Caucasian Press Review (February 29th - March 6th)

Caucasian Press Review (February 29th - March 6th)

South Ossetian soldiers can be treated in medical institutions of the Russian Federation. Sputnik-South Ossetia reports with reference to the chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic, Tamerlan Tsaritov, that the State Duma is considering a draft, introduced by the government on Tuesday, which requires ratification of the Agreement between Russia and South Ossetia to provide medical assistance to servicemen. After the ratification of this agreement, which was signed in Moscow in December 2014, South Ossetian military personnel will be treated in all Russian medical institutions.

According to the chief of the General Staff, this is about the primary health care, including primary medical care and specialized primary care. In each case the treatment will be based on a written request from the leadership of the Defense Ministry of South Ossetia to the commander of the Russian Guards military base stationed on the territory of the republic. The procedure for the provision of high-tech assistance will be determined by separate arrangements or agreements.

"Unfortunately, the healthcare level in South Ossetia is not as high as in Russia. There are not enough specialists here to determine the suitability of a soldier in military service. The medical institutions of South Ossetia also cannot provide patients with high-tech treatment," Tsaritov noted.

The agreement was concluded in order to create the legal framework for the provision of medical assistance to Russian and South Ossetian troops in the military medical establishments of the two countries. According to the explanatory memorandum to the agreement, its implementation will not require additional funding and will be carried out at the expense of the Russian budget allocated by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation for medical support.

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The acting head of the republic Vyacheslav Bitarov gave his first interview to the North Ossetia newspaper. He said that the tasks set by the late head of the North Ossetia, Tamerlan Aguzarov, are not resolved yet. Measures are needed to reduce the budget deficit. Work has already been done by the government of the republic to optimize the cost, in particular in the procurement for government needs. Investment resources will be focused primarily on the implementation of previously launched projects. Priority will be given to promoting the development of small and medium-sized businesses, the establishment of closer cooperation and establishment of normal business contacts between business structures and the banking system for a greater availability of credit for small and medium-sized businesses. Power structures in this case are ready to perform as the conductor and a kind of intermediary between them. Today, the agricultural business requires a huge investment. Many people not only cannot do it, but are afraid to invest in the agriculture. There are programs of state support of small and medium-sized businesses and the Republican leadership can lend a hand to business.

According to Bitarov, the main objective is the fulfillment of social obligations to the population, first of all the timely and full payment of wages to employees of budgetary organizations. Issues of moving people from poor-condition houses and modernization of housing and communal services are also important. The main thing is to improve the quality of people's life. According to him, President Vladimir Putin, taking the decision to appoint his the acting head of the republic, talked with him about it.

Bitarov also mentioned a number of important objects under construction and reconstruction, which are under control of the head of the republic. The center for preventive nutrition this year will reach its full capacity, which means that it will provide meals approximately to 2500 patients in eight medical institutions of Vladikavkaz every day. Another new health facility, which should soon appear in Vladikavkaz is the North-Caucasian Otorhinolaryngology Center. The Palace of Children’s Art and the philharmonic are being repaired by local businessmen. Finally, repair work in the national planetarium started after years of neglect. The opinion of architects and fighters for the preservation of cultural heritage will be considered here, but the main thing is done already – the building was saved from destruction.

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Extraordinary meetings of the National Assembly of Armenia are becoming common: during the eighth session a record number of laws adopted in the extraordinary mode were recorded, the head of the 'Monitoring of the National Assembly 'program, Lusine Vasilian, told the newspaper ‘Voice of Armenia’.

This phenomenon is not new: earlier, about a half of the bills were adopted by deputies out of turn. But this time the number of adopted documents increased fourfold in comparison with regular sessions. In quantitative terms, it is 90 laws out of 112. Vasilian noted that 14 out of 18 agreements ratified by the Parliament were adopted out of turn. And the majority of these agreements are credit, their total amount is more than $500 million.

According to the Orinats Yerkir faction member Hovhannes Margaryan, this is very bad practice. Many of these agreements have been signed much earlier, but the government presents them to the National Assembly for discussion in extraordinary mode. "The deputies did not even have time to read the documents and we are talking about half a million debt, which we are leaving to future generations," the MP complained. The secretary of the ANC faction, Aram Manukyan, described the extraordinary mode practice as a mechanism of operational adoption of 'necessary' laws, agreeing with a colleague about the fact that MPs have no time to study the project, or even to become acquainted with it.

Observers note the record number of bills initiated by the government, which, in their opinion, indicates that the parliamentarians heavily lost ground in legislative terms. Only 7% of the documents adopted by the National Assembly are created by them, the remaining 93% are developed by the executive. At the same time, none of the documents was rejected as a result of the discussions. The projects initiated by the opposition weren't included in the agenda of the National Assembly, or were delayed. In addition, the opposition didn't convene extraordinary meetings during the eighth session. The number of deputies who did not ask a single question during discussions and never addressed the session is floating within the limits of 70 from session to session.

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Abkhazia-Inform reports that the 'yellow season' is at its peak on the Russian-Abkhazian border. Russia imports one of the symbols of International Women’s Day - mimosa from Abkhazia in early spring. This gentle and beautiful flower as a present on March 8th has been carried to all corners of our country.

According to the press service of the Southern Customs Department of the Federal Customs Service of Russia, customs officers at the vehicle border-crossing complex 'Adler' сheck out up to 12,900 kg of fragrant cargo per day. The head of the customs post Denis Voronin told Abkhazia-Inform that Russia applies a free trade regime to Abkhazian products, as with CIS countries. Customs duties on those goods are not collected, only internal taxes are applied. The standards of importation of commercial quantities of goods are not limited quantitatively by the legislation quantitative, the customs value of the commercial shipment is charged atť 18% VAT. A periodic declaration is applied in order to reduce the time of registration of goods, to speed up customs procedures. Participants of foreign economic activity, who regularly transport goods from Abkhazia to Russia, actively use the simplified form of customs declaration. An entrepreneur can import his consignment of goods by parts, paying customs payments and submitting periodic declaration. "This form of the declaration, according to participants of foreign economic activity, is more convenient and significantly reduces the time of the formalities during the border crossing.

The Deputy Head of the State Customs Committee of Abkhazia, Ushangi Kvitsinia, told Sputnik-Abkhazia that about 130 tonnes of mimosa were exported by the end of February. However, the season has not yet ended. This year, mimosa flowers broke into bloom in time. According to him, last year the volume of exports of mimosa was about 162 tons.