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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第5章 法律类 Unit 62

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2019年01月16日

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The website of Telenor,a state-controlled Norwegian telecoms firm,has a special section dedicated to its investments in Russia and its dispute with Alfa Group,its Russian partner.It is a long and unhappy saga filled with headings such as“Geneva arbitration”,“Court abuses” and“Black PR campaigns”.Telenor and Altima,the telecoms arm of Alfa,are shareholders in both VimpelCom of Russia and Kyivstar of Ukraine.In 2004 Altima,which wanted to expand its business in Ukraine further,suggested that VimpelCom buy another Ukrainian telecoms firm.Telenor resisted,saying that the price was too high.Altima accused Telenor of sabotaging its growth. 
For several years the dispute rambled on,with several attempts at arbitration and suits and countersuits in various courts around the world.Then a company called Farimex entered the fray.It is registered in the British Virgin Islands and owns a 0.002% stake in VimpelCom.It complained to a court in Siberia that Telenor(which has no business in Siberia)had obstructed VimpelCom's entry into the Ukrainian market.The Siberian court ordered Telenor to pay compensation of $2.8 billion,a sum that was reduced to $1.7 billion on appeal.When Telenor refused to pay,arguing that it had not exhausted its appeals,another court seized most of Telenor's 30% stake in VimpelCom.On June 19th Russia's bailiffs ordered the auction of the stake to raise the $1.7 billion.In most countries this would be called expropriation. 
Telenor says it believes the Farimex case is connected to its dispute with Alfa Group.It believes that it could reach an agreement with Alfa,provided its troubles with Farimex come to an end.But Mikhail Fridman,the boss of Alfa Group,says it is not affiliated with Farimex in any way,although he supports its complaint.Jens Stoltenberg,Norway's prime minister,has raised the subject of Telenor's dispute with Vladimir Putin,his Russian counterpart,who said the government was impartial.But as Telenor points out,Mr Putin himself has admitted that Russia's courts are unpredictable and are in urgent need of reform. 
The clearest indictment of Russia's investment climate came a few days ago from IKEA,a Swedish retail chain,whose local operation has grown quickly since it opened its first store near Moscow in 2000. On June 23rd IKEA said it was suspending its investment in Russia because of the“unpredictable character of administrative procedures”,a euphemism for graft. 
Among 181 countries surveyed by the World Bank for ease of doing business,Russia occupies 120th place,below Nigeria.Transparency International gives Russia barely two points out of ten—its worst performance in ten years,which puts it on a par with Kenya.Until recently the Kremlin had no need to worry about things like property rights and the rule of law.Its oil wealth ensured an economic boom,no matter how it treated investors.Most of the money that flowed into the country came in the form of loans rather than foreign direct investment.Now the loans have dried up.The Russian economy is forecast to contract by 8.5% this year,and it still blames the global economic crisis for its misfortunes.A closer look at IKEA and Telenor,as well as many of Russia's own companies,suggests the truth is more complicated. 
注(1):本文选自Economist; 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象:第1、2、3、5、4题分别模仿1997年真题Text 1第1、2、3、5题和Text 3 第2题。 
1.From the first two paragraphs we can learn that ______. 
A) this article will focus on how Telenor fights against Alfa Group 
B) this article will describe how Telenor finishes the saga on its website 
C) the dispute between Telenor and Alfa causes severe legal problems 
D) the story of Telenor and Alfa is used to introduce the main topic 
2.The author added“which has no business in Siberia”(Line 4,Paragraph 2)to indicate that ______. 
A) Telenor was not interested in developing business in Siberia 
B) it was ridiculous for Farimex to sue Telenor in Siberia 
C) the Siberian court failed to make an impartial judgment 
D) Telenor went to the appeal court because it was not satisfied with the Siberian court 
3.Telenor and IKEA will probably agree that ______. 
A) Russia should adjust its attitude toward cooperating with foreign companies 
B) the Russian legal system is in need of much improvement 
C) administrative procedures should be simplified in Russia 
D) Russia should emphasize more on property rights 
4.The word“euphemism”(Line 4,Paragraph 4)most probably means ______. 
A) indirect expression 
B) substitution 
C) secret word 
D) password 
5.The author's attitude towards Russia's investment climate seems to be ______. 
A) positive 
B) suspicious 
C) negative 
D) indifferent 

挪威国有电信公司Telenor的网站上有一个专栏,专门讨论该公司在俄罗斯的投资情况以及与俄罗斯合作伙伴Alfa集团之间的争端。这就像是一个没完没了且不愉快的长篇故事,充满了诸如“日内瓦仲裁”、“法庭滥用权力”、“黑色公关活动”等文章标题。Telenor和Alfa的电信子公司Altima都拥有俄罗斯VimpelCom公司和乌克兰Kyivstar公司的股份。2004年,Altima希望在乌克兰进一步拓展业务,因而建议VimpelCom公司收购乌克兰的另一家电信公司。但Telenor却反对这次收购,原因是收购价格太高。于是Altima就控告 Telenor蓄意阻挠其发展。 
接下来的几年里,围绕这一问题的争端持续不断,一次又一次地申请仲裁、一次又一次地在世界各地的法院提起诉讼和反诉讼。此后,一家名为Farimex的公司也加入了这场纷争。Farimex是一家在英国维京群岛注册的公司,拥有VimpelCom 0.002%的股份。它向西伯利亚的法院起诉Telenor(Telenor在西伯利亚并没有业务)阻碍VimpelCom进入乌克兰市场。西伯利亚法庭下令Telenor支付28亿美元赔偿金,经上诉后赔偿金额降低到了17亿美元。就在Telenor拒绝支付赔偿,声称它还有权继续上诉时,另一家法院没收了Telenor 在VimpelCom30%股份的大部分。6月19日,俄罗斯法院执行官下令拍卖这些股份,以筹集17亿美元赔偿金。在大多数国家,这一举动被称为充公。 
Telenor表示,它相信Farimex案与它和Alfa集团的争端有关。Telenor还相信,如果公司解决了与Farimex之间的问题,那么它将可以与Alfa达成协议。Alfa集团老总米哈伊尔·弗里德曼则声称,Alfa与Telenor之间的纠葛和Farimex一点关系都没有,虽然他支持后者的起诉。挪威首相延斯·斯托尔滕贝格曾向俄罗斯总理弗拉基米尔·普京提起过Telenor争端,而普京表示政府是公正的。但正如Telenor指出的,普京先生本人也承认俄罗斯法院难以预料,亟需改革。 
几天前宜家对俄罗斯投资环境的投诉是相关控诉中最明确的一次。这家瑞典连锁企业自2000年在莫斯科附近开设第一家店以来,在当地的经营发展速度很快。6月23日,宜家表示因为“行政程序的不可预测性”(这只是以权谋私的委婉说法),它将暂停在俄罗斯的投资。 
世界银行开展了一项关于经商便利程度的调查。在被调查的181个国家中,俄罗斯位于尼日利亚之后,列第120位。透明国际给俄罗斯打出的分数仅为2分(总分为10分)——这是该国十年来的最差表现,与肯尼亚旗鼓相当。直到不久前,克里姆林宫还无需为产权或法律规则这样的问题操心。不论它如何对待投资者,石油产业带来的财富已足够确保其经济的繁荣发展。流入这个国家的大部分钱都以贷款而非他国直接投资的形式进入。而现在,这些贷款都已枯竭。预计今年俄罗斯经济将收缩8.5%,而它仍然将其不幸归咎于全球经济危机。仔细了解一下宜家或者Telenor,以及许多俄罗斯的本土公司,你会发现实际情况要复杂得多。 
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