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What the Papers Say, Nov. 15, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Ksenia Dementyeva and Olga Shestopal article headlined "Stephen Jennings Outlives 'Renaissance'" says that the founder of the investment bank Renaissance Group has sold his banking business to businessman Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Group; pp 1, 10 (929 words).

2. Svetlana Mentyukova and Anastasia Gorshkova article headlined "Vladimir Kekhman Wastes Everything" says that the London court has recognized businessman Vladimir Kekhman, the founder of Russia's largest fruits importer JFC, as bankrupt; p 1 (698 words).

3. Yegor Popov article headlined "BMW to Become Russian by Half" says that the Kaliningrad-based car plant Avtotor is finishing talks with BMW on joint assembling of up to 50,000 cars annually. Corresponding agreements may be signed by the end of the year; pp 1, 9 (658 words).

4. Ivan Safronov et al. article headlined "Anatoly Serdyukov Not Left Without Place in Formation" says that former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has become adviser to the head of the Russian technologies state corporation, Sergei Chemezov; pp 1, 3 (806 words).

5. Natalya Korchenkova and Dina Polina article headlined "Parties Equaled in Airtime Again" says that according to the Central Electoral Commission, political parties' activities were equally covered by state TV and radio companies in October, though the One Russia ruling party had a little more airtime; p 2 (483 words).

6. Yelena Kolycheva and Natalya Gorodetskaya article headlined "Yuriy Luzhkov's Former Associate Does Not Get to Federation Council" says that Yury Alpatov, the newly-appointed Federation Council senator from the republic of Kalmykia, has resigned over bad health. Experts say that the federal authorities could have opposed his appointment; p 2 (479 words).

7. Maria-Luiza Tirmaste article headlined "Authorities Need Election Specialists" says that State Duma deputy and former first deputy head of the United Russia executive committee, Valery Galchenko, will deal with election campaigns in the presidential administration; p 2 (504 words).

8. Anna Pushkarskaya and Yelena Kiseleva article headlined "Supreme Courts Put Up for Birzha" says that the headquarters of the Supreme Arbitration Court and the Supreme Court will move from Moscow to St. Petersburg; p 2 (816 words).

9. Sofya Samokhina article headlined "A Just Russia Constantly Taken Away" says that the Rodina party and the Russian Party of Pensioners for Justice will hold a new conference next week, at which the names of regional deputies who quitted A Just Russia will be announced; p 2 (467 words).

10. Ivan Safronov piece headlined "Command Being Selected for Air and Space Defense Troops" looks at the possible candidates for the post of the commander of the Russian Air and Space Defense Troops; p 3 (242 words).

11. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Controversial Resolutions Prepared for Law About Rallies" says that prior to the Nov. 27 meeting, at which the law about rallies will be checked in compliance with the Russian constitution, the Constitutional Court has received expert opinions on it. Only the Prosecutor General's Office and the Justice Ministry do not have any objections to the law; p 3 (771 words).

12. Maria Plyusnina article headlined "draw line" says that Alexander Brechalov, first vice-president of the nationwide public organization of entrepreneurs, Opora, may succeed Sergei Borisov as the head of the organization. Regional branches of the organization consider another vice president Pavel Sigal to be a better leader; p 3 (538 words).

13. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Valuer Points Out at Seller" looks at the latest developments in the high-profile case over the illegal dealings with military property; p 4 (453 words).

14. Oleg Rubnikovich article headlined "Letting in Sokolniki" says that one more deal by the Defense Ministry may be found illegal and be included in the high-profile case over the illegal dealings with military property; p 4 (750 words).

15. Alexei Shapovalov article headlined "Environment Does Not Let Russia in OECD" says that yet another environmental bill drafted by the Natural Resources Ministry has drawn criticism from the presidential administration. The issue impedes Russia's way to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); p 6 (639 words).

16. Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Forest brothers" says that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has paid a one-day visit to Finland; p 6 (668 words).

17. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "Jackson-Vanik Amendment Changes Surname" says that the U.S. Congress has advised the House of Representatives to pass a bill, which cancels the Jackson-Vanik amendment and introduces visa and financial sanctions against Russian officials included in the so-called "Magnitsky list". The voting on the bill is set for Nov. 16; p 7 (612 words).

