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What the Papers Say, Feb. 22, 2013

Kommersant


1. Andrei Kolesnikov report headlined "Uniform. Girls. Serdyukov" gives an ironic account of President Vladimir Putin's meeting with head of the Investigations Committee Alexander Bastrykin; pp 1-2 (1,518 words).

2. Article headlined "Retraction" says that the information, published by the website of the newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta and the ITAR-TASS news agency that the Higher Arbitration Court has ruled legal the results of the contest to publish information about bankruptcies in 2013-17, does not correspond to reality. Kommersant continues to publish information about bankruptcies; p 1 (318 words).

3. Andrei Plakhov article headlined "Monumentalist director" is dedicated to film director Alexei German who died on 21 February; pp 1, 11 (807 words).

4. Natalya Korchenkova report "Television deprived of award" says that the head of the fund Academy of the Russian Television, Mikhail Shvydkoy, has suggested that the TV awards competition TEFI should not be held; pp 1, 3 (900 words).

5. Natalya Korchenkova article headlined "Entrepreneurs to be protected against illegal intrusion" says that Prosecutor-General Yury Chayka has suggested that administrative and criminal responsibility be imposed on those engaging in unjustified checks of businesses; p 2 (552 words).

6. Oleg Rubnikovich article headlined "Criminal responsibility offered to legal entities" says that head of the Investigations Committee Aleksandr Bastrykin has suggested that financial police be set up and criminal responsibility for crimes committed against legal entities be imposed. The moves aim to ensure more efficient control over budget funds and illegal outflow of capital from the country; p 2 (360 words).

7. Nikolay Sergeyev article headlined "Billion for VAT" says that law enforcers have exposed a group of swindlers who attempted to steal some R1bn from the budget using a scheme of unjustified VAT reimbursement; p 2 (549 words).

8. Maksim Ivanov article headlined "State Duma to lavish control on adopted children" says that the State Duma's family committee has decided to ask foreign minister, education and science minister and heads of law-enforcement agencies to come to the State Duma and report on measures taken to protect Russian orphans adopted by foreign parents; p 3 (619 words).

9. Ivan Buranov interview with Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov headlined "'We thought mankind will face it in couple of thousand years'" where he speaks about a recent meteorite shower in Chelyabinsk Region, its aftermath, man-made disasters and ways to prevent them; p 4 (2,502 words).

10. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Damascus rocked by explosion" says that a blast in the vicinity of the headquarters of Syria's ruling party has claimed the lives of over 50 people; p 5 (253 words).

11. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "John Kerry ties Department of State's course to dollar" says that in his first major policy speech, US Secretary of State John Kerry has outlined priorities and warned against cutting expenses on international policy; p 5 (841 words).

12. Georgiy Dvali article headlined "Georgia not to extradite Givi Targamadze" says that leading Georgian politicians oppose extradition of Georgian MP Givi Targamadze to Russia; p 5 (262 words).

13. Anatoliy Dzhumaylo article headlined "Bad news lets down metallurgists" says that Russian metals companies are getting cheaper amid negative news from China and the USA; p 9 (611 words).

14. Yevgeniy Timoshinov article headlined "Summa comes across ammunition" says that the construction of an oil terminal in the port of Rotterdam conducted by the Summa group and the VTTI consortium has become complicated as war-time ammunition was found at the construction site; p 9 (606 words).

15. Vladimir Dzaguto et al. report headlined "VTB gets involved in Russian nuclear power plants abroad" says that VTB is ready to provide loans to Rosatom for the construction of nuclear power plants abroad; p 9 (549 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Darya Tsiryulik article headlined "John Kerry wants to trade, not to make war" says that in his speech, US Secretary of State John Kerry has emphasized the need for broader use of soft force in foreign policy. John Kerry's international policy will hardly differ much from Hillary Clinton's course, but it is most likely to be more pragmatic and less hawk-like; pp 1, 8 (850 words).

2. Alexandra Samarina and Ivan Rodin article headlined "Vanishing scenery of Okhotnyy Ryad" says that today, another One Russia MP, Anatoly Lomakin, is giving up his seat in the State Duma; several more will follow soon. Experts speak about the parliament's extremely low rating and say that an early parliamentary election may help solve many problems of the authorities, but its outcome is unpredictable and consequently, dangerous; pp 1, 3 (800 words).

3. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Money flees country depriving it of prospects" says that independent economists have published a report that says that the outflow of capital reached 56.8bn dollars in 2012; pp 1, 4 (900 words).

4. Ivan Rodin and Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Return of real confiscation" says that head of the Investigations Committee Aleksandr Bastrykin has summed up the results of the committee's work after it became independent from the Prosecutor-General's Office two years ago, and called for the return of confiscation of property, which is supposed to help counter corruption; pp 1, 3 (850 words).

