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What the Papers Say, Sept. 26, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Kirill Melnikov and Anna Solodovnikova article headlined "Vladimir Bogdanov Unable to Work With Venezuelan Oil" says Surgutneftegaz has quit a joint project with Venezuela for oil extraction by the River Orinoco. The Russian company's stake, 20 percent, may be split between other members of the Russian National Oil Consortium working in Venezuela; pp 1, 11 (550 words).

2. Svetlana Dementyeva and Dmitriy Ladygin article headlined "Situation Without Revenues" says Russian banks will have to scale down their consumer lending business, as the Central Bank is going to impose tougher reserve requirements on banks providing these kinds of loans; pp 1, 10 (900 words).

3. Anna Balashova article headlined "Strong Intolerance of Numbers" says presidential aide and former Press and Communications Minister Igor Shchegolev has criticized a bill by the Press and Communications Ministry allowing people to keep their mobile phone numbers even if they change mobile phone operators. The senior official believes operators will find providing this service too problematic; pp 1, 13 (600 words).

4. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Derivatives From Percentage of VVP [GDP, also Putin's initials]" comments on President Putin's meeting with the presidential culture council; pp 1, 3 (1,000 words).

5. Irina Nagornykh article headlined "President and Duma to Be Elected Online" comments on a think-tank report on the role of the Internet in Russian political life. The report notes the growing role of the Internet in shaping the thinking of Russian voters; p 2 (800 words).

6. Vyacheslav Sukhonov article headlined says "Opposition Activists to Be Allowed to Give Advice to Governors" says United Russia has reportedly instructed regional heads to take on opposition activists as advisers. The opposition has expressed a readiness to work with the authorities in many regions; p 2 (400 words).

7. Alina Sabitova and Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Signal About Alexei Mitrofanov Received From Pensioner" says Duma Deputy Alexei Mitrofanov, nominated by United Russia for the post of the head of the State Duma's media relations committee, has been accused of receiving a 2.25 million ruble ($70,000) bribe. The Communists and A Just Russia are going to check the information; p 2 (550 words).

8. Taisia Bekbulatova article headlined "Like Spiders in Khimki" reports on mayoral election campaign scheming in the Moscow region town of Khimki; p 3 (350 words).

9. Grigory Tumanov article headlined "Nonsystemic [Politicians] to Be Put Into 4 Baskets" comments on the election campaign for the opposition's Coordination Council; p 3 (400 words).

10. Oleg Rubnikovich article headlined "Yukos Case Shifts to Absentee Forms" says a court in Moscow has sentenced former lawyer Ivan Kolesnikov to 6 1/2 years for fraud with the shares of Yeniseineftegaz, one of the oil-extracting companies that belonged to Yukos. The man was tried in absentia as he is living in Cyprus; p 4 (450 words).

11. Andrei Smirnov article titled "Didn't Torture, But Got Sent to Jail" reports on yesterday's conviction of two Kazan policemen involved in the high-profile case of a detainee death at the notorious Dalny police station; p 4 (450 words).

12. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Barack Obama Calls for Changes" says experts have described U.S. President Barack Obama's speech at the UN General Assembly as one of the most successful in recent years. Obama said the U.S.A. would continue to pursue a course for change despite problems in the Middle East; p 8 (500 words).

13. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Libya Lets Its Missiles Slip" says air defense systems have been stolen from a military base in Libya. If they fall into the hands of extremists, military and civilian planes may be attacked; p 8 (350 words).

14. Alexander Reutov article headlined "Hamas Becomes Part of Arab Spring" says the head of the Hamas movement is to be replaced by the end of the year as the movement is now aligning itself with Qatar and the new Egyptian authorities, instead of Iran; p 8 (400 words).

15. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Britain Prefers Commonwealth to Union" says by signing a diplomatic cooperation agreement with Canada, London is trying to strengthen its relations with the British Commonwealth and show the independence of its foreign policy from the EU; p 8 (450 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "3rd Millennium. New Middle Ages" criticizes the State Duma's statement "on defending believers' feelings" as it returns country to a Middle Age clericalism; pp 1, 3 (850 words).

2. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Freedom of Speech Moves Abroad" comments on the plight of opposition activists prosecuted over unrest at the May 6 "March of Millions" protest. Those who are in custody in Russia are suffering from bad conditions, while one of the activists who fled abroad can hardly make ends meet; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

3. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Fight for Oil Pot" says forecasts for oil price growth are unlikely to come true as the U.S. authorities are stimulating greater oil production; pp 1, 4 (1,300 words).

4. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Another Round of War Against Alcohol Addiction" comments on the flurry of activity around toughening punishment for drunk driving. However, the current rhetoric by the ruling United Russia party looks more like a publicity campaign, the author notes; pp 1, 3 (650 words).

5. Viktoria Panfilova article headlined "Split Line Over Rogun" says Uzbekistan is displeased with Tajikistan's plans for the construction of the Rogun hydroelectric power plant; pp 1, 7 (650 words).

6. Mikhail Vyugin article headlined "Prosecutor's Wife Beyond Suspicion" comments on delays with setting up a statutory court in the Sverdlovsk region; pp 1, 6 (600 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Post-Kyoto Business and Ecology" mulls Russia's environmental protection policy ahead of an international climate conference; p 2 (550 words).

8. Yury Tavrovskiy commentary titled "Russia-Japan: Window of Opportunity" considers possible ways to resolve the longstanding territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands between Russia and Japan; p 3 (700 words).

9. Nikolai Kaveshnikov article headlined "Gazprom's European Hardships" analyzes problems that Russian gas monopoly Gazprom is having in the EU; p 5 (3,000 words).

10. Tatyana Ivzheko article titled "Ukraine Gets Pre-Election Warning From EU" comments on an EU visit by Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Valery Khoroshkovsky; p 7 (650 words).

11. Anton Khodasevich article headlined "West Condemns Lukashenko Again" says that Belarus does not expect more international sanctions despite EU and U.S. criticism of its recent parliamentary elections; p 7 (600 words).

12. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Romney Slams Obama's Foreign Policy" says Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is criticizing Obama's foreign policy in an attempt to win the support of undecided voters; p 8 (600 words).

13. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Varyag to Help China Become Superpower" reports on the handover of a Ukrainian aircraft carrier to China; p 8 (400 words).

14. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Syria and Iran Main Topics for Discussion at UN General Assembly" recaps on the latest at the current session of the UN General Assembly; p 8 (500 words).

Vedomosti

1. Timofei Dzyadko report headlined "BP Partner Returns to Bargaining" says the Russian shareholders in the TNK-BP joint venture have decided to compete for BP's stake in the company. The author notes that Rosneft wants to buy the same stake and that it would be hard to compete with the Russian oil giant; p 1 (600 words).

2. Olga Kuvshinova article headlined "Pessimists From Finance Ministry" says the Finance Ministry believes the Economic Development Ministry's economic outlook for 2013-15 to be too optimistic, as there are no conditions for attracting investment and ruble may become weaker; pp 1, 3 (500 words).

3. Yelizaveta Sergina and Maxim Tovkailo article headlined "Zuckerberg Is Coming" says Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will visit Moscow. He will meet with Russian programmers and will be received by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev; p 1 (350 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Criminal Lawmaking" comments on repressive bills that the State Duma is passing, presumably in a bid to please the Kremlin; pp 1, 4 (300 words).

5. Natalya Kostenko article titled "Elections Without Tandem" says regional election campaigns will not draw on the images of Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev in view of United Russia's poor performance at the parliamentary elections in December 2011; p 2 (400 words).

6. Maria Zheleznova article headlined "Vote of Confidence for State Duma" says disenchanted Muscovites want a city referendum on dissolving the Moscow city Duma and holding a confidence vote for the State Duma; p 2 (350 words).

7. Editorial titled "Russian Soldiers of Fortune" comments on Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin's idea to establish private military companies that would protect the interests of Russian producers working in disadvantaged parts of Russia and the world; p 4 (300 words).

8. Opinion piece by Yana Yakovleva titled "Without Right to Early Release" comments on a State Duma initiative to toughen rules for the release of prisoners on parole; p 4 (600 words)

9. Commentary by politician Vladimir Milov headlined "Bankruptcy or Nationalization" analyzes the prospects of the Russian economy amid growing concerns that a new wave of the economic crisis is about to strike; p 4 (400 words).

10. Oksana Gavshina article titled "Retaliatory Strike" reports on BP's successful attempt to have the shares of a minority shareholder in TNK-BP, which earlier sued BP for $3 billion, arrested; p 8 (300 words).

