The Davos economic forum's two-day special session dedicated to Russia will open in Moscow's Marriot Grand Hotel this Monday. The decision to stage a second Russian Davos after the first one in 1998 was made at the economic forum's European session in Salzburg last July. Russia will be represented by Vice-Premier Alexei Kudrin, Minister for Economic Development and Trade Herman Gref, Energy Minister Igor Yusufov, MPs, economists and entrepreneurs. About 70 executives of leading Western industrial corporations and banks, and international financial institutions are to attend, with statements expected from World Bank Vice-President Johannes Lynn, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Jean Lemierre and World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab. In all, about 350 participants have been registered. The conferees are to focus on new trends, future reforms and prospects to affect the business environment in Russia, according to Tierri Mallere, one of the organizers of the Moscow session. He noted that this event is meant to attract investors on revealing that the situation has largely improved over the past several months. This is evident for those who stay in Russia, but is not so for those who live outside its confines, he said. Besides, the forum ought to determine steps for furthering economic progress in Russia, continued Mallere. Among these steps are reforms in the customs service, taxation and corporate management as well as moves toward WTO membership. The latter can be a point of heated discrepancy since certain Russian industrialists and politicians reject Russia's early WTO joining as damageable to the national economy. This session is reported to deal more than ever with security questions. The forum's director Masha Levinson has confirmed that the session will not ignore the tragic events of September 11 in the USA. Federal Security Service and interior forces are to be on their alert, which is connected not only with threats from terrorists but also the expected action by anti-globalization champions as well. The forum organizers are assuring that the situation in the Russian capital is under control. But there is evidence that anti-globalists under the mask of tourists have been arriving in Moscow from the USA and some European countries over the past fortnight - their number ranging from two hundred to several thousands of people, who, apart from quite harmless environmentalists, may include inveterate extremists. They are to go hand-in-glove with Russian radicals. In a RIA Novosti interview, National Bolshevik Party leader Anatoly Tishin has confirmed the intention "to be active" in anti-Davos riots, "if", he reserved, "there is such an opportunity." Tishin blamed his lack of resolve on "the number and manners" of Russian law-enforcement bodies, noting that "anti-globalists have a better life in Europe." In his opinion, all will depend on "whether it will be possible to gather a critical mass of people in one place."
Incidents of confrontation between Ukrainian and Polish units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have become more frequent during the recent weeks