5. Igor Naumov and Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "Spade handle worth four million" says that although the Federal Migration Service cannot expose illegal labor migrants even in Moscow, it opposes migration amnesty even in exchange for payment of all the Russian taxes; pp 1, 4 (1,100 words).

6. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Market foothold of Black Sea Fleet" says that the first meeting of new Russian and Ukrainian defence ministers has resulted in a sensation: Ukrainian Defense Minister Pavlo Lebedyev said that they had discussed the possibility of selling the land that the Black Sea Fleet rents but does not use; pp 1, 7 (1,100 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Patrol of pure blood" says that creating ethnic militia patrols in order to ensure order in those parts of cities dominated by labor migrants, will only aggravate their isolation and result in clashes with other ethnic groups, including Russians; p 2 (600 words).

8. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Billions blown up" says that Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin plans to hand over the materials of checks on ammunition scrapping in 2011-12 to the Prosecutor-General's Office for it to take measures and punish for violations and budget losses; p 3 (550 words).

9. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Domestic industry does not feel well" says that statistics have shown a reduction in production, whereas experts do not rush to state that a new industrial slump has begun; p 4 (1,300 words).

10. Yury Simonyan article headlined "Saakashvili rejects amnesty" says that the Georgian parliamentary majority and the opposition have suspended their long-drawn-out negotiations on amending the constitution aimed at reduction of the president's powers; p 7 (800 words).

11. Anton Khodasevich article headlined "Common sense against Lukashenka's ambitions" says that Belarus may lose the opportunity to get another loan from the EurAsEC Anti-Crisis Fund due to Lukashenka's economic policy; p 7 (750 words).

12. Artur Blinov article headlined "Cyber fight across Pacific Ocean" says that a spokesman for the Chinese Defense Ministry has denied allegations that the Chinese army uses hackers to obtain intelligence data on the USA; p 8 (600 words).

13. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Brazil to be put on Igla" looks at the results of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Brazil; p 8 (1,100 words).

Vedomosti


1. Yekaterina Sobol article headlined "Roll up: Canadian" says that the Ilyushin Finance Co. which was set up in order to support the Russian aircraft production, had to buy Canadian aircraft worth 2.56bn dollars; pp 1, 13 (647 words).

2. Filipp Sterkin and Margarita Lyutova article headlined "Federal Tax Service checks flats" says that Moscow tax inspectors have managed to increase tax revenues from people leasing flats in the capital; pp 1, 5 (452 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Elites, dread!" says that several MPs had to give up their seats in the State Duma in the course of purges which may be part of the planned elites' renewal; pp 1, 6 (600 words).

4. Margarita Lyutova article headlined "US officials approach cliff" looks at the consequences of the budget sequester that may begin in the USA on 1 March if the Congress and the White House do not agree on the long-term program of expenditure optimization and tax increase; p 4 (433 words).

5. Yekaterina Kravchenko article headlined "US Congress against European Central Bank" says that the US Congress is preparing new sanctions against Iran aiming to block transactions of Iranian companies and banks in the euro; p 5 (516 words).

6. Editorial headlined "Ombudsman's word" says that officials in Russia may say whatever they want until they are loyal to the top leadership, and recalls that children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov first said that adopted child Maksim Kuzmin had been killed by his US mother and then corrected himself and began to refer to the incident as the death of a Russian child in a US family; p 6 (306 words).

7. Mariya Zheleznova article headlined "Thing of week: Deputy's seat" says that One Russia member, MP Vladimir Pekhtin had to give up his seat in the State Duma after opposition activist Alexei Navalny proved that Pekhtin had a flat and a land plot in Miami worth some 1.5m dollars. The status of an MP is no longer an act of grace, article says; p 7 (366 words).

8. Alexei Nikolsky report "They do not care about petty bribery" says that prosecutor's offices and courts say that police and investigators are dealing with cases of major bribery only; p 2 (450 words).

9. Irina Novikova report "Duma's director" says that A Just Russia has found new proofs that four One Russia members, when being State Duma deputies, were engaged in business activities; p 3 (800 words).

10. Alexander Rubtsov report "State as peacekeeper" looks at the political and economic situation in Russia and says that Putin has made privatized state a tool of redistribution and has become a participant in this war himself; p 6 (800 words).

11. Kseniya Boletskaya report "Potanin remains on air" says that the deal to merge two major radio holding companies, the radio station Profmedia and Yevropeyskaya Mediagruppa, will not take place; p 11 (950 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Roman Markelov article headlined "Life after oil" says that world oil prices may drop 25-40 per cent in 25 years due to a rise in shale oil production and looks at the prospects; pp 1, 3 (1,300 words).

