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Monthly Average World Prices in February of Corresponding Year 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Oil (Brent), USD/ barrel 17.3 21.4 15.0 10.8 26.9 27.2 20.3 32.1 30.9 44.Natural gas, USD/1 mln BTU - 2.204 1.994 2.036 2.828 5.642 2.260 6.367 5.407 6.Gasoline, USD/gallon 0.539 0.652 0.508 0.524 0.934 0.882 0.616 1.045 1.045 1.Copper, USD/t 2552.9 2392.0 1673.3 1414.8 1779.1 1811.4 1601.5 1705.9 2759.0 Aluminum, USD/t 1597.8 1567.7 1479 1188.1 1584.2 1602.1 1370.8 1428.04 1685.6 Nickel, USD/t 8091.5 7670.8 5462.2 4629.4 10269.6 6544.6 6042.7 8619.64 15178.3 Source: calculated according to the data of London Metal Exchange (Great Britain, London), International Petroleum Exchange (London) The volume of import in the RF of non-CIS countries was, in February 2005, USD 6.6 bn, which by 20,9% greater than in January this year and by27,2% greater than in February 2004. Rise in imports was basically concerned with increase of the volumes of imports.

As before, strengthening the ruble exerts stimulating effect on the growth of Russian imports. According to the Bank of Russia, in February compared with previous month, the ruble strengthened by 0,5% in real terms against the US dollar, against euro by 2,6%. As compared to December 2004, in February 2005 the real ruble to dollar strengthening made 2,8%, to euro 6,3%. In February 2005 vs January, the real effective ruble rate to currencies of the countries major trade partners of the Russian Federation raised by 1,3%, versus December 2004 - by 3,8%.

In January-February 2005 compared with relevant period of 2004, car imports considerably increased - to 82, 1 thousand units for a total of USD 822. 9 million, which exceeds similar indicator of 2004 by 93%. From non-CIS countries it had been imported into Russia as many as 73, 6 thousand cars to the amount of USD 773. 3 million, from CIS countries - 8,5 thousand cars amounted to USD 49,6 million.

The sales of Russian cars in January-February 2005, as compared to January-February of previous year decreased by 8%. The Russian automakers, producing foreign models, on the contrary, increased the sales of their made cars. "Autotor" (Kia, BMW, Chevrolet and Hummer) sold for this period by 66,6% cars more, All-Volzhsky Ford - by 17,1% more.

Therefore, the growth of customs barriers, with the help of which the Russian government tried to protect the home car producers are defeated by growth of the effective demand of population. In these conditions it is necessary to stimulate the development of domestic production, attracting, thereby, investments in this sphere.

Since April 15, 2004, the Decree of the RF Government of March 29, 2005 No.166 On Introducing Changes in the Customs Tariff of the Russian Federation with Regard to Car Components Imported for industrial Assembly has come into force. Under this Decree, the customs dues are considerably reduced for importation of car components for making industrial assembly of foreign cars on the territory of the RF. Import duties rates for glasses, mirrors, carpets, finishing work elements, other unsophisticated details and electronics are reduced to 3-5% from 12-15%, being in effect earlier. Duties are cancelled for engines, parts of automotive bodies that are designed for subsequent welding, braking systems, mufflers and parts of steering. New import customs duties rates have been introduced for a period of 9 months.

At the same time, the import duty for car components produced in Russia, such as, for example, automobile tires, continues to be in effect.

In addition to Decree No.166 an Order had been issued of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Ministry of Industry and Energy, and the Ministry of Finance of the RF, regulating the notion industrial assembly of cars and procedures of application of customs duties in importation car components to the RF for production of transport means, their units and assemblies.

According this order, the notion industrial assembly is defined by the following three criteria.

