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What the Papers Say, Apr. 4, 2013

Kommersant


1. Alexandra Bayazitova et al. article headlined "Tax at proper time" says that the Finance Ministry has abandoned introduction of a 13 percent tax on bank deposits; pp 1, 10 (678 words).

2. Olga Mordyushenko article headlined "Rockefeller sticks into Russian oil" says that Rockefeller Oil Company has agreed with the Russian bank VTB on purchasing a 100 percent stake in the company Tekhneftinvest; pp 1, 9 (824 words).

3. Svetlana Mentyukova and Yana Rozhdestvenskaya article headlined "Meat scandal submerges" says that the international organization for ocean conservation Oceana has published a report, which says that expensive fish is substituted with cheaper one on the European, U.S. and Russian markets; pp 1, 12 (597 words).

4. Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Ireland hires external returning manager" says that the Irish state-run company Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) and the investment company A1 owned by the Alfa Group consortium have confirmed the setting up of a joint venture to restore control over property in Russia and Ukraine owned by Irish billionaire Sean Quinn; pp 1, 6 (1,219 words).

5. Ivan Safronov article headlined "They try to cut Defense Ministry" says that the Defense Ministry and the government are discussing the handover of control over the Federal Service for Technical and Export Control from the ministry to the government; p 2 (548 words).

6. Natalya Gorodetskaya et al. article headlined "Federation Council being manned with United Russia members" says that United Russia member Yury Isupov will represent Kirov region in the Federation Council. Two more regional United Russia members are expected to become senators from the Buryatia republic and the Voronezh region; p 2 (703 words).

7. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "People asked to commemorate Boris Berezovsky" says that according to a public opinion poll conducted by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), almost 50 percent of Russians are indifferent to exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky, who has recently died in Britain. About 48 percent of respondents think that his political influence in Russia has decreased; p 3 (546 words).

8. Taisiya Bekbulatova article headlined "Checks on two Golos" says that in line with a large-scale checks on NGOs in Russia, the Moscow city prosecutor's office has launched a check on the Golos association for protection of voters' rights and the newspaper Civil Voice (in Russian: Grazhdansky Golos), which is not an NGO; p 3 (511 words).

9. Grigory Tumanov and Anton Arsenev article headlined "NGOs pay for checks" says that over 10 NGOs, whose activity has been checked, are facing heavy fines and administrative proceedings; p 3 (575 words).

10. Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Year in civilian life" says that the Civil Initiatives Committee set up by former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin will celebrate its one-year anniversary today by presenting a report on a new social contract for Russia; p 3 (611 words).

11. Dmitry Zhdakayev article headlined "Sergey Polonsky released light" says that businessman Sergey Polonskiy has been released on bail from a Cambodian jail where he has been kept for attacking local sailors. However, he had to provide an undertaking not to leave the country; p 5 (763 words).

12. Gennady Sysoyev and Maxim Yusin article headlined "Kosovo's decision to be certified in Russia" says that Serbia has been faced with a choice between Kosovo's autonomy and integration with the EU after talks on Belgrade-Pristina relations in Brussels failed. Serbia will make a final decision after the Serbian prime minister visits Russia on April 10; p 7 (726 words).

13. Sergei Strokan and Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Arms trade locked" says that the UN General Assembly has approved an international treaty on the global arms trade; p 8 (731 words).

14. Comment by PIR Center expert Vadim Kozyulin published in the opinion column headlined "Price of issue" focuses on the first-ever international treaty on the global arms trade approved by the UN General Assembly; p 8 (349 words).

15. Mikhail Serov et al. article headlined "Rosneft adapts to Alaska" says that the Russian oil company Rosneft and the U.S. company ExxonMobil will jointly build a LNG plant in Alaska to export gas to the Asia-Pacific region; p 11


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Ivan Rodin article headlined "It is difficult to really ban foreign accounts" says that the State Duma has shelved the presidential bill banning Russian officials from having bank accounts abroad, which was approved in the first reading in February. The president's desire to "nationalize" the elite as soon as possible differs from reality, the article says; pp 1, 3 (556 words).

2. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Finance Ministry not to offend depositors" says that given the developments in Cyprus, the Russian Finance Ministry has given up an initiative to introduce additional taxes on bank deposits, fearing capital flight from banks; pp 1, 4 (745 words).

3. Igor Naumov article headlined "Labor market does not come out of shadow" says that almost 40 million Russians are working in the shadow economic sectors; pp 1, 4 (826 words).

4. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Ukraine asks oil and gas from Kazakhstan" says that the Kazakh prime minister will pay a two-day visit to Ukraine as from April 4; pp 1, 6 (1,131 words).

5. Svetlana Gamova article headlined "If you speak Russian, pay fine" says that a bill, that will deprive the Russian language of the status of a dominant spoken language in Moldova if passed, has been submitted to the Moldovan parliament; pp 1, 6 (826 words).

6. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "Two buffer zones to be created in Syria" quotes a U.S. media source as saying that the U.S. and Jordan are training the Syrian armed opposition at an accelerated pace allegedly because of the plans to establish two buffer zones in the country's southern regions; pp 1, 7 (698 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Vote rigging threatens with diarchy" says that rigged elections discredit the authorities no less than corruption scandals involving state officials. That is why people organize alternative elections and form self-government institutions; p 2 (443 words).

8. Oleg Nikiforov comment published in the Carte Blanche opinion column headlined "London dictates carbon policy" looks at how introduction of carbon emissions reports at the London stock exchange on April 1 has influenced Russian companies; p 3 (670 words).

9. Viktor Litovkin article headlined "Crisis is crisis, but arms always have high value" says that President Vladimir Putin has highly assessed the Russian arms and military hardware exports, which increased 12 percent in 2012; p 3 (850 words).

10. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "New participants implicated in Bolotnaya case" says that a measure of restraint will be determined today for Dmitry Rukavishnikov, an aide to opposition State Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomaryov, involved in the case of the May 6, 2012, riots on Moscow's Bolotnaya Ploshchad. Meanwhile, a term in custody has been extended for other three participants in the case; p 3 (790 words).

11. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Budget will have to do its best to save state-run banks from Cypriot crisis" says that the U.S. rating agency Moody's has threatened to downgrade the long-term ratings of Russia's largest state-run banks; p 4 (931 words).

12. Mikhail Remizov article headlined "Growth without development" contemplates the development of the Moscow region; p 5 (1,253 words).

13. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Seoul wants to process nuclear power plants' fuel" says that North Korea has restricted South Korean workers' access to the industrial zone Kaesong. Meanwhile, South Korea is seeking U.S. permission to produce nuclear fuel. Experts say that Seoul wants to acquire its own nuclear bomb; p 7 (585 words).

14. Yury Paniyev article headlined "UN General Assembly gives go-ahead to arms deals" says that the UN General Assembly has approved the first-ever international treaty on the global arms trade. At least 50 UN member states are to ratify the agreement for it to come into effect. Russia abstained from voting on the agreement, being displeased with its provisions; p 7 (705 words).


Vedomosti


1. Liliya Biryukova et al. article headlined "Petrov is suspicious" says that today a State Duma commission will consider a request from the leader of the For Justice party, Vladimir Ponomarenko, who accuses A Just Russia lawmaker Sergei Petrov of continuing to carry out business activities while being a lawmaker; pp 1-2 (694 words).

2. Olga Kuvshinova article headlined "Country of officials" says that according to a research conducted by the Independent Institute of Social Policy, the middle class in Russia has been growing not very fast and the share of state officials and law enforcers is rapidly increasing; pp 1, 5 (840 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Shadow labor" comments on the information that almost 40 million Russians are working in the shadow economic sectors; pp 1, 6 (455 words).

4. Maxim Glikin and Polina Khimshiashvili article headlined "Contract with authorities" looks at a report on a new social contract for Russia made by the Center for Political Technologies following a request by the Civil Initiatives Committee; p 2 (409 words).

5. Igor Tsukanov and Dmitry Kazmin article headlined "VTB authorized to buy Tele2" says that the Federal Antimonopoly Service has permitted the Russian bank VTB to buy Tele2 Russia; p 16 (437 words).

