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What the Papers Say, Dec. 12, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Vladimir Dzaguto et al. report headlined "RusHydro Begins to Leak" comments on the standoff between Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and the management of the energy company Rosneftegaz whose board of directors is chaired by Rosneft head Igor Sechin. A number of members of the Rosneftegaz board of directors oppose additional issuance of shares by RusHydro; pp 1, 9 (907 words).

2. Maria-Luiza Tirmaste et al. report headlined "Mintimer Shaymiyev Intervenes for National Interests" says that former Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaymiyev has suggested that special regulations should be adopted to draft and approve laws affecting the interests of Russia's republics. He alleged that President Vladimir Putin backed his initiative; pp 1-2 (857 words).

3. Anatoly Dzhumaylo and Renata Yambayeva article headlined "Norilsk Nickel Saved From Sale" says conditions to resolve disagreements between the shareholders of the mining and metals company Norilsk Nickel have changed. Roman Abramovich is to buy only 4.87 percent stake in the company; pp 1, 11 (1,064 words).

4. Maria Yakovleva and Dmitry Ladygin article headlined "LUKoil finds new guarantor" says the private pension fund LUKoil-Garant has found a buyer. It is to be purchased by the financial corporation Otkritie; pp 1, 10 (633 words).

5. Sofya Samokhina article headlined "They Will Respond to Magnitsky Act Without Thinking Twice" says the State Duma is to finish work on the bill in response to the U.S. Magnitsky Act by the New Year; p 2 (520 words).

6. Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Foreign Agents Receive Donations From Russia" says the NGO Moscow Helsinki Group has managed to raise funds in Russia enough for it to operate during a year. The human rights NGO refuses to get registered as a foreign agent in accordance with the new law; p 2 (566 words).

7. Article attributed to the paper's political section headlined "Protesters Given Place Under Windows" looks at the law developed in the Russian regions to curb protest activities; p 4 (624 words).

8. Grigory Tumanov and Anton Arsenyev article headlined "Stone Left From March of Freedom" says the Moscow Mayor's Office has not authorized the opposition march scheduled for Dec. 15 as the sides could not come to agreement over the route of the demonstration; p 4 (477 words).

9. Sergei Strokan and Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Long-Range Patriot" says that Moscow is concerned that the Patriot missile defense systems deployed on the Turkish-Syrian border may be used in a war with Iran in the future; p 7 (695 words).

10. Maxim Yusin and Kirill Beluyaninov article headlined "Pentagon Becomes Disappointed With Afghan Army" says the Pentagon has come to the conclusion that the Afghan armed forces will be incapable of fighting with the Taliban without NATO assistance; p 7 (559 words).

11. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Pakistan Deals With Hamed Karzai's Affairs" reports on the summit of the presidents of Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan in Ankara; p 7 (544 words).

12. Tatyana Yedovina interview with EU Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger speaking on the EU energy policy and disagreements with Gazprom; p 8 (437 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Viktor Litovkin article headlined "Geopolitical Measures of Space Nature" says Russia has informed Azerbaijan of its decision to stop using the Qabala radar. According to unofficial sources, the sides have failed to come to agreement over the rent Russia has to pay for using the facility; pp 1-2 (752 words).

2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Udaltsov Distances Himself From Lithuanian Seminars" says that despite the fact that the Investigations Committee claims that Givi Targamadze has financed the activities of Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov, the opposition activist denies the allegations; pp 1, 3 (472 words).

3. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Internal Control Over External Audit" looks at a bill regulating the work of the Russian Audit Chamber currently being considered by the State Duma; pp 1, 3 (744 words).

4. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Economy Faces Uncertainty" looks at prospects for the Russian economic development and notes that expensive oil will help Russia reduce budget deficit, but it will not attract investors; pp 1, 4 (549 words).

5. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "China Not to Become Superpower" says that China will become the world's largest economy by 2030. However, the U.S.A. will keep its superpower status and will manufacture enough energy to cover its needs, a report by the U.S. intelligence service says; pp 1, 8 (559 words).

6. Tatyana Dvoynova article headlined "Maritime Region Deputy Suspected of Excessive Excitement" comments on searches in the office of Primorye region legislative assembly deputy Igor Chemeris. The searches are linked to the campaign to decriminalize the region; pp 1, 6 (629 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Russian Education Changed in Accordance With Mitt Romney's Pattern" slams the Russian education system reform and notes that it looks like the election platform of Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who has failed to impress the U.S. electorate; p 2 (511 words).

8. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "After Qabala, Moscow May Give Up Using Radar and Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan" looks at Russia's plans regarding the rent of radars in the former Soviet states; p 2 (732 words).

9. Alexei Gorbachev report "Opposition Strives for Location Near Kremlin" looks at the negotiations at the mayor's office between the city authorities and opposition activists regarding the opposition march planned for Dec. 15; p 3 (600 words).

10. Sergei Tsyplyayev report "Respect Your Constitution" says that the country needs planned and non-violent change of political and administrative elites; p 5 (2,700 words).

11. Sokhbet Mamedov article headlined "Baku Does Not Want to Spoil Relations With Moscow" says that Azerbaijan claims that the rent of the Qabala radar is not too high; p 7 (617 words).

12. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Passions Run High in Cairo Ahead of Referendum" says that clashes between supporters and opponents of the Egyptian president may disrupt the constitutional referendum in Egypt; p 8 (505 words).

Vedomosti

1. Timofei Dzyadko and Alexandra Terentyeva article headlined "Profitable Peace" says that the shareholders of the company Norilsk Nickel have decided to make money on settlement of their disagreements. Roman Abramovich is to pay them $1.5 billion for around 5 percent of the company; pp 1, 8 (817 words).

2. Dmitriy Kazmin and Margarita Papchenkova article headlined "Putin's Address to Offshore Companies" says President Vladimir Putin is expected to call on officials to attract investment in his address to the Federal Assembly; pp 1, 3 (736 words).

3. Valery Kodachigov and Igor Tsukanov article headlined "Double-Headed Smartphone" says that Yota Devices has developed a Russian smartphone to be put on show at the exhibition in Barcelona in 2013; pp 1, 11 (708 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Education of Mob" comments on the recent incident in St Petersburg, where the prosecutor's office is checking an exhibition by the Chapman brothers in the Hermitage for suspected extremism; pp 1, 4 (516 words).

5. Editorial headlined "Deadly Response" says that the bill drafted by the State Duma in response to the Magnitsky Act looks inappropriate; p 4 (300 words).

6. Andrei Kolesnikov comment headlined "Political Economy: Laws Against Law" slams Russian lawmakers drafting bills to suit the political situation in the country; p 4 (415 words).

7. Maxim Glikin et al. report "How Not to Become Agent" says that Moscow Helsinki Group has managed to raise funds in Russia to replace foreign financial support. Over half of the money was donated by businessman Mikhail Prokhorov and rock singer Yury Shevchuk; p 2 (700 words).

8. Mikhail Overchenko report "U.S.A. Displeased About Mir in Russia" says that Washington has warned that the activities in Russia of Mir Business Bank, the affiliate of the Iranian state-owned bank Bank Melli, may result in sanctions in relation to Russian banks operating in the U.S.A.; p 9 (500 words).

Izvestia

1. Oleg Vorobyov article headlined "Finance Ministry Determines Tax Benefits for Far East" says that investment projects implemented in the Russian Far East will receive tax benefits if they create over 100 jobs and invest at least 400 million rubles ($12.9 million); pp 1-2 (747 words).

2. Anna Akhmadiyeva article headlined "Social Advertisement to Bring Russian Public TV Billion a Year" says that social ads commissioned by the Russian government will bring profit to the newly set up Public TV; pp 1, 3 (585 words).

3. Dmitry Yevstifeyev article headlined "Israeli People to Be Specially Protected in Russia" says that Israeli citizens visiting Russia will have special protection in Russian airports; pp 1, 4 (586 words).

4. Pyotr Kozlov report "They Propose to Hand Over Russian Orphans to Caucasus Families" says that the Federation Council is concerned about the problems facing the program of returning the Russian population to the North Caucasus; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

5. Anastasia Kashevarova report "Vladimir Putin Prepares to Ski Again" says that the Russian president plans to do Alpine skiing during the New Year holidays; p 2 (500 words).

6. Olga Zhermeleva report "Deputies Prepare Response to Magnitsky Law" says that the first reading of the bill regarded as a response to the U.S. Magnitsky Act may take place in the State Duma on Dec. 14; p 2 (600 words).

7. Alexei Mikhaylov article headlined "Moscow Missile Defense Shield to Be Strengthened With Gazel" says that a new missile defense system is becoming operational in the Moscow region in 2013; p 3 (456 words).

8. Oleg Shevtsov article headlined "Syrian Opposition Sets Up Interim Government" says that the international conference on Syria in Morocco will focus on setting up a single opposition government; p 5 (617 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Kira Latukhina article headlined "At Noon Sharp" says that Putin will deliver his address to the Federal Assembly today; pp 1-2 (700 words).