11. Valery Kodachigov article titled "Return of Satellite" says that satellite operator Orion Express may at long last start broadcasting via the Intelsat Horizons 2 satellite in October, after complying with all license requirements; p 11 (300 words)

Izvestia

1. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev article headlined "Russian President to Fly on Italian Helicopter" says two Italian helicopters have been bought for the Russian government's air fleet, which ferries around the president and the prime minister; pp 1, 4 (350 words).

2. Margarita Kazantseva article headlined "Federal Drug Control Service Head Asks Government for New Powers" says the Federal Drug Control Service head, Viktor Ivanov, has asked the government to allow the service ban new types of narcotic substances; pp 1-2 (700).

3. Maria Kunle article headlined "Audit Chamber Finds Corruption in Union State" says the Russian Audit Chamber has found evidence of abuses in a joint Russian-Belarussian scientific research program; pp 1, 4 (550 words).

4. Anna Akhmadiyeva article headlined "Finance Ministry Cutting RIA-Novosti Budget" says the RIA-Novosti news agency will receive less finding in 2013 compared to 2012; pp 1, 4 (700 words).

5. Alexander Yunashev article titled "Putin Being Readied for Next Election" says the All-Russia People's Front will soon be registered as a public movement. Experts expect President Putin to become its leader; p 2 (400 words).

6. Ivan Konovalov article titled "Restoring Admiral Nakhimov to Cost 50Bln Rubles" reviews plans for the repair and modernization of the heavy nuclear submarine Admiral Nakhimov; p 2 (500 words).

7. Darya Mazayeva article headlined "Political Blocs May Split Opposition" considers possible implications of the introduction of political blocs on the Russian political landscape; p 3 (550 words).

8. Yulia Tsoi and Anton Lednev article titled "Shakhov Facing Disqualification From Election Due to Lawsuit From Chirikova" provides an update on the latest developments in the mayoral election campaign in the town in Khimki in the Moscow region; p 3 (450 words).

9. Anna Akhmadiyeva writes that Mark Zuckerberg is set to appear on an evening variety show on Russia's Channel One on Oct. 1 during his visit to Moscow in her piece headlined "Facebook Founder to Appear on Channel One"; p 3 (250 words).

10. Yulia Tsoi, et al. article titled "Offending Faith Put Into Jail Terms and Fines" comments on the State Duma's plans to criminalize offending the feelings of religious believers; p 4 (600 words).

11. Mikhail Vigansky and Igor Yavlyansky article titled "Saakashvili Distracting Attention From Problems in Georgia" comments on Georgia's concerns about the recent Caucasus-2012 military drills; p 5 (500 words).

12. Yury Matsarsky article headlined "Mitt Romney Not Planning to Give Up Election" reports on the latest developments in the U.S. presidential campaign; p 5 (400 words).

13. Anna Akhmadiyeva article titled "TNT and Gazprom Media to Launch Comedy FM" outlines plans to launch a new radio station on the basis of the popular Comedy Club project; p 8 (200 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Sergei Ptichkin interview with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin titled "Do Not Simplify Arms" speaking on the development of the Russian defense sector; pp 1, 4 (2,800 words).

2. Yelena Kukol interview with Natalya Antipina, acting head of Rosreestr (Federal Service for Registration, Cadastre and Cartography) speaking about the tasks of the service and its work with businesses; p 1 (650 words).

3. Tatyana Shadrina article headlined "Won't Get Too Far" says new Transportation Ministry regulations will oblige people to use their passports when buying tickets for journeys within Russia on commuter train and long-distance buses; pp 1, 7 (350 words).

4. Tamara Shkel report titled "Defensive Reaction" looks at the statement adopted by the State Duma on protecting people's religious feelings; pp 1-2 (600 words).

5. Commentary by Alexei Chernakov headlined "Midweek: Zero Tolerance" calls for tough punishment for drunk driving; p 2 (400 words).

6. Vitaly Petrov article titled "Media to Sow Culture" comments on yesterday's culture council meeting with President Putin; p 2 (850 words).

7. Commentary by Fedor Lukyanov headlined "Maneuver Above All" analyzes Russia's stance on the Chinese-Japanese territorial dispute; p 5 (600 words).

8. Maxim Makarychev interview with a former officer of the notorious Georgian prison where instances of torture were revealed titled "Tbilisi Shields Butchers" on the ongoing scandal in Georgia; p 8 (550 words)

9. Vladislav Vorobyev article headlined "Manhattan Beguiles" reports on an anti-Iranian protest in the center of New York, where a session of the UN General Assembly is currently under way; p 8 (450 words).

