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What the Papers Say, Sept. 21, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1.Dmitry Butrin et al. report headlined "Budget Not Amended but Expanded" says that the government has approved the draft budget for 2013-15 despite President Vladimir Putin's criticism; pp 1, 8 (1,159 words).

2. Olga Shestopal and Dmitry Ladygin article headlined "Profits to Be Written Off" says that after the Supreme Court ruled that banks must not sell bad debts to collectors without the consent of the debtors, banks have to write off bad debts; pp 1, 10 (592 words).

3. Arina Borodina and Ivan Safronov article headlined "Zvezda Money Falls to Public Television" says that the Defense Ministry TV channel Zvezda will continue broadcasting, but from 2013, the budget funds that it received will be allocated to the development of public television; pp 1, 3 (778 words).

4. Vladimir Dzaguto et al. report headlined "Electricity Being Cut Off for Igor Sechin" says that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has officially backed the idea of putting around 130 billion rubles of Rosneftegaz dividends into the budget, which will deprive the holding of an opportunity to consolidate state energy companies; pp 1, 9 (663 words).

5. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "62% to Take Tough Measures" cites polls that say the overwhelming majority of Russians back the ban on state officials owning foreign property; p 2 (469 words).

6. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Motherland or House in Spain" looks at an Open Tribune discussion of the controversial bill to ban state officials from having property abroad held Thursday; p 2 (587 words).

7. Sofya Samokhina article headlined "United Russia Members Have No Business Left" says the State Duma commission for monitoring deputies' incomes checked five United Russia deputies suspected of business activity and decided that four of them are beyond suspicion; p 2 (547 words).

8. Irina Nagornykh article headlined "Used Filter to Be Returned to Duma" says that after the Oct. 14 regional elections the State Duma may revise the law on elections, introducing an obligatory municipal filter for gubernatorial candidates; p 3 (706 words).

9. Oleg Rubnikovich article titled "Prosecutor General's Office Glances at the West" says that the upcoming consolidation of Russian investigative bodies may entail greater control over investigators' activities on the part of the Prosecutor's General Office; p 3 (500 words).

10. Grigory Tumanov and Yelena Kolycheva article headlined "Deputies to Give Winter Time" describes a bill introduced to parliament Thursday that would see permanent winter time introduced in Russia; p 4 (450 words).

11. Alexander Smotrov and Musa Muradov article titled "Polonium Tea Prepared for Study" says that a pre-inquest hearing into the death of former Federal Security Service officer Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 has begun in the U.K.; p 5 (653 words).

12. Maria Yefimova article headlined "Saudi Arabia Gets 10% Revolutionary" considers forecasts of possible unrest in Saudi Arabia in the coming spring; p 6 (755 words).

13. Alexander Reutov article headlined "Pentagon Chief Sustains Alignment With China" says that during his visit to China, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta refrained from public discussion of the territorial dispute between China and Japan; p 6 (429 words).

14. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Prophet Muhammad Made Note Of" says that protests that broke out in France after obscene cartoons of Prophet Muhammad were published in a French satirical magazine forced the closure of French embassies in 20 Muslim countries; p 6 (533 words).

15.Arkady Sukholutsky and Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Europe Gets United Over Magnitsky List" says the European Parliament has made the first step to introducing visa sanctions against Russian officials considered to be involved in the death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergey Magnitsky in a Moscow detention center; p 6 (452 words).

16. Yury Barsukov article headlined "North Liberal Ocean" says that according to experts of the Skolkovo business school, the tax regime proposed by the government for the development of offshore areas in the Arctic is the most liberal in the world; p 8 (683 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Citizens' Personal Data to Be Coordinated With Federal Security Service" says that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday approved new rules for handling personal information of Russians. The novelties may have been introduced following the high-profile lawsuit against the editor-in-chief of the RIA-Novosti news agency, Svetlana Mironyuk, who was charged with disclosing personal data in a media report, experts say; pp 1, 3 (707 words).

2. Igor Naumov article headlined "Finance Ministry Cooking Up Budget Maneuver" says that after President Vladimir Putin criticized the government for its failure to fulfill his decrees issued in May, the government has set up a sub-commission to monitor the implementation of his orders; pp 1, 4 (920 words).

3. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Kiev Gets Last Warning" says that Washington is ready to impose personal sanctions against representatives of the Ukrainian authorities considered to be involved in the persecution of opposition leaders; pp 1, 4 (687 words).