First - the period, for which a cycle of welding, painting and assembly of the car body is established. It takes 18 months for the production in service and 30 months for newly organized production. The second criterion capacity of the organized production. It should be no less than 25 thou. cars a year in double-shifting. The third are the dates and volumes of imported components according to the list specified in the investment agreement, which must be reduced in 24 months after launching the cycle of assembly/welding/painting by 10%, each 42 months again by 10%, and in 54 months another 10% (that is, a total 30% for ten years).

Creation of a new customs regime for importation of component parts for assembly of cars in Russia is another method of attraction potential investors. Russian enterprises will also use such a regime, as the conditions will be equal for both Russian and foreign investors.

At present, cars such as Renault, Ford, BMW, and KIA are being produced in Russia. yota, Volkswagen, and Daimler Chrysler also plan to assembly cars in the RF.

Since April 24, 2005 record high rates of export customs duties for oil products have been introduced in Russia. The export duty rate for light and middle oil distillates, gas oil, benzene, toluene, xylene, oils, propane, butanes, ethylene, propylene, butylene, butadiene, other liquefied gases, and also for oil coke, oil bitumen and other residues of oil refining now equals to USD 81.4 per ton. Before April 24, the customs duty for listed oil products was USD 68.2 per ton. Export duties for fuel oils (mazut) increased from USD 36.7 to USD 43.8 per ton.

N. Volovik Changes in the State Priorities of Scientific and Technological Development A new list of priority directions of scientific-technical development, being discussed nowadays, is analyzed in the review, and also one of the instruments of implementation of the government priority policies a system of state research centers. It is shown that offered innovations do not strengthen the government selective policy in scientific-technical sphere.

It is suggested to coordinate approaches to changing the system of state research centers with reforming the state sector of science as a whole.

Early in 2005 considerable changes took place in the system of support of state research centers (SRC) existing from 1993. In 2004, SRC again received prolongation of their status for two years, while funds for financing under SRC support program were make available only for a year. Starting from 2005 the Federal Target Scientific-and-Technological Programme (FTSTP) "Research and Development in Priority Trends of Development of Science and Technology had been changed, SRC sub-program was crossed off it28. Now SRC will participate on a common basis in contests announced by the Ministry for Education and Science. The thing that happened can be explained by transition to competitive financing of papers, and SRC had always been supported as organizations. As the period of survival of research organizations is over, the need for such an institutional support, as officials believe, exists no longer.

At present there are 58 state research centers in the country employing 80 thousand. As a rule, such a status was granted to institutions with the unique and large experimental base. In addition, SRC performed activities throughout the whole innovation cycle, starting from researches to finish the pilot production, and, in essence, the subjects of research overlapped the whole spectrum of priority directions of development of science and technology (Table 1).

Organizations granted a SRC status developed differently, and part of them really became leaders in relevant industries, while others survived only thanks to the special government support. An analysis of SRC system made according to the results of a number of attestations, showed that all SRC(s) may be subdivided into two unequal clusters most successfully developed organizations (about 30% of all SRC) and other, which performance is much lower. A number of SRC successfully existed due to such Resolution of the RF Government On Introducing Changes in the Federal Target Scientific-andTechnological Programme "Research and Development in Priority Trends of Development of Science and Technology for 2002-2006, No.540 of 12.10.2004.

internal reserves as leasing of buildings. This was possible till 2002, following which SRC were deprived of the benefit to control revenues from leasing. Despite the fact that the dynamics and indicators of Centers development were different, government financing was always distributed among the centers in the same proportion as was initially set in 1993. There was not re-assignment of funds in favor of more efficiently working organizations.

Table Directions of scientific and scientific-technical activity of SRC and their correspondence to priority fields of civil scientific technical programs (STP) SRC lines of activity* STP priority fields** Number of SRC working in the priority field Machine-building, automotive industry New transport technologies Shipbuilding, navigation and acoustics Biotechnologies, virology Medicobiologic problems Living system technologies Plant selection Chemistry and novel materials Novel materials and chemical technologies Informatics and instrument making, robotics Metallurgy Production technologies Construction Oceanology, meteorology, water supply and Ecology and environment hydrogeology conservation Opto- and photoelectronics Information telecommunication technologies and electronics Nuclear physics and nuclear-power Energy-saving technologies engineering Electrical engineering, power engineering Intersectoral basic research - Total * - According to SRC classification ** - according to the list of priority trends of development of science, technologies and engineering of the Russian Federation, approved by the President of the Russian Federation of March 30, 2002, Pr-577.