18. Alexander Gabuyev article headlined "China Elects Leaders and Directors" looks at the 18th congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which finished yesterday; p 7 (535 words).

19. Andrei Kolsenikov report headlined "Nicolas Sarkozy Accepted as Previously" gives an account of President Putin's meeting with the former French president; p 7 (451 words).

20. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Separated States of America" says that the Nov. 6 presidential election in the U.S.A. has shown that the country is splitting into two camps, and the native white population is losing to representatives of ethnic diasporas in that respect; p 8 (1,100 words).

21. Sergei Strokan interview with vice-president of PIR Centre Dmitriy Polikanov, headlined "'Role of Mentor Is Closer to U.S.A. Than That of Playing Coach,'" who speaks about U.S. President Barack Obama's second term; p 8 (630 words).

22. Sergei Strokan interview with director of the Franklin Roosevelt Centre for U.S. Studies at Moscow State University Yury Rogulev, headlined "'Greater Activity of Ethnic Minorities Is Obvious in U.S.A.'" who speaks about factors that ensured Obama's victory in the Nov. 6 presidential election; p 8 (604 words).

23. Georgy Kunadze article published in the regular opinion column headlined "Price of Issue" contemplates the development of Russian-U.S. ties after U.S. President Barack Obama stayed in office; p 8 (395 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Tatyana Dvoinova article headlined "Those Who Coveted Billons of APEC 2012 Being Searched for in Primorye Region" says that the head of the Primorye region town-planning department, Sergei Yakushin, has been sacked following the check by the Audit Chamber, which revealed financial improprieties during preparations for the 2012 APEC summit; pp 1, 5 (716 words).

2. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "President Cuts Pension Knot" says that President Putin has decided to cut contributions to the funded component of pensions, but some time later, and allow people to choose whether to contribute to the funded component; pp 1, 4 (931 words).

3. Andrei Melnikov article headlined "Russian Orthodox Church Misses Triumph in Jerusalem" says that the press-service of the Russian Orthodox Church has announced that it is thanks to the Church that the housing utilities debts of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem have been written off. However, the Greek media outlet, who reported the issue, did not say a word about the role of the Russian Church; p 1 (444 words).

4. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Hollande Follows Sarkozy's Way" says that French President Francois Hollande has held a news conference with 400 local and foreign journalists, during which he focused on the situation in Syria, among other things. Hollande has recognized Syria's newly formed opposition coalition as the country's sole legitimate representative; pp 1, 7 (739 words).

5. Grigoriy Zaslavskiy article headlined "Talents and Fans" looks at the situation around the appointment of the new general director at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow; pp 1, 2 (598 words).

6. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Prime Minister's Karma" focuses on Prime Minister Medvedev's interview with Finnish journalists and says that despite tense relations between Medvedev and Putin, the threat of a dismissal is not looming over Medvedev because the latter fits Putin for the time being; pp 1, 3 (1,135 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Gazprom's Kickbacks" says that the Russian gas giant Gazprom has recently had to cut prices on gas supplies for a number of its European consumers, which is fraught with serious financial losses; p 2 (500 words).

8. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Donor Means of Collective Defense" says that a military reform of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) will be approved at a summit on 19 December. Russia will be responsible for the financial and pecuniary aspect of the future reforming; p 2 (484 words).

9. Natalya Savitskaya article headlined "Disseminators and Wreckers of Education" says that Education Minister Dmitry Livanov has delivered a report to the State Duma, which may cost him his post; p 2 (686 words).

10. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Mess Around Treason" says that the controversial law on treason, espionage and state secret divulgence, which caused serious objections from civil society, has come into effect in Russia; p 3 (587 words).

11. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "March of Millions Turns Into St. George's Day" says that the opposition Coordination Council is considering changing the format, the date and the name of the March of Millions rally set for Dec. 8; p 3 (580 words).

12. Sergei Nikanorov article headlined "From Theory Into Mass Practice" contemplates the introduction of electronic state services in Russia; p 5 (1,187 words).

