What the Papers Say, July 12, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Oleg Sapozhkov article headlined "Far East Becoming Like State Corporation" says that the Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund, a subsidiary of Vneshekonombank (VEB), wants to revive an idea to set up a special institution to develop the investment potential of the Far East and Zabaikalsky region. The respective proposals will be submitted to the government soon; pp 1-2 (737 words)

2. Viktor Khamrayev et al. article headlined "Branches of Power to Spread Out in Kommunarka" says that a plan to relocate the offices of federal ministries and state agencies outside Moscow has been submitted to President Vladimir Putin. The village of Kommunarka, which is now within the expanded Moscow city limits, may become a new administrative capital; pp 1, 5 (913 words)

3. Anna Balashova and Sergei Sobolev article headlined "MegaFon Puts Symbolic Claims to MTS" says that the MegaFon mobile phone operator, the general partner of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the Russian team at the 2012 London Olympics, has accused its rival MTS of viral marketing, being displeased with the latter's TV commercials which have an Olympic theme; pp 1, 10 (634 words)

4. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Chief of Cuban Evolution" describes Cuban leader Raul Castro's visit to Russia; pp 1, 6 (836 words)

5. Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "Ryazan Region Governor Dismissed for Second Term" says that Ryazan region Governor Oleg Kovalyov has been dismissed by President Putin. Kovalyov plans to stand in the direct gubernatorial elections set for Oct. 14; p 2 (787 words)

6. Mikhail Bulanov et al. article headlined "Buryatia and Zabaikalsky Region to Develop in Far Eastern Way" says that the Russian authorities have approved plans to transfer the Buryatia republic and Zabaikalsky region to the jurisdiction of the Far East Development Ministry, but the regions will remain part of the Siberian Federal District; p 2 (527 words)

7. Irina Granik and Taisia Bekbulatova article headlined "Dmitry Medvedev Wholly Endorses Party's Decisions" says that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev supported the party initiated bill seeking to impose content restrictions in the Russian Internet at his meeting with the leadership of the United Russia faction in the State Duma; p 3 (665 words)

8. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Deputies Ready for All Forms of Control" says that the State Duma has approved a bill that envisages compiling a blacklist of websites that publish prohibited information, and has passed in the first reading a bill on parliamentary control in Russia; p 3 (725 words)

9. Vladislav Trifonov article headlined "Yukos Being Taken to Courts Without Defendants" says that the trial in absentia of former State Duma Deputy and Yukos oil company shareholder Vladimir Dubov is coming to an end. The prosecution demanded that Dubov be sentenced to eight years in prison for a large-scale embezzlement; p 4 (455 words)

10. Ivan Safronov et al. article headlined "Russian bases to defend economy" says that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have announced an increase in the rental fees for the Russian bases deployed in these countries. Experts do not rule out that Russia will have to meet the demands; p 6 (682 words)

11. Vladimir Solovyev and Natalya Melnik interview with Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Valeriu Lazar, headlined "'Russian Colleagues Have Finally Understood That They Have Been Swindled'", who speaks about Russia-Moldova cooperation on natural gas supplies; p 6 (837 words)

12. Maria Yefimova article headlined "Syrian Opposition Consulted on Overthrow" says that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has met representatives from the Syrian National Council, who arrived in Russia to secure support for the opposition's key demands. Moscow is not ready to back a military intervention and the ouster of the Syrian president; p 6 (434 words)

13. Vladimir Dzaguto article headlined "TNK-BP Disconnects From Nizhnevartovskaya Hydroelectric Power Plant" says that the Russian-British joint venture TNK-BP is considering leaving the NVGRES Holdings Limited project, which owns a hydroelectric power plant in the Khanty-Mansiisk autonomous district; p 9 (583 words)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Igor Naumov article headlined "Russia Gets Stuck in Digital Inequality" says that Communications and Press Minister Nikolai Nikiforov said that he sees his priority in ensuring equal access to the latest telecommunications technology for all Russians; pp 1, 4 (630 words)

2. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Base Disagreements" says that following Tajikistan's example, Kyrgyzstan has announced a decision to raise rent for the three Russian military bases deployed in the country; pp 1-2 (758 words)

3. Viktor Litovkin article headlined "Helicopter Shippers" says that Russia will not supply Syria with new arms until the situation in the country improves. However, this does not affect the delivery of repaired or modernized arms and military hardware, which Russia continues to supply to Syria under existing contracts; pp 1-2 (870 words)

