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What the Papers Say, Dec. 13, 2012

Igor Tabakov


1. Pyotr Netreba article headlined "Supreme Privatizer" says that the president's state law directorate has suggested returning to President Vladimir Putin control over federal property, including privatization of the latter. The government opposes the initiative; pp 1, 6 (645 words).

2. Andrei Kolsenikov report headlined "Vladimir Putin Enriches Nation With Ideas" gives a factual account of Putin's address to the Federal Assembly Dec. 12; pp 1-2 (1,726 words).

3. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Turning Point in Fight Over Oboronservis" says that the former head of the Defense Ministry's property department, Yevgenia Vasilyeva, has obtained a court ruling improving the terms of her home arrest: she was permitted to visit and receive at home her close friend, former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. Meanwhile, another suspect Yekaterina Smetanova, involved in the Defense Ministry's property fraud case, has concluded a deal with investigators and will be released soon; pp 1, 5 (752 words).

4. Ksenia Dementyeva article headlined "Banks Acquire State Problem" says that the banks that participate in the state program of cheap mortgage crediting risk not receiving special financing from the state; p 1 (736 words).

5. Dmitry Butrin article published in the opinion column headlined "Price of Issue" says that Putin's address to the Federal Assembly has turned out to be an address to the Russian government since the president spoke about the issues that the government was in charge of. Moreover, Putin defined a national idea, which says: "stop investing in future, let us enjoy what we have already achieved here and now!"; p 2 (655 words).

6. Unattributed article headlined "Does Tandem Preserve?" features comments by experts and politicians on whether the ruling Medvedev-Putin tandem still exists; p 2 (507 words).

7. Maxim Ivanov and Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "Rules of 3rd Term" looks at Putin's address to the Federal Assembly, focusing on its political aspect, and features experts' comments on it; p 3 (822 words).

8. Natalya Korchenkova et al. article headlined "Places for Corrections Marked in Constitution" says that participants in the Dec. 12 round-table meeting in Moscow and in the forum of the Civil Initiatives Committee in St. Petersburg have suggested constitutionally restricting the president's superpowers and reducing the president's term in office to four years. For his part, Putin said that the constitution should be stable; p 4 (545 words).

9. Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Rallies Get Steady Minority" says that having studied changes in Russian people's attitude to protests, experts from the Levada Center have concluded that Russian people have got tired of both the authorities, the opposition and protests; p 4 (431 words).

10. Taisia Bekbulatova and Natalya Gorodetskaya article headlined "Alexei Navalny Brought Closer to Authorities" says that Minister for Relations with the Open Government Mikhail Abyzov and the Moscow city authorities have announced their willingness to cooperate with opposition activist Alexei Navalny in his projects RosZhKKh in the housing and utilities sector and RosYama in road construction; p 4 (527 words).

11. Ilya Shepelin article headlined "Justice Ministry Neutralizes Foreign Agent" says that the Justice Ministry has issued the first warning to a nongovernmental organization in the Saratov region for violating the law on foreign agents; p 4 (478 words).

12. Alexei Sokovnin article headlined "Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov Closes Deal" says that the Moscow city court has partially closed for journalists the trial of former Interior Ministry employee Dmitriy Pavlyuchenkov charged with organizing the murder of Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya. The prosecutor asked for 12 years in prison for the man; p 5 (654 words).

13. Maria Yefimova and Yelena Chernenko article headlined "U.S.A. Muffles Middle East Quartet" says that special representatives from the Middle East Quartet of international mediators in the Palestinian-Israeli settlement have met in Brussels. Moscow is disappointed with the meeting and insists on holding a ministerial meeting; p 7 (596 words).

14. Maxim Yusin article published in the opinion column headlined "Price of Issue" comments on the U.S. policy toward the Syrian issue; p 8 (350 words).

15. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "European Parliament Toughens Agenda of Russia-EU summit" says that the European Parliament is expected to pass a tough resolution on Russia today; p 8 (534 words).

16. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "Magnitsky Law Passes First Border" says that Canada will pass its own Magnitsky bill introducing sanctions against Russian officials, following the U.S.A.; p 8 (451 words).

17. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Barack Obama Legalizes Syrian Opposition" says that U.S. President Barack Obama has recognized the Syrian opposition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. The move creates conditions for the US direct military aid to the Syrian opposition and the latter's international recognition; p 8 (748 words).

