The head of Altay territory administration Mr. Surikov comments on the situation, concerning NTV at a press conference in the Altai city of Barnaul:
“I can’t understand by what means he (Kokh) got to Gazprom. I know him since he was a vice chairman of the RF State Committee for State Property Management. Alfred Kokh is the most unfortunate figure for NTV.” According to Mr. Surikov, NTV became a debtor because of the credit, taken in Gazprom during the previous presidential election campaign. Much money was spent to support Boris Yeltsin. “In my opinion, the winner was to pay the expenses, but it has not happened.” Mr Surikov feels sorry for NTV journalists because they “suffered from what they fought for: the journalists followed democratic policy, and democrats, as everyone knows, stand for the protection of proprietor’s rights. And now the proprietor wants to replace the leaders of their company”, amic.ru cites him as saying. Nevertheless, the spokesman is sure that NTV is a channel, impartially reflecting the situation in the state; it is necessary to protect NTV journalists and to keep the freedom of speech.
The Federation Council may gather for the meeting on October 4 to consider new laws on the accession of new territories to Russia after the referenda