4. Alexandra Samarina and Ivan Rodin article headlined "Consolidation Around Screw" says that the State Duma has considered three bills in one day, requalifying libel as a criminal offense, legalizing a blacklist of websites that publish unlawful information and introducing tough financial control over NGOs financed from abroad. Commentators attribute such vigorous Duma activity to the authorities' preparations for possible protests in the autumn; pp 1, 3 (1,425 words)

5. Lidia Orlova article headlined "Deal With Freedom of Conscience" says that a Moscow court has ruled that the trade in ecclesiastical goods in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral is within the law. The article features experts' comments on the issue; pp 1-2 (616 words)

6. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Autumn Draft in Customs Union" looks ahead to the agenda of today's meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents in Yalta and provides experts' views on the issue; pp 1, 6 (895 words)

7. Editorial headlined "Does Russia Need Political Theater?" comments on an idea to set up a theater that will stage productions on political issues in Russia proposed by a well-known civil activist; p 2 (548 words)

8. Sergei Zuikov commentary headlined "WTO as Medicine From Gray Imports" looks at changes that Russia's accession to the WTO will bring, focusing on the fight against illegal imports; p 3 (708 words)

9. Pavel Voloshin article headlined "Opposition in System" looks at the sources of funding for the Russian opposition; p 5 (958 words)

10. Viktoria Panfilova article headlined "Armenia Left With No Choice" says that Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko has paid a visit to Armenia. Yerevan tried to persuade Moscow to postpone a rise in the price of Russian gas and give it yet another loan of up to $1 billion; p 6 (891 words)

11. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Moscow Wants to Give Annan's Peace Plan Second Chance" says that talks between the Russian foreign minister and representatives from the Syrian National Council in Moscow have not yielded any significant results. Meanwhile, a new diplomatic clash between Russia and the U.S.A. is brewing in the UN Security Council; p 7 (483 words)

12. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Tories Rise Against Their Leader" says that the British government had to suspend a reform of the House of Lords because more than 90 Conservative Party members in the House of Commons opposed this; p 7 (488 words)

13. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Russian-Cuban Heritage" zooms in on the Cuban leader's visit to Russia; p 7 (744 words)

Vedomosti

1. Maxim Tovkaylo et al. article headlined "Distinguished State Constructor" says that Vladimir Kogan, once the richest Russian official, will head the Federal Agency for Construction, Housing and Utilities at the Regional Development Ministry and will become a deputy regional development minister; pp 1, 3 (700 words)

2. Anton Trifonov and Yelena Mazneva article headlined "Resubscription for Russia" says that the Russian gas giant Gazprom has successfully issued eurobonds; p 1 (400 words)

3. Filipp Sterkin and Yelizaveta Nikitina article headlined "2.29 billion rubles ($70 million) out of friendship" says that businessman David Yakobashvili has made a near $70 million income tax payment; p 1 (500 words)

4. Editorial headlined "Distrusting Everything" says that distrust among people, as well as between people and officials is a phenomenon accompanying not only the tragedy in the Krasnodar region, but any tragedy that happens in Russia; pp 1, 4 (400 words)

5. Natalya Kostenko article headlined "Party, Open Up" says that Dmitry Medvedev called on the leadership of the United Russia party to work closely with his government; p 2 (500 words)

6. Polina Khimshiashvili and Alexei Nikolsky article titled "Ship Diplomacy" recaps on Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's talks with the Syrian National Council on July 11; p 2 (350 words)

7. Sam Green commentary "Defenseless Runet" looks at the backlash against the newly adopted bill on Internet blacklists; p 4 (700 words)

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Tamara Shkel article headlined "Welcome to Court" looks at a State Duma session that considered three controversial bills; pp 1-2 (747 words)

2. Olga Bondarenko article headlined "Profiteers Surface" says that there are people in the flood-stricken town of Krymsk who are making a profit out of selling humanitarian aid meant for the flood victims; pp 1, 7 (1,276 words)

3. Tatyana Shadrina article headlined "Communication via Wi-Fi" brings highlights from the news conference given by Communications and Press Minister Nikolai Nikiforov on July 11; pp 1, 5 (1,101 words)

4. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Total Control" says that President Putin has established and headed a commission for supervising the implementation of his election promises; p 2 (684 words)

5. Vladimir Kuzmin article headlined "Without Guesses and Fears" gives an account of Prime Minister Medvedev's meeting with the leadership of the United Russia faction in the State Duma; p 3 (796 words)

6. Inessa Okhrimenko interview with Vladimir Nekrasov, vice-president of the Russian oil company LUKoil, headlined "Our Petrol Is Class 5," who explains the reasons behind the company's switching to the production of Class 5 petrol ahead of schedule; p 6 (1,463 words)

