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Mineral extraction tax will grow four-fold for independent producers.
The RF Finance Ministry has disclosed proposals on increasing the tax burden on natural gas companies that have been submitted to the government for consideration. The mineral extraction tax rate for Gazprom by 2015 will be doubled, exceeding 1,000 roubles per 1,000 cubic metres of gas. The tax will also be increased for independent producers. The mineral extraction tax rate for them by 2015 will almost equal Gazprom's, although currently their tax is two times lower than for the natural gas monopoly. Analysts are certain that it is “a bad move” that can result in the production decline and problems with the development of new fields.
Resignations Of Governors Run Ahead Of Elections
Heads of the Perm Territory and the Yaroslavl Region have resigned.
Dmitry Medvedev continues the rotation of the governor corps. Acting governors have been appointed in two regions at a time – in the Perm Territory and the Yaroslavl Region, instead of Oleg Chirkunov and Sergei Vakhrukov who have voluntarily stepped down.
Regional Development Minister Viktor Basargin who has been relieved of his ministerial duties has been sent to the Perm Territory, and vice governor Sergei Yastrebov will be acting head of the Yaroslavl Region.
Both regions have hoped that the future governors will be elected in accordance with the new law. The RF president has the possibility to do so: according to the norms currently in effect, an acting regional head can hold the office during a year. However, Secretary of the Presidium of the General Council of the United Russia party Sergei Neverov told Kommersant on Tuesday that “consultations on the selection of candidates” for governors in the Yaroslavl Region and the Perm Territory where United Russia members have the majority in the legislative assemblies, have already been started. Mr Neverov promised that the party would submit its proposals to the president on May 3 or 4.
Internet Gives Russia Freedom
The international human rights organisation Freedom House on Tuesday published a regular annual report devoted to freedom of speech in the world. In the opinion of its experts, the traditional media are being ousted by social networks, the number of users of which is permanently growing, so the situation regarding freedom of access to information in 2011 for the first time did not worsen for the past eight years. Moreover, Russia added one point in the rating rising to the 172th place. Azerbaijan and Zimbabwe have the same rating.
No Way To Britain With Russian Democracy
The UK Foreign Office has published its 2011 Human Rights and Democracy Report. Its separate chapter is devoted to Russia, which “continues to be of concern” for London. Having criticised the Russian Federation for continuing violations of human rights, the British Foreign Office expressed doubt that the recent RF parliamentary and presidential elections were free and fair. Proceeding from this, London intends to increase the funding for the support of democracy in Russia and introduce a ban on entry to the UK for those who violate human rights.