What the Papers Say, Sept. 13, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Yelizaveta Surnacheva et al. report headlined "TASS Authorized to Replace" says that leading Russian PR specialist Sergei Mikhailov will become general director of the ITAR-TASS news agency, replacing Vitaly Ignatenko, who has been the news agency's head for 20 years; pp 1, 3 (780 words).

2. Yelena Kiseleva and Oleg Rubnikovich article headlined "Agents for Stealing Deposits" says that a Moscow court on Thursday will consider passing an arrest motion against Viktor Krestin, former chairman of the board of the bank Moskovsky Kapital, which went bankrupt in 2009. He was detained on Sept. 11 together with four other suspects, including an employee of the Deposit Insurance Agency, on suspicion of attempted robbery of several dozen historical and cultural heritage sites in central Moscow; pp 1, 4 (904 words).

3. Khalil Aminov article headlined "Yelena Baturina to Be Held Liable for Moskovskiye Uchebniki [Moscow Textbooks]" says that the company Moskovskiye Uchebniki is trying to challenge a deal under which the company Inteko — once owned by Yelena Baturina, wife of former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhov — obtained 112 hectares of land in northeast Moscow at a below-market price in exchange for a promise to get approval for the development of the land plot at the mayor's office. If Baturina loses the suit, Inteko's new owner Mikhail Shishkhanov may lose a major development project; pp 1, 7 (660 words).

4. Irina Nagornykh and Sofya Samokhina article headlined "Dmitry Medvedev Unconcerned About His Subordinates' Property" says that on Wednesday, Prime Minister and United Russia head Dmitry Medvedev called on United Russia activists to give second thought to a controversial bill banning officials from possessing foreign property. Medvedev is believed to test the elite, experts comment; they say that if the bill is passed in its initial form, it may backfire on him; pp 1, 3 (981 words).

5. Maria-Luiza Tirmaste and Sofya Samokhina article headlined "Boris Titov Chooses First Defendant" says that business ombudsman Boris Titov has asked Supreme Court chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev and Prosecutor General Yury Chaika to look into the case of the founder of the Sunrise group of companies, Sergei Bobylev, whose persecution he considers unlawful; p 2 (651 words).

6. Vadim Visloguzov article headlined "Government Finds Manager for Debts" says that the government has tabled a bill on setting up the Russian Financial Agency, which may get some $300 billion under its control; p 2 (638 words).

7. Alexei Shapovalov article headlined "Andrei Belousov Makes Slow Speech" says that Economic Development Minister Andrei Belousov spoke Wednesday at the State Duma, focusing on factors that will contribute to the slowdown of economic activity in Russia in the next six months; p 2 (579 words).

8. Taisia Bekbulatova and Maxim Ivanov article headlined "United Russia Decides to Expose Sergei Mironov's Business" says that United Russia member Ilya Kostunov has demanded that the head of the Just Russia State Duma faction Sergei Mironov provide explanations about combining work in the Duma with business activity in response to a similar demand voiced by Mironov in relation to six United Russia deputies; p 3 (625 words).

9. Konstantin Voronov article headlined "Criminal Boss and His Connections Go to Court" says that the trial of Novosibirsk deputy mayor Alexander Solodkin and his father, who was a former advisor to the governor, has begun in Novosibirsk. The officials are charged with participation in an organized crime group; p 4 (691 words).

10. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Civil Code Revised in Interest of Mass Media" says that the Public Chamber has suggested that the article on the protection of honor, dignity and business reputation as well as the article on the protection of privacy should be excluded from a draft of the Civil Code, as they may limit journalists' right to collect and distribute information; p 5 (649 words).

11. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Nursultan Nazarbayev Honored With Meeting" says that Astana on Wednesday hosted the forth meeting of foreign ministers of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia. Astana said that the meeting has become the main regional forum for discussion of important international issues, whereas Moscow admitted that attempts to fill these meetings with real content have so far failed; p 6 (645 words).

12. Olga Mordyushenko et al. report headlined "Russian President's Decree Finds First Customer" says the Russian authorities have demanded that Moldova withdraw from an EU energy cooperation agreement if it wants to get a 30 percent discount on Russian gas; p 6 (770 words).

13. Maria Yefimova and Maxim Yusin article headlined "Libyan Revolution Devours Its Fathers" says that radical Islamists have attacked the U.S. consulate general in the Libyan city of Benghazi and killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens, who was one of the masterminds of providing Western assistance to the Libyan opposition; p 6 (800 words).

14. Article by Dmitry Butrin headlined "Rules of Game" looks at the EU probe into Gazprom operations in Europe and the president's decree aimed at protecting the gas monopoly; p 7 (448 words).