4. Andrei Serenko article headlined "Ilyumzhinov Deprived of Kalmyk Izvestia" says that Kalmyk authorities have evicted the daily newspaper Izvestia Kalmykii from its office, reportedly for criticism of the republic's leadership; pp 1, 6 (620 words).

5. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Duma Fever" says the State Duma commission for monitoring deputies' incomes decided not to conduct an inquiry into suspected business activities of four United Russia members; pp 1-2 (1,036 words).

6. Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "Government's Fall on People's Shoulders" says that when calculating the amount of outstanding state debt, officials did not take into account state debt of the former Soviet Union worth 25 trillion rubles (around $785 billion), which significantly worsens the optimistic economic outlook; pp 1, 4 (729 words).

7. Alexei Petrov article headlined "Distressing Weekend in Store for Many Countries" says that this Friday may become a day of protest against various media campaigns seen as attacks on Islam. Meanwhile, cartoons of Prophet Muhammad are expected to be published in Germany soon; p 2 (531 words).

8. Editorial headlined "Accident Upon Client's Whim" looks at the reasons behind an accident during sea tests of former Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which is set to be transferred to the Indian Navy, and contemplates possible consequences for Russia; p 2 (516 words).

9. Vladislav Maltsev article headlined "Moscow Mayor's Office Cancels Mitino Mosque Construction" says that Moscow authorities have decided to call off the construction of a mosque in a district in Moscow's northwest after mass protests; p 2 (603 words).

10. Pundit Yevgeny Bazhanov commentary headlined "There Will Be No War With Islam" contemplates the boundaries of a war of civilizations; p 3 (739 words).

11. Alexandra Samarina article titled "All-in-One Investigation" says that a bill on the creation of a single Investigative Committee is expected to be introduced to the State Duma shortly; p 3 (750 words).

12. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Outflow of Capital Banned" says the Finance Ministry has stated that there are no reasons to suspect capital flight from Russia; p 4 (830 words).

13. Sergei Turanov article headlined "Russia's Best Lobbyists in August 2012" features the August 2012 rating of the most influential representatives of state and commercial structures who lobbied projects of interest; p 5 (1,460 words).

14. Oleg Nikiforov article headlined "Places for Good Living of German Investors" looks at German business activity in Russian regions; p 5 (654 words).

15. Alexander Shapovalov article titled "Security Officers Make Mop-Ups More Frequent" summarizes special operations against extremists carried out in three North Caucasus republics Thursday; p 6 (450 words).

16. Yury Roks article headlined "Resignation of Interior Minister Demanded in Tbilisi" says the former staff of the notorious Tbilisi prison who videotaped prisoners being tortured by prison staff stated that the heads of the penal system and the interior ministry were aware of the mayhem; p 7 (879 words).

17. Anton Khodasevich article headlined "Minsk Offers Excuses Again" says that Washington has introduced sanctions against a Belarusian state-run company, accusing it of supplying military hardware to Syria; p 7 (613 words).

18. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "U.S. Threatens Sanctions Against Assad's Secret Ally" says that Iraq has denied allegations that it makes its airspace available to suppliers of military aid to Bashar Assad's regime; p 8 (555 words).

19. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "London Preparing Charges Against Russia" says that a pre-inquest hearing into the 2006 death of former Russian FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko has started in London; p 8 (547 words).

Vedomosti

1. Maxim Tovkailo and Margarita Lyutova article headlined "Sechin Without Energy" says the government plans to finance Vladimir Putin's pre-election promises by funneling 95 percent of Rosneftegaz funds into the budget. Besides satisfying the president, this will also undermine Igor Sechin's plans to use Rosneftegaz for privatization; pp 1, 3 (723 words).

2. Vasily Kudinov et al. report headlined "Alfa Network" says that Alfa Bank is interested in buying mobile phone retailer Yevroset; p 1 (464 words).

3. Anastasia Kornya article headlined "Almost Election" says the Supreme Arbitration Court has launched an experimental peer rating of judges. Those who get the most points will become candidates for promotion; pp 1-2 (464 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Labor Reserves" ponders the effects of labor migrants on the Russian economy; pp 1, 4 (517 words).

5. Maxim Glikin et al. article titled "Deputies to Catch Up to Inflation" looks at remuneration plans for Russian deputies; p 2 (400 words).