For the majority of Centers, the share of government financing, allocated according to SRC support program amounts 5-10% of the total R&D budget. There are SRC (predominantly in aircraft industry) though, where funds for FTSTP make 80% of the budget. Besides additional budgetary financing, SRC are granted benefits for property and land, which have even greater significance than direct financing. In this way, in 2003 tax benefits made possible for SRC to save about Rb 3 bn, while in the same year it had been allocated only Rb 1 bn according to SRC support program.It is characteristic that according to references of the managers of many SRC, it is just status that is important for them today (with related tax benefits), and not additional budgetary financing. SRC status is considered by institutions as a mark of most successful organization, and its availability facilitates establishing international and domestic contacts and receiving orders and contracts.

Nonetheless, closing of financing under SRC sub-program evoked wide response among the centers, and trade union leaders are going to initiate mass protest actions of scientists in the event the financing of started works is not regained30. The question is Rb 1.21 bn of budgetary funds.

Despite closing financing of the Centers, the Ministry of Education and Science offered to add the existing definition of SRC status with provisions, increasing the number of functions vested to Centers, and their responsibility. In particular, it is suggested that SRC will provide enhancing competitiveness of the economy, quality of life of citizens, defense capacity and security of the Russian Federation.

Mazurenko S. We have knowledge. We need to turn them into money // Izvestia, 01.04.2005, p.16.

See, for exanple, S.Petukhov. Costs of scientific researches // Kommersant, 18.03.2005, N.Vladimirova.

Propavshaya tselevaya // Poisk, No.7, 18.02.2005, p.4.

The state of SRC system may be affected by another factor introducing a new list SP priority trends, which is currently being agreed.

As it follows from comparison of the old and new lists of priorities (Table 2), they to a great extent are overlapped, and one would think that, in fact, nothing is changed from introducing a new list of priorities. But this is not quite so.

From the point of view of the new list of priorities, the SRC structure looks outdated, as practically one third o SRC is engaged in problems within the frame of production and new transport technologies, which are excluded from the new list of priorities. In compliance with the new structure of priorities the Federal Target Scientific-and-Technological Programme "Research and Development in Priority Trends of Development of Science and Technology for 2005-2006 must be revised. If a new list of priority trends will not be merely a new letter of intentions, the entire SRC system is really to be revised.

Table List of STP priority trends Current list List submitted for consideration of the RF Government Security Council Information telecommunication technologies and Information telecommunication technologies electronics Novel materials and chemical technologies Nanosystems and materials industry Living system technologies Living systems Ecology and environment conservation Environment conservation Energy-saving technologies Power engineering and energy-saving Advanced armaments, military and special technology Advanced armaments, military and special technology New transport technologies - Production technologies - Space and aircraft technology - - Security and counterterrorism It is to be noted that the structure of suggested priority trends itself looks unbalanced. Compared to previous priority trends, the new one has a radically new priority called Security and counterterrorism. It comes under notice that it is not in line with the general logic of forming a priority list. If other priority trends are formulated in the terms of wide subject area, the above priority is a concrete task. Providing security and suppression of acts of terrorism is solved within the frame of other priorities, including biological sphere, development of novel materials, information technologies. If the list of priorities is formulated as specific tasks, the priority Living systems should be replaced by such as Tuberculosis control etc., that is a task must be formulated solved with the use of different science disciplines and specializations. No doubt in selection of priorities there are different approaches, but it is important that a list to be formed looked uniform.

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