7. Maxim Makarychev article headlined "Extra Pair of Eyes Will Do UN No Harm" says that Russia has submitted to the UN Security Council its own draft resolution on Syria, which calls for an immediate cease-fire and stopping violence in the country; p 8 (100)

Rossiiskaya Gazeta (weekly)

1. Viktor Feshchenko article titled "Olympics to Be Covered With Umbrella" says residents of a 17-story apartment block in London are outraged over the placement of air defense elements on the roof of the building as part of Olympics security measures; p 12 (450 words)

Izvestia

1. Alexander Grigoryev article headlined "Anti-Corruption Program Introduced at Interior Ministry" says that a set of instructions to eliminate corruption among policemen has been drafted and introduced at the Interior Ministry; pp 1, 4 (666 words)

2. Polina Potapova article headlined "Yelena Baturina Returns Previous Inteko Assets" says that former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's wife, Yelena Baturina, has acquired a 100 percent stake in the company Arena specializing in the construction of sports facilities, which was part of her Inteko company earlier; pp 1, 8 (408 words)

3. Anastasia Kashevarova article headlined "Audit Chamber to Be Let Into State Corporations" says that the Audit Chamber will be given the right to check the use of budget funds by state corporations and state-financed companies, including gas giant Gazprom, oil company Rosneft and Russian Railways; pp 1, 4 (574 words)

5. Pyer Sidibe article headlined "Former Governors Bound for Ministries" says that former Stavropol region Governor Valery Gayevsky has become deputy regional development minister; pp 1, 4 (511 words)

6. Olga Zhermeleva article headlined "Communist Party to Challenge State Duma Decision on Bessonov in Court" says that the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) intends to challenge the State Duma's decision to strip CPRF faction member Vladimir Bessonov of immunity in the Russian Supreme Court; p 2 (369 words)

7. Natalya Galimova article headlined "Kremlin Invites in Threes" says that next week President Putin will meet the leaders of the parliamentary political parties for the first time after his inauguration. The meeting will be held in a new format: not two but three representatives from each party are invited to the Kremlin; p 2 (762 words)

8. Dmitry Runkevich and Olga Tropkina article headlined "Muslims Ask for Protection From Arab Money" says that a number of Russian Muslim organizations intend to ask the State Duma to maintain a provision in the new law on NGOs, which applies to religious organizations also; p 2 (731 words)

9. Svetlana Subbotina article titled "State Duma Limits Internet" says the lower chamber of the Russian parliament yesterday passed a bill on instituting Internet blacklists; p 2 (500 words)

10. Yanina Sokolovskaya interview with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, headlined "'Current Gas Contract Is Disadvantageous for Ukraine,'" who speaks about the agenda of the Russian-Ukrainian presidential meeting in Crimea on July 12; p 5 (1,036 words)

11. Dina Ushakova and Taras Podrez article headlined "Banker Lebedev to Issue Navalny Card" says that businessman Alexander Lebedev's National Reserve Bank will issue Russian blogger and protest leader Alexei Navalny's anti-corruption debit cards; p 8 (452 words)

12. Anna Akhmadiyeva and Vladimir Gusev article headlined "Kommersant FM Changes Leadership" says that Dmitry Solopov has stepped down as the editor-in-chief of the radio station Kommersant FM. Alexei Vorobyev, first deputy editor-in-chief, has replaced Solopov at the post; p 9 (489 words)

13. Andrei Mazharov commentary headlined "Talk to Them" shares the author's conclusions as regards the recent major flood in the Krasnodar region; p 10 (615 words)

14. Political expert Boris Mezhuyev article headlined "Understanding Authorities' Logic" says that the recent steps taken by the Russian authorities are evidence of a toughening of state policy; p 10 (1,021 words)

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Marina Ozerova article headlined "Deputies Catch Giant Flea" says that the State Duma majority has discovered that virtually all recent laws, including those on protest rallies and NGOs, have been passed with violations of the relevant legislation; pp 1-2 (1,001 words)

2. Svetlana Samodelova report headlined "Journalists Being Detained in Krymsk" provides the latest developments in the flood-stricken town of Krymsk in the Krasnodar region; pp 1, 3 (2,441 words)

3. Viktoria Prikhodko article headlined "'Have You Destroyed All Internet in the Country?'" focuses on Dmitry Medvedev's meeting with the leadership of the United Russia faction in the State Duma; p 2 (518 words)