13. Svetlana Gamova article headlined "Chisinau Converts Dialogue With Moscow to Moldovan Language" quotes the leader of the Moldovan Liberal Party, Mihai Ghimpu, as saying that NATO is the main guarantor of security in Moldova and Russia is the main threat to the country. Meanwhile, the Moldovan Foreign Ministry has denied Russia's request to open a Russian embassy in Transdnestr republic; p 6 (685 words).

14. Artur Blinov article headlined "General's Scandal Escalates" says that the former head of the U.S. Africa Command has been lowered in the rank for embezzlement. Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress has expressed willingness to hear a report from resigned CIA director David Petraeus and the media outlets are rummaging in the scandal involving the commander of the U.S. Forces Afghanistan, John Allen; p 7 (693 words).

15. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Under Sign of Hammer and Sickle" sums up the outcomes of the 18th congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which ended yesterday, and features an expert's comment on the issue; p 7 (560 words).

Vedomosti

1. Anton Trifonov article headlined "Jennings Does Not Hold Business" says that businessman Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Group has acquired a 100 percent stake in the investment bank Renaissance Capital and a 89 percent stake in the retail bank of the same name; p 1 (646 words).

2. Maria Dranishnikova article headlined "Clinic Worth $1.5Bln " says that Sberbank is planning to establish a health cluster in the Moscow region; pp 1, 10 (532 words).

3. Olga Kuvshinova et al. article headlined "Putin Leaves 6% for Year More" says that President Putin has backed the reduction of contributions to the funded component of pensions, but suggested introducing the measure in 2014; pp 1, 3 (705 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Rich Poverty" casts doubts on the fact that Russia has managed to cope with poverty and says that a typical feature of modern Russia is rapidly growing social inequality; pp 1, 4 (566 words).

5. Polina Khimshiashvili article headlined "World of Magnitsky" says that today the U.S. House of Representatives is to approve a single bill which cancels the Jackson-Vanik amendment and introduces sanctions against Russian officials involved in Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky's death and other human rights violations; p (341 words).

6. Alexei Nikolsky and Polina Khimshiashvili article headlined "Force of Team" says that the CSTO is planning a military reform and features a military expert's comment on the issue; p 2 (318 words).

7. Ella Paneyakh article headlined "Profanation of Control" criticizes the performance of the Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor in blocking access to websites containing banned information; p 4 (850 words).

8. Yekaterina Derbilova et al. interview with Rusnano state corporation head Anatoly Chubays, headlined "'Do Not Return to Former Lovers,'" who speaks about the results of the electric energy reform in Russia; p 5 (3,788 words).

9. Alexandra Terentyeva article headlined "Bought at Bottom" says that businessman Oleg Deripaska's company En+ has increased its stake in UC RusAl to 48.13 percent; p 7 (606 words).

10. Irina Kezik article headlined "Gazprom's Dream Comes to Life" says that Gazprom has signed an agreement with the German company Winterhall on a swap of assets; p 7 (524 words).

Izvestia

1. Dmitry Yevstifeyev et al. article headlined "Prison Existence of Pussy Riot" looks at the life of the convicted Pussy Riot punk band girls in jail; pp 1, 7 (1,020 words).

2. Russian businessmen's rights commissioner Boris Titov article headlined "Future Requires Resoluteness" criticizes the Russian authorities for approving the pension reform as it will not solve the existing economic and social problems, will complicate the life of businessmen and will stimulate the shadow economy; pp 1, 10 (925 words).

3. Pyotr Kozlov article headlined "Federation Council Fights Against Nazism" says that by the end of the year the Federation Council plans to submit to the State Duma a bill banning the use of Nazi and alike symbols, pins, uniform and gestures; pp 1, 3 (607 words).

4. Margarita Kazantseva article headlined "Nord Stream Intends to Walk Along Seals" says that a branch of the Nord Stream gas pipeline is planned to be laid across the Kurgalsky nature reserve, where seals live. Ecologists are concerned about the move; pp 1, 3 (751 words).

5. Tatyana Shirmanova and Dina Ushakova article headlined "Delay of Pension Reform to Give Nonstate Pension Funds Chance to Survive" says that non-state pension funds plan to modernize their pension programs and submit a number of legislative initiatives that make them more transparent to clients until the pension reform is launched; p 2 (791 words).