6. Igor Tsukanov article headlined "Company of week: Tele2 Russia" looks at reasons behind the sale of Tele2 Russia to the Russian bank VTB; p 7 (446 words).

7. Maria Zheleznova article headlined "More people know, but less like" says that a public opinion poll conducted by the Levada Center in late March showed that 37 percent of Russians know who opposition activist and blogger Alexei Navalny is; however, a mere 14 percent of respondents are ready to vote for him in the presidential election; p 3 (628 words).

8. Irina Kezik article headlined "Basic element of Rosneft" says that the Russian oil company Rosneft and businessman Oleg Deripaska's holding company BasEl have signed three agreements on cooperation; p 12 (408 words).

9. Timofei Dzyadko et al. article headlined "Putin for new pipeline" says that Putin has instructed Gazprom to revive the construction of the Yamal-Europe-2 gas pipeline through Belarus despite the South Stream and Nord Stream gas projects; p 10 (601 words).

10. Vitaly Petlevoy and Alexandra Terentyeva article headlined "Gazprom under suspicion" says that the Federal Antimonopoly Service suspects Gazprom of violating the competition law; p 13 (431 words).

11. Alexei Nikolsky report "Weapons need loans" says that President Putin will use the last reserves to achieve growth in arms export; p 4 (550 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Vitaly Petrov article headlined "Market without ideologists" describes a meeting of the commission for military-technical cooperation with foreign states chaired by President Putin; p 2 (843 words).

2. Alexander Gasyuk and Oleg Kiryanov article headlined "Verbal ammunition" quotes South Korean media sources as saying that a special group has been set up at the U.S. forces deployed in South Korea, which should swiftly seize North Korea's nuclear facilities in case of an armed conflict; p 8 (513 words).

3. Maxim Makarychev article headlined "Prison teaches nothing" says that businessman Sergei Polonsky has been released on bail from a Cambodian prison; p 8 (506 words).

4. Natalya Kozlova report "Officials from big road" says that arrests over embezzlement of state funds have begun in Novgorod; pp 1, 5 (800 words).


Izvestia


1. Alyona Sivkova article headlined "Yakemenko to make network project from Nashi [movement]" says that the fate of the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi will be determined at a meeting in Pskov on May 17; pp 1, 3 (542 words).

2. Andrei Gridasov article headlined "Government gives up creating financial police" says that both the Kremlin and the government have not yet backed Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin's initiative to set up the financial police; pp 1-2 (1,005 words).

3. Dmitry Balburov article headlined "Shoigu asks to relieve military from calculating prices on arms" says that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has sent a letter to Putin asking to relieve the ministry of tasks to set prices on arms; pp 1, 3 (515 words).

4. Margarita Kazantseva article headlined "Rosneft wants to control oil export to Kazakhstan" says that the Russian oil company Rosneft has asked the government to entrust it with the task to coordinate all Russian oil supplies to Kazakhstan; pp 1, 4 (547 words).

5. Sergei Podosenov article headlined "Poland asks 100,000 sq. m. for Kaczynski's memorial" says that Poland has asked Russia to assign an area at the site of the April 10, 2010, air crash in the Smolensk region, which claimed the lives of Polish politicians including President Lech Kaczynski, to build a memorial; pp 1, 4 (474 words).

6. Pyotr Kozlov article headlined "Kremlin advises ministers to leave blogs and social networks" says that the presidential administration and the government have opposite opinions on ministers' blogs and accounts in social networks: the Kremlin thinks that this is a domain of professional PR managers, whereas the government has shown understanding on the matter; p 2 (645 words).

7. Yulia Tsoi and Anastasia Mitkevich article headlined "Dmitry Gudkov to be punished with fine and reproof" says that the Just Russia party wants to punish opposition lawmaker Dmitry Gudkov for an undeclared asset in his income declaration; p 2 (533 words).

8. Dmitry Yevstifeyev article headlined "Investigative Committee forgives Bozhena Rynska for threatening and insulting policemen" says that criminal proceedings against journalist Bozhena Rynska for extremist statements posted in social networks in December 2011 and an insult to a policeman have been terminated; p 4 (816 words).

