Policy Directorate Konstantin Kostin will be awarded with the Fourth Degree Order of Merit to the Fatherland. The president will also award the former first deputy head of the presidential staff and Deputy Prime Minister, Vladislav Surkov, with the Order of Honour. The presidential press service did not comment on this news report.
Massive Gazprom revenues will be taken in favour of the state budget
The Russian government intends to increase radically the tax burden on the gas industry. Starting from 2013 Gazprom and independent gas producers can take in taxes 80% of revenues from the growth of Russian domestic prices on raw materials.
The Finance Ministry proposed to take 80% of revenues from the growth of the domestic prices from the gas producers, the Ministry of Economic Development offered up to 100%. Gazprom opposed such growth of a tax burden, assuring that the funds are needed for it for a large-scale investment program that is 700-900 billion roubles for the period from 2012 to 2030.
Indirect gubernatorial elections
The final variant of gubernatorial elections, which the State Duma approved recently, turns direct gubernatorial elections in a multi-stage procedure with unequal opportunities for the candidates. The Kremlin and the deputies complicated the elections with filters and obstacles. In particular, the law empowers the regional legislative assemblies to decide on the access of self-nominees to the elections. The candidates for the post of the Moscow mayor should gain the votes of at least three fourths of deputies in the municipal assemblies. Meanwhile, the authorities in Moscow and St. Petersburg can “set additional requirements in support of a candidate” at the local level. One can only guess what these requirements will be like. The self-nominees permitted to run in the elections should collect signatures of not only the deputies, but also residents of the region.