15. Article by Pavel Belavin and Khalil Aminov headlined "'Itera' Switches From 'STS Media'" says the Itera group of companies has sold its stake in STS Media; p 10 (500 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Politics in Russia: Return of Putin's Status Quo" says that over the last four months, President Vladimir Putin has successfully compensated his predecessor's liberal initiatives with a series of repressive acts; pp 1, 3 (1,022 words).

2. Igor Naumov article headlined "Black Square of Housing Issue" says that authorities' promises that all Russians will obtain proper accommodation in the near future are unlikely to be fulfilled, as the cost of housing keeps growing; pp 1, 4 (725 words).

3. Tatyana Dvoinova article headlined "Primorye Region Learns to Live After Summit" looks at the aftermath of the APEC summit in Vladivostok. Primorye region Governor Vladimir Miklushevksy has stated that the region showed its best and created a positive investment image, whereas regional experts were disappointed and agreed that the reputation of the territory had not been improved; pp 1-5 (550 words).

4. Yury Roks article headlined "Washington Umbrella for Tbilisi" says that the first group of U.S. experts on air defense has arrived in Georgia. The U.S. is going to help Georgia create its air defense forces, experts comment; pp 1, 6 (585 words).

5. Yury Paniyev article headlined "White House Against Red Line" says that the 5+1 group of international mediators is to voice new restrictive demands regarding the Iranian nuclear program Thursday while tensions are growing between the U.S. and Israel, as they differ on whether it is necessary to establish a so-called 'red line' for Iran; pp 1, 7 (610 words).

6. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Second Coming of People's Front" says that the All-Russia People's Front, headed by President Vladimir Putin, is being made independent from the United Russia party, headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Meanwhile, the United Russia party is faced with a challenge: six United Russia deputies are being investigated over combining public service with business activities; pp 1, 3 (716 words).

7. Oleg Bokov article headlined "Following Procedure" says that the State Duma may deprive A Just Russia Deputy Gennady Gudkov of his mandate, as law enforcement officials have provided a wealth of evidence that he has been engaged in business and thus has been combining work in parliament with business; p 2 (724 words).

8. Editorial headlined "Anti-Gazprom Wars" looks at the reasons behind the EU antimonopoly probe into Gazprom's activities; p 2 (509 words).

9. Andrei Melnikov article headlined "Nightmare From Arkady Mamontov" says that Wednesday's "Special Correspondent" program on Rossia 1 TV alleged that Pussy Riot's performance at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow had been orchestrated by an exiled tycoon; p 2 (653 words).

10. Andrei Kislyakov article headlined "Russian Space Industry as 'Great Super Goal'" ponders the ambitious task of setting up a lunar station as proposed by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin; p 3 (772 words).

11. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Inflation Defeats Government" says that for the first time in four years, the authorities have had to admit that inflation would be higher than expected. Moreover, economic growth has slowed from 5 percent last year to 3.5 percent this year; p 4 (803 words).

12. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Gazprom Sets to Defend Staff" says that Gazprom's long-drawn conflict with the European Commission, as well the company's declining performance, may result in the replacement of the company's leadership; p 4 (895 words).

13. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Kiev Opens Anti-Russian Trade Front" says that Ukraine has made a move in the Russian-Ukrainian trade war by introducing a scrapping fee for foreign cars; p 6 (1,084 words).

14. Sokhbet Mamedov article headlined "Meet Like Neighbors" looks at the outcome of the Azeri-Turkish talks held in the town of Qabala; p 6 (572 words).

15. Yevgeny Grigoryev article headlined "Sentence Worth 700Bln Passed in Germany" says that Germany's top court has rejected calls to block the permanent eurozone rescue fund — the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) — and the European fiscal treaty; p 7 (479 words).

16. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Salafists Take Revenge for Insulting Prophet" says that the U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed in a protest over a U.S.-made film that was said to insult the Prophet Muhammad; p 7 (540 words).

17. Artur Blinov article headlined "Current Missile Defense System Fails to Protect America" says that experts from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences have warned that the missile defense system being set up now cannot protect the U.S. from strategic missiles and advised that a third base of missile defense facilities should be set up on U.S. territory while the implementation of the fourth phase of the European missile defense system should be postponed; p 7 (528 words).

Vedomosti

1. Yevgenia Pismennaya and Margarita Papchenkova article headlined "To Abolish Federal Service for Financial Markets" says that the Central Bank may become the only regulator for all participants in the financial market while the existing Federal Service for Financial Markets may be abolished or transformed into a federal agency; pp 1, 3 (994 words).

2. Yekaterina Sobol et al. report headlined "Transformer's Mistake" says that a blackout at Sheremetyevo International Airport on Wednesday may result not only in lawsuits but also in criminal cases depending on the results of a probe by prosecutors; p 1 (437 words).