9. Yury Matsarskiy article headlined "Strip of missile firing" says that Israel has destroyed two shelters of terrorists in the Gaza Strip by missile fire in response to firing from there; p 7 (429 words).

10. Konstantin Volkov article headlined "North Korea cannot launch Yongbyon reactor" says that North Korea has promised to launch the Yongbyon nuclear reactor, but it cannot be restarted in the near future for technological reasons; p 7 (664 words).

11. Maria Gorkovskaya and Tatyana Novoselova article headlined "Investigative Committee to check Dekert family for violence" says that the Investigative Committee has launched a pre-investigation check on the U.S. family Dekert suspected of having methodically beaten and bullied their children adopted from Russia; p 7 (423 words).

12. Politician Irina Khakamada article headlined "Bureaucrat: Friend or foe for man?" contemplates bureaucracy in Russia; p 9 (592 words).

13. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev report "Aushev and Yevkurov to compete for post of Ingushetia's head" says that a public campaign has begun in Ingushetia to support the republic's first president, Ruslan Aushev, as a presidential candidate; pp 1-2 (600 words).

14. Ivan Cheberko report "Roskosmos invests in Belarussian lasers and thermal surveillance devices" says that the Federal Space Agency may buy shares of the Belarussian company Peleng; p 3 (500 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "Keep children in orphanages!" defends Gazeta.ru journalist Yekaterina Vinokurova, who allegedly insulted foster mother Natalya Sarganova at the All-Russia People's Front conference in Rostov-on-Don in late March; pp 1, 3 (966 words).

2. Igor Subbotin article headlined "Polonsky chooses Cambodia" says that businessman Sergei Polonsky, who has been released on bail from a Cambodian prison, is not going to return home due to a number of business projects in that country; pp 1, 3 (528 words).

3. Marina Lemutkina article headlined "It will be more profitable for officials to give up dissertations" says that the highest qualifications committee has drafted proposals to fight against forgery of dissertations; p 2 (683 words).

4. Zhanna Golubitskaya and Yevgeny Balabas article headlined "Three orphans and two monsters" details yet another Russian-U.S. adoption row; p 3 (656 words).

5. Matvei Ganapolsky article headlined "Film frames determine everything" looks at some latest Russian films, whose characters are united by patriotism and loyalty to their principles and ideals; p 3 (1,003 words).

6. Alexei Gordeyev article headlined "He has what he guards" says that bloggers have revealed signs of forgery in the dissertation of Mikhail Gelfand, a member of the Education and Science Ministry's public council and an ardent supporter of the fight against forged dissertations; p 3 (601 words).

7. Inna Grigoryeva report "Russia in shadow" says that Russia's underground sector of economy has greatly increased; pp 1-2 (900 words).

8. Mikhail Zubov report "Navalny compares himself to blotter" says that the trial of opposition activist Alexei Navalny will begin in Kirov on April 17; p 2 (450 words).

9. Tatyana Zamakhina report "Russian bankers caught in Cypriot insider dealings" says that checks are being carried out over the Gazprombank head's possible withdrawal of money from Cyprus before bank accounts were frozen in the country; p 2 (700 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta (weekly)


1. Pyotr Orlov article headlined "Moscow's hand" says that the Association of Lawyers of Russia has sent 20 lawyers to work at the European Court of Human Rights; p 9 (442 words).

2. Alexander Kuzin and Yury Snegirev article headlined "Stray Sasha" describes the life of Russian-born teenager Alexander Abnosov, who has run away from his adoptive parents in the U.S. and returned to Russia, claiming that he was treated badly; p 26 (2,474 words).


Noviye Izvestia


1. Margarita Alekhina article titled "No court" says that the authorities are trying to impede the work of juries in Russian courts, as they have little control over their decisions; pp 1, 5 (1,100 words).

2. Yulia Zabavina article headlined "Innovation fairy tale" questions the credentials of a state program for the innovative development of the Russian economy through 2020, approved by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev; pp 1, 3 (661 words).