6. Maria Zheleznova and Lilia Biryukova article titled "Less Tourism" says the upcoming Oct. 14 regional elections will see mostly local observers keeping watch over the polls; p 2 (350 words).

7. Lilia Biryukova article headlined "Questions Only for Skotch" says that a Duma commission will check the accuracy of income declarations for three dozen deputies as part of a campaign to identify parliamentarians with purportedly illegal business interests; p 2 (500 words).

8. Another editorial headlined "Where Dreams Take You" comments on Energy Minister Alexander Novak's ambitious plan to attract $1 trillion of foreign investments in the Russian energy industry within seven years; p 4 (300 words).

9. Mikhail Fishman opinion piece headlined "Public Interest: Castling. One Year On" says that in the one year since Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev announced their job swap, stability and relative order have disappeared in the country; p 4 (448 words).

10. Ilya Klishin article titled "Cardinal's Young Guard" looks at the use of Internet technologies, including Twitter, by pro-Kremlin youth movements to further their cause of undermining the opposition; p 4 (550 words).

11. Maxim Glikin article headlined "Item of the Week: Deputy Seat" says that stripping A Just Russia deputy Gennady Gudkov of his seat in the State Duma has ruined the unspoken rules of the game in the parliament, which may result in chaos; p 4 (313 words).

12. Oxana Gavshina article headlined "How to Attract 1 Trillion" says the government has decided to stage a road show of Russian energy projects in an attempt to attract foreign investment; p 8 (501 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Outpost of Stability" says that talks between the Russian and Kyrgyz leaders confirmed that Russian servicemen will stay in Kyrgyzstan for at least 20 years; p 2 (800 words).

2. Vitaly Petrov article titled "Difficult and Tough" looks at the government-approved budget for 2013-15; (1,000 words).

3. Adilya Zaripova article headlined "Art of Provocation" looks at a controversial Pussy Riot-inspired exhibition that opened in Moscow on Thursday; p 7 (250 words).

4. Yevgeny Solovyev article titled "Beijing Being Asked to Pay" looks at the ongoing dispute between China and Japan; p 8 (350 words).

5. Vladislav Vorobyev article headlined "Clinton Was Warned Twice" says the Foreign Ministry does not plan to satisfy U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's request to extend the mandate of USAID in Russia; p 8 (300 words).

6. Vladislav Vorobyev article titled "Stop. Filmed. But Who?" looks at the prison scandal in Georgia and its implications for the country's image in the EU; p 8 (400 words).

Izvestia

1. Irina Kezik and Alexandra Yermakova article headlined "Drop in Oil Production Awaits Russia" says that according to experts, Russian oil production will drop by 19 percent by 2020; pp 1-2 (398 words).

2. Dmitry Runkevich article titled "Deputies to Ban Online Anonymity" says that State Duma deputies are planning to adopt laws that would restrict the use of programs that mask user and IP information; pp 1-2 (550 words).

3. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "A Just Russia Leader Mironov Awaits Deciding Meeting With Vladimir Putin" says that Sergei Mironov is expecting to meet the president soon and contemplates the possible issues that may be on the meeting agenda; p 2 (482 words).

4. Svetlana Subbotina article titled "'Reserve Airfields' in Europe to Be Closed Down" says parliament is considering three possible versions of a law banning foreign asset ownership for officials; p 2 (400 words).

5. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "Communist Anatoly Lokot Risks Losing Seat" says Communist Party Deputy Anatoliy Lokot may be stripped of his seat in parliament pursuant to an inquiry into purportedly illegal activities; p 2 (500 words).

6. Ivan Konovalov article headlined "Pyotr Veliky Tested for Missile Defense" describes missile defense drills involving the heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky; p 4 (452 words).

7. Maria Tsiptsyura and Yanina Sokolovskaya article titled "Defense Ministry to Collect Ukraine's Gas" looks at a ruling of a Kiev court on outstanding Ukrainian gas debt to Russia; p 5 (650 words).

8. Yury Matsarsky interview with notorious U.S. pastor Terry Jones headlined "'I Just Took Part in Promoting 'Innocence of Muslims,' That's All'," in which he speaks about the controversial anti-Islam film; p 5 (771 words).

9. Ivan Konovalov article titled "Defense Ministry to Finance Development of Kurganets" says the Defense Ministry is planning to continue its funding for the design and development of the Kurganets-25 military vehicle; p 8 (350 words).