3. Anastasia Kornya et al. report headlined "Declarations About Nothing" says that experts from the Higher School of Economics have found that officials' income declarations do not work as an anti-corruption measure and advised that the principles for reporting income should be revised; pp 1-2 (757 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Bad Medicine for Strategic Business" ponders the consequences of a recent presidential decree aimed at defending Gazprom from European officials and customers who seek a discount on gas prices; p 1 (533 words).

5. Natalya Kostenko article headlined "Once in Year" says that the State Duma will most likely approve Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's initiative to hold all elections on the same day: the second Sunday in September; p 2 (400 words).

6. Editorial headlined "Woe From Wit" says that Russia has been recognized as the most educated country among 42 nations; p 4 (367 words).

7. Boris Safronov article headlined "Company of Week: JSC Gazprom" says that the president's decree aimed at defending Gazprom from EU officials will not help the gas monopoly — on the contrary, it will reduce its chances for success and may only increase fines; p 4 (360 words).

8. Polina Khimshiashvili article headlined "Revenge for Prophet" says that a U.S. ambassador has been killed in Libya during protests sparked by a U.S.-produced film about Islam. U.S.-Libya relations are unlikely to suffer, Russian experts say; p 2 (474 words).

9. Sergei Karaganov article headlined " Security Strategy. What Weapons?" comments on the progress of military reform; p 4 (721 words).

10. Interview with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich headlined "State Will Not Interfere Excessively in Economy" in which he speaks about his duties and tasks; p 5 (7,718 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Ivan Yegorov article headlined "Court Reports and Shows" says that Moscow City Court has begun broadcasting from the courtroom; pp 1-2 (700 words).

2. Viktor Feshchenko article headlined "Murder Under Black Flag" says that U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens has died in an attack by radical Islamists on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi; pp 1, 8 (800 words).

3. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Wine With Gas" says that President Vladimir Putin has met with Moldovan Prime Minister Vladimir Filat; p 2 (300 words).

4. Vitaly Petrov article headlined "To Always Tell the Truth" says that President Vladimir Putin has chaired a session on "the religious and patriotic upbringing of youth" in Krasnodar; p 2 (900 words).

5. Lyubov Protsenko article " Following Events" says that the authorities have permitted the opposition to hold a March of Millions in central Moscow; p 2 (200 words).

6. Anna Fedyakina et al. article headlined "To Prove Wrongdoing" says that a new law that makes defamation a criminal offense has saved a journalist from prosecution; p 6 (400 words).

7. Maxim Makarychev interview with Cuban ambassador to Russia Juan Valdes Figueroa headlined "Half Century as Target" in which he speaks about the U.S.'s double standards in fighting terrorism; p 8 (600 words).

8. Vladislav Vorobyev article headlined "Lavrov Builds Bridges" says that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov represented Russia at a meeting of the Asian regional forum in Astana attended by 23 countries; p 8 (500 words)

Izvestia

1. Yury Matsarsky et al. article headlined "U.S. Ambassador Poisoned With Carbon Monoxide" says that U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Evans may have died of carbon monoxide poisoning; pp 1, 5 (600 words).

2. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "State Duma Reveals Spending of 24M Rubles" says that auditors have revealed the large spending of State Duma funds; pp 1, 4 (500 words).

3. Anastasia Alexiyevskich article headlined "Kadyrov Asks for 7.5Bln to Pay Debts" says that Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov has requested that the federal government provide financial assistance to pay a debt the republic owes to a state-owned bank; pp 1, 4 (600 words).

4. Anna Lyalyakina article headlined "Quarter of State Employees to Be Dismissed" says that the Finance Ministry intends to cut staff by 25 percent. The remaining personnel will get higher pay; pp 1, 3 (500 words).

5. Alexei Mikhailov article headlined "Mi-35M Crashed Due to Ground Command's Mistake" says that commanders of the Southern Military District were to blame for the recent crash of a helicopter; p 3 (400 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Alexander Melman article analyses a recent documentary by Rossia 1 special correspondent Arkady Mamontov on punk band Pussy Riot; pp 1-2 (400 words).

2. Igor Subbotin article headlined "'Freed' Libyans Kill U.S. Envoy" looks at the recent anti-U.S. attacks in Libya and Egypt; p 3 (400 words).

3. Oleg Bazak article headlined "Rada Like Never Before" looks at the forthcoming elections to Ukraine's legislative body, the Verkhovna Rada; p 4 (850 words).

RBC Daily

1. Alexander Litoi article headlined "Stake on Masses" says the opposition has decided to abstain from concrete political proposals at the forthcoming rally on Sept. 15; p 2 (400 words).

2. Anastasia Fomicheva article headlined "FAS Calls Back 'Big Three'" says the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) wants Russian mobile operators to reduce roaming prices both in Europe and in CIS countries; p 10 (500 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Nadezhda Krasilova interview with opposition activist and A Just Russia State Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomarev, who comments on his proposals to limit the existing immunity of deputies; p 2 (300 words).

Sept. 13, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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