3. Vera Moslakova article headlined "Initiative refusal" says that the Public Initiative portal, through which Russians can send proposals for the consideration of the authorities, will start to operate on April 15; p 1-2 (711 words).

4. Nadezhda Krasilova article headlined "Guided by inequality" says that a state program for regional policy and federal relations until 2020 has been approved. The new criteria for assessing the effectiveness of governors' performance articulated in the program will not be applied to all regional heads, experts say; p 2 (569 words).

5. Sergei Putilov article titled "Export 'pyramid'" looks at Russian arms export statistics, presented by President Vladimir Putin yesterday; p 3 (500 words).


RBK Daily


1. Nikolai Mikhalev and Alexandra Golubeva article headlined "Financial center for Gref and Shishkhanov" reports on progress in the establishment of an international financial center hub in Moscow; pp 1, 8 (600 words).

2. Ivan Petrov article headlined "Not a Shoygu back" says that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is bringing back the "best of" the Soviet army as part of the ongoing military reform. Among other novelties, the Russian army will get its own culture department, for the first time ever; p 2 (400 words).

3. Yulia Yakovleva article headlined "Ethics courses for media" says that the State Duma intends to amend the law on media as regards coverage of inter-ethnic conflicts; p 2 (350 words).

4. Alexander Litoi article headlined "Opposition activist Traveler" says that Leonid Razvozzhayev, a defendant in the case on mass unrest after a protest rally on May 6, 2012, may be sent to an Irkutsk region prison once again; p 2 (350 words).

5. Polina Stroganova article titled "East Siberia disappoints Gazprom" says that Gazprom's expectations about anticipated gas reserves in East Siberia are not being fulfilled, which experts attribute to insufficient prospecting efforts on Gazprom's part; p 5 (450 words).

6. Ivan Shlygin article titled "Finance Ministry bets on weak ruble" reports on the Finance Ministry's new strategy for channelling taxes from exporter companies back into the Russian economy; p 7 (300 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Dmitry Smirnov article titled "'Only the U.S. is close with a small lead'" looks at yesterday's meeting of the commission on military-technical cooperation between Russia and foreign states, chaired by President Putin, where he announced Russia's arms export statistics for 2012; p 2 (350 words).

2. Dmitry Nadezhdin article titled "£5 million for crown to shine" says that Queen Elizabeth II will receive an extra £5 million this year to carry out her official duties; p 4 (300 words).

3. Yevgeny Suchkov article titled "Three more adopted Russian kids have been victimized in the U.S." looks at the latest scandal around the maltreatment of adopted Russian kids in the U.S.; p 8 (450 words).

4. Viktor Baranets article titled "Generals' bootleg: fake parts for tanks and nuts for 500,000 rubles each" says that a criminal network of fraudsters has been uncovered at Russian Defense Ministry-controlled Oboronservis company, which supplied fake parts for military equipment; p 10 (1,200 words)


Komsomolskaya Pravda (weekly)


1. Yevgeny Chernykh interview with pundit Andrei Fursov titled "Berezovsky planted bomb under money of billionaires and officials" features conspiracy theories and comments on the legacy of Russian oligarch-in-exile Boris Berezovsky, who died recently in Britain; p 6 (850 words).


Krasnaya Zvezda


1. Leonid Khayremdinov article headlined "Arms growth trends" takes stock of yesterday's meeting of a commission for military-technical cooperation between Russian and foreign states chaired by President Putin, where arms export statistics for 2012 were presented; p 1 (550 words).

2. Sergei Medvedev article titled "Exchange of threats continues" looks at the escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula; pp 1, 3 (650 words).

3. Viktor Ruchkin article headlined "Plan of possible intervention" mulls the scope for a possible U.S. a military intervention in Syria; p 3 (600 words).


Zavtra


1. Article by editor-in-chief Alexander Prokhanov titled "Enemy winds" looks at Russian military-industrial development in the context of emerging regional and international security threats; p 1 (600 words).

2. Article by Nikolai Konkov titled "BRICS is a noble cause" takes stock of the recent BRICS summit that was held in South Africa; pp 1, 3 (300 words).


Apr. 4, 2013/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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