10. Anna Pozina interview with TV host Vladimir Solovyev about Russian public TV, headlined "'Public TV Can Go to Air but There'll Be Nothing to Show. There Is No Concept.'"; p 11 (850 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Inna Grigoryeva article titled "Time Being Taken Away From Medvedev" ponders whether United Russia deputies will back an initiative to undo Dmitry Medvedev's permanent-summer-time initiative; pp 1-2 (250 words).

2. Marina Ozerova and Maria Rybakova article titled "'Once Upon a Time in the Duma.' Deputy Wars" looks at the campaign to review the accuracy of deputies' income declarations; pp 1-2 (500 words).

3. Renat Abdullin and Zurab Nalbandyan article titled "Litvinenko's Murder Being Investigated for 4M Pounds" looks at the start of the pre-inquest hearing into the 2006 death of Alexander Litvinenko in London; p 2 (250 words).

4. Opinion piece by pundit Mikhail Delyagin titled "Why Does State Duma Need Media?" mulls a State Duma initiative on the establishment of a media relations committee; p 4 (300 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Nikolai Vardul article titled "President Shakes Up Government Before Use" wonders what is behind the public reprimand that President Vladimir Putin gave to three ministers for the non-fulfillment of his orders; p 4 (350 words).

2. Andrei Sukhotin article headlined "Seats on Trust" provides information about purported commercial activities and incomes of several United Russia deputies; pp 5-6 (1,200).

3. Alexei Tarasov article titled "Nature of Corruption" says that Russia's environmental protection watchdog Rosprirodnadzor has given the Norilsk Nickel metallurgy giant permission to control its own emission levels; p 7 (950 words).

4. Maria Yepifanova article titled "Candidates for Coordinators" looks at the final list of candidates for the opposition's Coordination Council, for which elections are to be held on Oct. 20-21; p 8 (800 words).

5. Nikita Girin piece titled "Secured" comments on the winding up of USAID operations in Russia and the implications for Russian NGOs; p 9 (500 words).

6. Yury Revich commentary titled "The End for YouTube?" considers the likelihood that access to YouTube will be blocked in Russia over the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" film trailer; p 9 (500 words).

RBC Daily

1. Kristina Yust article titled "Discount for National Asset" says the Finance Ministry has revised the mineral extraction tax applicable to Gazprom and independent gas producers down by 20 percent; p 1 (400 words).

2. Yaroslav Nikolayev article headlined "Courts to Get More Openness" says the Supreme Arbitration Court has ruled that if a judge closes a trial to the press without appropriate grounds, the verdict in the lawsuit will be subject to revision. Experts believe this will make closed-door court hearings less frequent; p 2 (350 words).

3. Vitaly Petlevoi interview with private space industry mogul Mikhail Kokorich about the Russian space industry's prospects titled "'Russia's First Private Satellite Will Be Launched in 2013'"; p 5 (1,300 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Semyon Yelenin article titled "After Protests, There Will Be No Mosque in Mitino" says that Moscow authorities have revised plans to build an Islamic cultural center in a northwestern Moscow district after local residents came out to a mass protest; pp 1,3 (250 words).

2. Sergei Polosatov article headlined "They're in Jail but the Pennies Are Flowing In" reports on the Pussy Riot punk band being awarded the Lennon-Ono peace prize, which includes $50,000; p 4 (150 words).

3. Excerpt of a very skeptical blog post by veteran protest leader Eduard Limonov about the opposition's Coordination Council election titled "How [Alexei] Navalny Decided to Head You All Up"; p 9 (300 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Viktoria Voloshina article headlined "Songs of Our Village" says that a Tajik music radio station has been launched in Moscow; p 6 (350 words).

2. Andrei Lapik article titled "Golden Horn of Plenty" considers the long-term effects on Vladivostok's infrastructure of the recent APEC summit; pp 12-13 (500 words).

Trud

1. Pavel Orlov article titled "This Is Where the Dog Is Buried" considers the recent controversy surrounding the Communist Party leader's Twitter statement about the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya in light of arguably no less controversial statements about Russia by U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney; p 1 (200 words)

2. Yury Ryazhsky article titled "End of the World Cancelled in St. Petersburg" says that deputies from Russia's second-largest city are planning to outlaw all talk about the end of the world; p 1 (300 words).

3. Andrei Furtsev article titled "They Fight in Favor of U.S." says that an escalation in the Japan-China conflict benefits the U.S. dollar's dominant position in the world; p 2 (350 words).

Sept. 21, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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