6. Vladimir Gusev article headlined "Prosecutor's Office to Deal With Fans of 'Russian Breivik' on Vkontakte" says that the State Duma wants the Prosecutor General's Office, the Russian Investigations Committee and the media watchdog Roskomnadzor to carry out a check of the members of a group set up in the social network Vkontakte in support of Dmitry Vinogradov, who killed six people in Moscow; p 4 (429 words).

7. Alexandra Sopova article headlined "Patriarch Kirill's Visit Becomes Peacemaking" looks at the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill's visit to Jordan; p 4 (476 words).

8. Ivan Cheberko article headlined "Roskosmos Revises Plans of Federal Space Program" says that the federal space program has been revised ahead of the passing of the 2013 federal budget and budget plans for 2014-15. Among the changes is to postpone the launch of a number of satellites; p 4 (570 words).

9. Vladimir Zykov article headlined "MTS Presents Social Networks With Ultimatum" says that the mobile phone operator MTS has unilaterally decided to increase the cost of SMS, through which Internet users pay for services offered by the social networks Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki; p 7 (429 words).

10. Oleg Shevtsov article headlined "France Recognizes Syrian Opposition as Legitimate Power" says that France has become the first Western country that officially recognized the Syrian opposition as the country's legitimate authorities; p 8 (436 words).

11. Igor Yavlyansky article headlined "Outgoing General Secretary Can Command Army for Some Time" says that Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping will replace Hu Jintao at the presidential post soon after the 18th congress of the Chinese Communist Party ends. However, the handover of the military command will take longer than planned; p 8 (438 words).

12. Sergei Roganov article headlined "Significant Gestures" comments on President Putin's decision to postpone the pension reform for a year; p 10 (560 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Tatyana Shadrina interview with Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov, headlined "Readiness to Leave," who speaks about expensive air tickets as well as regional and international flights; pp 1, 5 (2,344 words).

2. Tatyana Vladykina and Yelena Novoselova interview with experts, headlined "DOOM-2," who discuss the slaughter by a Moscow office employee and reasons of it; pp 1, 6 (2,461 words).

3. Sergei Toporkov article headlined "Hot Paths" says that Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko has paid a visit to Vietnam; p 2 (424 words).

4. Vitaly Petrov article headlined "Finnish Intelligence" focuses on Prime Minister Medvedev's visit to Finland; p 3 (890 words).

5. Anna Zakatnova article headlined "Kind Face of Patriotism" says that Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has chaired a meeting of the organizing committee Pobeda in the presidential administration, dedicated to the problems of the patriotic education; p 3 (474 words).

6. Yevgeny Solovyev article headlined "No Westernization" features a Chinese expert's comment on the outcomes of the Chinese Communist Party congress, which ended yesterday; p 8 (547 words).

7. Vyacheslav Prokofyev article headlined "Unite and Rule" features a Middle East expert's comment on France's support for the Syrian opposition as the sole legitimate power in the country; p 8 (467 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Marina Ozerova and Anastasia Rodionova article headlined "He does not betray himself" says that President Putin has signed a controversial bill on treason; pp 1-2 (1,403 words).

2. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "Pill From Cult of Leader" praises China's ability to change its leadership regularly and without problems and compares the Chinese and U.S. political systems with the Russian one; pp 1, 3 (736 words).

3. Alexander Minkin article headlined "It Is Better to Keep Silence for Them Than to Speak," written as a letter to President Putin, ridicules the latest statements by State Duma Deputy Kostunov and Prime Minister Medvedev during his visit to Finland and says that Russian officials should not make unprepared speeches; pp 1, 3 (1,002 words).

4. Renat Abdullin report headlined "Congress of Chinese Communists Does Not Surprise" says that the new Chinese leadership has been elected at the 18th congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which ended yesterday; p 3 (504 words).

5. Matvei Ganapolsky article headlined "Does Putin Need Good Advice?" says that the Kremlin is behind the recent corruption scandals in the Defense Ministry, the Federal Space Agency and the Health Ministry and subsequent dismissals of officials because Putin's approval rating is declining due to people's growing displeasure with the authorities and the ruling elite; p 3 (931 words).