10. Viktor Feshchenko article headlined "Why Beat Up Your Own" reports on the prosecution of U.S. servicemen who desecrated the bodies of killed Afghanis; p 8 (600 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Yulia Kalinina article headlined "Protection From Attack Leads to Jail" says people in Russia who fall victim to attacks using nonlethal weapons are often tried as aggressors themselves; pp 1, 3 (550 words).

2. Anastasia Rodionova article titled "Opposition Put Into Baskets" looks at preparations for the opposition's Coordination Council election on Oct. 20-21; pp 1-2 (400 words).

3. Tatyana Zamakhina article titled "Hands Turn on Medvedev" recaps on the tug of war between the State Duma and the government on the idea of moving to permanent winter time in Russia; p 2 (300 words).

4. Marina Ozerova article headlined "Duma Supports Religious Feelings Without Discussion" considers yesterday's Duma statement on protecting the feelings of religious believers and the planned changes to the Criminal Code, which would criminalize religious offences; p 2 (350 words).

5. Nikita Krichevsky article headlined "Near-Kremlin Dreamers" says Russian experts who are optimistic about economic growth prospects are deceiving themselves and the government; p 3 (600 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Yulia Latynina article headlined "Elite Driving" slams the boundless perks that Russian officials and members of the political elite enjoy on the road; p 3 (600 words).

2. Leonid Nikitinsky article titled "Duma Lights Yellow Stars" says today's young people who speak out in support of Pussy Riot are following in the steps of Soviet dissidents of the 1970s; p 5 (550 words).

3. Semen Novoprudsky article headlined "Turning Backside to People" slams the authorities for ignoring the problems faced by ordinary people, while members of the ruling elite become super rich; p 8 (850 words).

4. Andrei Sukhotin article headlined "Destiny of Turncoat" comments on the political career of Alexei Mitrofanov, who has been nominated for the post of the head of the State Duma's media relations committee; p 9 (450 words).

5. Alexander Panov article headlined "Money and Bears [United Russia symbol]" says the Russian authorities' decision to expel USAID from the country could have been a reaction to the "Magnitsky list"; p 10 (400 words).

6. Alexander Yanov article headlined "Why I Will Vote for Obama" lauds Barack Obama's fiscal management policies, which prevented the U.S.A. from descending into a Great Depression-like financial crisis; p 11 (900 words).

7. Irina Gordiyenko article titled "Tbilisi no Dalny [name of Kazan police station where a detainee was tortured to death and Russian word for "far away"] City" comments on the pre-election prison torture scandal in Georgia; p 13 (900 words).

RBK Daily

1. Galina Starinskaya article headlined "We Are Running Out of Petrol" says Russia is facing a petrol deficit and experts predict a hike in fuel prices; p 1 (600 words).

2. Ivan Petrov article headlined "YouTube for Police" reports on planned upgrades to the Interior Ministry's website; p 2 (400 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Sergei Putilov article titled "Intellectual Exports" considers the role of and challenges before Russian expat scientists abroad; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

2. Veronika Kogan article headlined "Timely Phenomenon" looks at disagreements in the State Duma on whether it is for the parliament to decide whether or not Russia should move to permanent winter time; pp 1, 5 (400 words).

3. Irina Aleksidze article titled "Candidates' Last Arguments" provides an update on the latest developments in the Georgian presidential election campaign; p 2 (350 words).

4. Valentin Boynik article titled "Leaving Palestinian Style" says the leader of Hamas is leaving his post; p 2 (300 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Dmitry Nadezhdin article titled "92% of Russians Ready to Stand Up for Church" summarizes the results of a national poll on people's attitudes to the desecration of religious relics; p 3 (250 words).

2. Tina Kandelaki commentary titled "Why Does Everyone Love Saakashvili?" provides the media personality's personal take on the Georgian president and the realities of life in modern-day Georgia; p 7 (250 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Andrei Gavrilenko and Olga Vorobyeva article titled "At Arctic's Defense" reports on the ongoing military drills by the Western Military District; p 1 (700 words)

2. Alexander Alexanderov article headlined "Disaster for Tbilisi" comments on Georgian military drills held under the auspices of NATO; p 2 (300 words)

Sept. 26, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC 

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