2. Alena Uzbekova report "Enter with difficulty" says that due to problems with receiving Russian visas, the number of European tourists arriving in the country will halve; pp 1, 5 (750 words).

3. Natalya Kuryeva interview with Alina Radchenko, head of the public program Childhood, headlined "New look at hopeless orphanhood" where she voices proposals aiming to reform the system of orphans' upbringing in Russia; p 4 (2,100 words).

3. Vladislav Vorobyev article headlined "Not childish talk" says that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry are to meet on 26 February in Berlin and will definitely talk about the problems in the bilateral relations after another adopted child from Russia died in an American family; p 8 (350 words).

Izvestia


1. Yuliya Tsoy article headlined "One Russia suggests banning adoption for French as well" says that the initiator of the ban on US adoptions, Yekaterina Lakhova, has suggested that a moratorium on adoptive parents from France be introduced; pp 1-2 (533 words).

2. Article by head of the Civil Platform party Mikhail Prokhorov headlined "Behind smoke screen" comments on the anti-tobacco law approved by the Federation Council; pp 1, 9 (683 words).

3. Maksim Korolev article headlined "Golos suspected of violating law on NGOs" says that MP Vladimir Ovsyannikov has sent inquiries to the Investigations Committee and the Prosecutor-General's Office informing them that the Golos NGO, which has foreign sources of financing, has not got registered as a foreign agent as the law requires; pp 1, 4 (438 words).

4. Anastasiya Petrova report "Vasilyeva wants to return money and valuables worth 4m dollars" says that the lawyers of former head of the Defence Ministry's department of property relations Yevgeniya Vasilyeva, charged with fraud, have asked investigators to return money and valuables seized from her; pp 1, 4 (800 words).

5. Dmitry Yevstifeyev article headlined "Criticism of Lugovoy results in criminal case for journalist" says that a defamation case has been launched against human rights activist and journalist Vadim Belotserkovskiy following a complaint of State Duma deputy Andrey Lugovoy. Earlier, Belotserkovskiy criticized Lugovoy in his blog over the death of former FSB officer Aleksandr Litvinenko in London; p 5 (755 words).

6. Ilya Yushkov article headlined "Conflict with Interior Ministry costs Gudkovs 500m" says that after police checks and the annulment of licence, former State Duma deputy Gennadiy Gudkov's business has lost all clients; p 5 (625 words).

7. Boris Mezhuyev report "Renewal of right centre" looks at the situation in One Russia against the background of the recent resignation of its State Duma member Vladimir Pekhtin; p 9 (800 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Anastasia Gnedinskaya interview headlined "Maksim Kuzmin's mother: I did think before that boys should be returned" with the mother of the boy who has died in an US adoptive family; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

2. Anastasiya Rodionova interview with opposition activist Alexei Navalny headlined "Pekhtin as mass phenomenon" who speaks about One Russia MPs who have property abroad; pp 1-2 (650 words).

3. Alexander Minkin report "Mandates sob" looks at State Duma deputies' reaction to the death of an adopted Russian boy in an American family; pp 1, 3 (1,000 words).

4. Yekaterina Sazhneva report "Syria of cruel murders" features journalist's impression of the visit to Syria; pp 1, 4 (2,300 words).

5. Ignat Kalinin report "Why army needs students" looks at some universities' initiative to send students to the army during summer holidays; pp 1-2 (650 words).

6. Political analyst Stanislav Belkovskiy report "Putin or Belkovskiy?", in which he looks at the reasons why he may be imprisoned; p 3 (1,200 words).

RBK


1. Ivan Perov article headlined "Fuel for Serdyukov" looks at the new criminal case lunched against REU, the main fuel supplier to military units and facilities; pp 1-2 (550 words).

2. Aleksandr Litoy article headlined "Officials to be handed in pairs" says Investigations Committee head Aleksandr Bastrykin and Central Electoral Commission head Vladimir Churov will be the first ones to be added to the extended Magnitskiy List; p 2 (400 words).

Novyye Izvestia


1. Arfi Gevorkyan article headlined "Financial police may emerge in Russia" says Investigations Committee head Aleksandr Bastrykin has suggested to set up the financial police that would deal with economic crimes and financial intelligence under the Russian president or prime minister; p 2 (200 words).

Novaya Gazeta


1. Zinaida Burskaya article headlined "You, straying!" comments on the lack of pilots in Russian airline companies. The attraction of foreigners for the job remains the only option to solve the issue, it says; pp 17, 18 (800 words).

2. Nikolay Vardul article headlined "Post-tandem wars" says the conflict between Rosneft head Igor Sechin and Russian Deputy Premier Arkady Dvorkovich is turning into a war of relations between the president and the prime minister; p 10 (800 words).

Feb. 22, 2013/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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