2. Vladislav Kulikov article headlined "Confide, Your Honor" says the Russian Supreme Court has instructed judges to be more open and make their work more transparent to the public; pp 1, 4 (800 words).

3. Alexei Chesnakov article headlined "First Address" says the presidential address to the Federal Assembly will become the most important political event of the end of 2012; p 3 (800 words).

4. Fedor Lukyanov article headlined "To the End — Victorious or Tragic" says the conflict in Syria has brought the country to a deadlock; p 3 (700 words).

5. Natalya Kozlova report "Search for Protocol" looks at the investigation in relation to the opposition activists mentioned in NTV's film "Anatomy of Protest 2"; p 4 (400 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Nikita Kartsev article headlined "Informer Against His Will" comments on the search in the flat of film director Pavel Kostomarov, which violates the freedom of speech in Russia; pp 1, 3 (816 words).

2. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "Doomsday Comes From America" comments on a forecast by the U.S. intelligence for political and economic developments in the world; pp 1-2 (730 words).

3. Stanislav Belkovsky article headlined "Putin Frees Khodorkovsky" tries to predict topics to be raised in the presidential address to the Federal Assembly; p 3 (1,318 words).

4. Mikhail Zubov report "Prokhorov Follows in Khodorkovsky's Footsteps, But Kudrin Will Help Him Avoid Prison" says that businessman Mikhail Prokhorov has left the board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs because he wants to engage in politics only; p 2 (650 words).

5. Anastasia Rodionova interview with Alexei Simonov, head of the Glasnost Protection Foundation, who speaks on the need to protect journalists in Russia; p 3 (400 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Under the headline "Failure to Recruit" the newspaper publishes an audio transcript of a conversation between a security officer and a civil activist, in which the former is trying to recruit the latter, but fails. Obviously, "old security methods are not working with Generation Next," the newspaper says; pp 2-3 (2,400 words).

2. Yelena Masyuk interview with State Duma Deputy Sergei Zheleznyak, the author of the notorious law on "foreign agents," headlined "I Am a Sailor, Not a Partisan in the Duma," in which Zheleznyak speaks about the reasons he left business for politics, the opposition movement in Russia. Zheleznyak initiated an inquiry to security structures, asking them to check facts mentioned in the anti-opposition documentary "Anatomy of Protest 2"; pp 10-11 (3,200 words).

3. Andrei Kolesnikov article entitled "Revolutionary's Catechism" says the questions of Putin's proxies make it possible to understand what topics are considered acute by the authorities. Among them are the pension reform, ethnic policy, armed forces, fight against corruption, WTO membership, foreign policy, "differences" with the West and others; p 5 (400 words).

4. Nina Petlyanova article headlined "'Apple' of Discord" on a row that has occurred in the St. Petersburg branch of the opposition party Yabloko (Russian for apple), as a result of which 22 members of the branch were expelled from the party, among them the former leader of the branch, Maxim Reznik. Ethnic differences are believed to be behind the row, the correspondent says; p 6 (600 words).

5. Former lawmaker and a member of the opposition Coordination Council Gennady Gudkov article entitled "Road Map of the Russian Opposition" in which the author ponders on the possible foundation for merging opposition forces in the country. The fuller version of the article is published on the paper's website; pp 8-9 (1,600 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Pundit Pavel Danilin article headlined "Why Magnitsky Law Cannot Be Left Unanswered" looks at the essence of the bill; p 5 (1,100 words).

2. Sergei Semushkin article headlined "Russia Lost 'Eyes and Ears' in Azerbaijan" says that Russia has ceased to use the Azeri radar after Azerbaijan raised the rent; p 14 (500 words).

3. Alexander Gamov interview with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov speaking on the anti-corruption campaign and Putin's health; p 16 (745 words).

RBK Daily

1. Alexander Litoi article headlined "Disagreeing With Migrants" says that nationalists, being members of the Russian opposition Coordination Council, have developed a resolution criticizing new easier procedures for getting the Russian citizenship adopted by the authorities; p 2 (400 words).

2. Yulia Yakovleva article headlined "Message for New Russia" says that Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov's party Civic Platform has announced its intention to introduce changes to the constitution; p 2 (500 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Alexander Alexanderov article headlined "Single Approach to Defense" looks at the meeting of the Defense Minister Council of the CIS; pp 1, 3 (800 words).

2. Viktor Ruchkin article headlined "Tactics Change in Fight" comments on the latest combat clashes in different parts of Damascus; p 3 (1,100 words).

Dec. 12, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC 

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