4. Andrei Yashlavsky article headlined "Castro Meets VVP [Putin] for Third Time" zooms in on the meeting between the Russian and Cuban leaders; p 2 (396 words)

5. Matvei Ganapolsky article headlined "Slander for Freedom of Speech" comments on a bill making libel a criminal offense and says that if it is passed, two professions — journalists and observers — will be destroyed; p 3 (884 words)

6. Yulia Kalinina interview with opposition activist Grigory Yavlinsky, headlined "What Does Opposition Want — to Win or Die Heroically?", who speaks about the protest movement in Russia and its prospects; p 4 (2,504 words)

7. Konstantin Smirnov and Vasily Mironov article headlined "Where Does Ruble Turn?" features experts' comments on prospects for the ruble's exchange rate; p 9 (2,527 words)

RBK Daily

1. Valeria Khamrayeva article titled "Unsuitable Name" says the Justice Ministry has rejected the Blue Buckets civic movement's application for registration as a political party; p 2 (500 words)

2. Katerina Kitayeva article headlined "Duma Places Cross on Damaging Resources" highlights that Communications and Press Minister Nikolai Nikiforov has said that the newly passed bill on Internet blacklists is flawed; p 10 (350 words)

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Viktoria Charochkina article titled "Let Me Drive" says an online petition for the cancellation of proxies for driving someone else's car may become the first go at the "e-democracy" mechanism, which was earlier proposed by President Vladimir Putin. If the initiative collects 100,000 signatures, it will be put to the government for consideration by expert bodies; p 1(650 words)

2. Yulia Khomchenko article titled "Error 404" looks at the newly adopted Internet restrictions bill and considers the different points of view on the subject; pp 1-2 (500 words)

3. Igor Kryuchkov article "Main Street Law" looks at the current standoff between the Islamist political forces in Egypt and the country's military and Constitutional Court; p 4 (450 words)

Noviye Izvestia

1. Svetlana Basharova and Alina Tolmacheva article headlined "Closure Will Show" rounds up pundits' comments on the controversial new bill on website blacklists that was passed by the State Duma yesterday; p 1 (400 words)

2. Yulia Savina article headlined "'Flight' From Hospital No Crime" says that the Supreme Court has found the arrest of Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov in December 2011 illegal. Udaltsov plans to sue for compensation for the arrest; p 2 (546 words)

3. Margarita Alekhina article headlined "Following Khodorkovsky's Way" says that the probe into the case of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot charged with hooliganism at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral has been completed and sent to Moscow's Khamovnichesky Court; p 5 (448 words)

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Viktor Baranets interview with the head of the Pacific Fleet military directorate of the Russian Investigative Committee, Viktor Grunin, on the criminal case into the death of 20 people aboard the Nerpa submarine in November 2008, which has been sent for a new round of consideration; p 9 (350 words)

2. Dmitry Steshin article titled "Kyrgyzstan Raises Rent for Our Servicemen" says the Kyrgyz Defense Ministry has cited inflation as the reason for raising the lease fees for the Russian military bases in the country; p 9 (150 words)

3. Viktor Baranets article "Russian Squadron Goes on Tour to Syrian Shores" makes a note of the fact that several ships of the Russian Northern Fleet have set off on naval drills in the Mediterranean, which entails a stopover in the Syrian port of Tartus; p 9 (120 words)

Trud (weekly)

1. Unattributed roundup of pundit views headlined "What is Slander" features comments from three prominent Russian media personalities on their views on a controversial bill before the State Duma on making libel and slander a criminal offense; p 3 (100 words)

Tvoi Den

1. Yulia Tsoi article titled "Word is No Sparrow" says State Duma deputies have approved in the first reading a bill on making libel a criminal offense; p 2 (200 words)

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Andrei Gavrilenko article titled "Russia's Oceanic Miles" looks at the naval exercises that the Russian Navy has planned for the summer period; p 1 (500 words)

2. Alexander Tikhonov piece "Shilka Ensures Victory" recaps on air defense drills, which recently wrapped up in the Krasnodar region; pp 1, 3 (650 words)

Zavtra

1. Interview with the president of the Russia-Islamic World Strategic Studies center, Shamil Sultanov, about his views on what is happening in Egypt at the moment, titled "Revolution in Egypt"; pp 1, 5 (1,500 words)

2. Sergei Kurginyan address "all responsible Russian politicians" in an article titled "Fight!" saying WTO accession will greatly harm Russia and criticizes the "destructive epic of the last 20 years"; p 3 (1,300 words)

July 12, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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