6. Alexander Kolegov article headlined "Mood for Protracted Construction" looks at the financial improprieties revealed by the Audit Chamber during preparations for the 2012 APEC summit; p 6 (2,234 words).

7. Ilya Baranikas article headlined "They Do Approve 'Magnitsky Bill'" says that the U.S. Congress has decided to link bills that cancel the Jackson-Vanik amendment and that introduces sanctions against Russian officials put on the so-called "Magnitskiy list"; p 7 (775 words).

8. Melor Sturua article headlined "American Fairy Tale About Turnip" gives the latest developments in the scandal involving the resigned CIA head in the U.S.A.; p 7 (975 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Margarita Alyokhina interview with political expert Mark Urnov, headlined "'It Is Not Ruled Out That Russia Will Have Other Borders by Middle of Century,'" who speaks about Ukraine's willingness to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and prospects for the development of the CIS; pp 1, 5 (2,057 words).

2. Yulia Savina article headlined "Golden Pretzels Are Not Tasty" says that the Investigative Committee has refused to initiate criminal proceedings against United Russia deputies for combining deputy work and business activity, having recognized evidence of this provided by opposition lawmakers as insufficient; pp 1 — 2 (549 words).

3. Sergei Putilov and Yulia Savina article headlined "Neither Give Nor Take?" says that experts assess the recent high-profile corruption scandals in different ways: some say that the ruling clans are sharing the influence areas, others think that the authorities want to improve their approval ratings among the population by punishing high-ranking corrupt officials; pp 1, 3 (1,288 words).

4. Nadezhda Krasilova article headlined "'Personal Case" says that Russian human rights activists are welcoming the introduction of sanctions against Russian officials included in the so-called 'Magnitskiy list' by the U.S.A. because Washington is doing what Moscow should do on its own — to punish those who took part in political killings and oppressions; p 2 (360 words).

5. Sergei Lavinov article headlined "Glum Congress" says that the change of the Chinese leadership has been held dull and according to the scenario approved in advance; p 2 (452 words).

RBK Daily

1. Tatyana Kosobokova article headlined "Serdyukov Improves Putin's Rating" says that Putin's approval rating has significantly increased over a week thanks to the dismissal of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and an anti-corruption campaign that has been recently launched. Experts forecast that Putin's approval rating will rise further more; pp 1 — 2 (500 words).

2. Alexander Litoi article headlined "Machine Against Spies" says that the Golos association of non-commercial organizations for protection of voters' rights is on the brink of closure after the laws on foreign agents and treason come into force; p 2 (600 words).

3. Vladimir Pavlov article headlined "Communist Party Elects 'Prince'" says that the new Chinese leadership has been elected at the 18th congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which ended yesterday; p 5 (500 words).

4. Anastasia Litvinova article headlined "Decided to Accumulate" says that president Putin's proposal to postpone the pension reform for a year came as a great surprise for Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets; p 3 (600 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Alexander Kots and Dmitriy Steshin article headlined "Who Turns Dagestan Into Outpost of Wahhabism" continues to look at journalists' investigation as to what makes young Dagestani men turn to ideas of radical Islam; p 15 (1400 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta (weekly)

1. Natalya Kozlova interview with Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin on a new law regarding financial pyramids; p 4 (700 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda (weekly)

1. Dmitry Smirnov interview with pundit Leonid Ivashov who comments on the appointment of Sergei Shoigu as new Defense Minister and outlines the main objectives for the new minister; pp 6 — 7 (800 words).

2. Yevgeny Chernyh interview with pundit Mikhail Delyagin on the outcome of U.S. presidential election; Delyagin says Obama's victory has given Russia one more year of quiet life; pp 4 — 5 (1000 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Marianna Yevtodyev article headlined "Headed by '5th Generation'" says that new leader of the Chinese Communist Party has been elected; however, it is highly unlikely that any changes will be brought to China's political course; pp 1, 3 (900 words).

2. Viktor Ruchkin article headlined "Militants Bring Death" says that France has recognized Syrian opposition as legitimate power, which will allow to openly supply it with arms for fighting against Bashar Assad's regime; p 3 (600 words).

Nov. 15, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC 

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