18. Anna Solodovnikova and Marina Kruglikova article headlined "LUKoil Releases Condor" says that the Russian oil company LUKoil has quitted the Project Condor in Columbia; p 11 (455 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Alexandra Samarina and Pyotr Tverdov article headlined "Patriotism Without Corruption" focuses on Putin's address to the Federal Assembly on Dec. 12 and says that it was not sensational, but, surprisingly, lacked three crucial issues: the military reform, Russian's integration with the world and the judicial reform; pp 1, 3 (1,487 words).

2. Yury Roks article headlined "Moscow and Tbilisi Begin Talks in Geneva" says that Russia and Georgia will hold the first official meeting in the last four years in Geneva today to discuss bilateral relations; pp 1, 6 (1,030 words).

3. Igor Naumov article headlined "Limousines to Be Taxed 3-Fold" says that the Finance Ministry has suggested introducing a special tax on luxury cars. If the idea is implemented, the owners of such cars will have to pay transport tax, petrol excise duty and the new luxury tax; pp 1, 4 (910 words).

4. Sergei Kulikov articl1e headlined "Russia's Oil Mistake" says that having summed up the results of the year 2012, experts have concluded that the Russian authorities are not going to change their economic policy. The period of stability will not last for a long time and expectations for world oil prices to remain high may turn to be a fatal mistake, the article says; pp 1-2 (735 words).

5. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Brussels Stands Up for Russian Constitution" says that the European Parliament will consider today a new tough resolution on Russia, which envisages not reaching agreements with Russia in case of serious human rights violations, among other things; pp 1-2 (631 words).

6. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Juche Ideas Reach Space" says that North Korea has successfully launched a missile carrying a satellite despite the UN Security Council ban and objections from the leading world countries, including Russia. The move is seen as part of a secret military program, rather than a scientific one; p 1 (575 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Between Standard and Value" says that the Russian constitution is seen as a necessary element of the normal state system, but not as the nation-wide uniting value. Moreover, it has never been considered value in Russia; p 2 (486 words).

8. Ivan Rodin article headlined "No Agreement Amid Resistance From Both Parties" says that the Moscow city authorities and the organizers of the Dec. 15 Freedom March continue holding talks on the time and the venue of the event. No progress has been achieved so far; p 3 (690 words).

9. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Forgotten Pre-Election Articles and May Decrees" says that the economic section of Putin's address to the Federal Assembly on Dec. 12 was disappointing rather than inspiring, since nothing new was said; p 4 (1,217 words).

10. Sergei Turanov article provides the list of Russia's best lobbyists for November 2012; p 5 (1,450 words).

11. Leonid Polyakov article headlined "Cold Reset" says that the adoption of the Magnitskiy law by the U.S.A. is regarded as the beginning of the new Cold War between Russia and the U.S.A. Moreover, the bill discredits the Russian human rights community in the eyes of Russian people, the article says; p 5 (1,340 words).

12. Viktor Litovkin article headlined "Pyongyang Makes U.S. ABM More Active" features a Russian expert's comment on the successful launch of a North Korean missile carrying a satellite. It is an element of nuclear blackmail, the expert believes; p 7 (731 words).

13. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "America Recognizes Syrian Opposition as Legitimate" says that Russia has criticized the US decision to recognize the Syrian opposition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Observers fear that the move may whittle a dialogue between Russia and the U.S.A. on the Syrian issue; p 7 (523 words).


1. Maxim Tovkailo and Yevgenia Pismennaya article headlined "Country to Pay With Welfare for Roads" says that about 100 billion rubles (some $3.23 billion at the current exchange rate) from the National Welfare Fund, as well as petrodollars are planned to be spent on infrastructure in Russia; pp 1, 3 (844 words).

2. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "Chemezov Instead of Serdyukov" says that four plants owned by the Defense Ministry's company Oboronservis have been selected to be handed over to the United Engine-Building Corporation, which is controlled by the Rostekhnologii state corporation; p 1 (292 words).

3. John Hilzenrat and Brian Blackstone article headlined "Wise Men Without Protocol" says that the heads of global central banks secretly meet in Basel to discuss global economic problems once in two months; pp 1, 9 (693 words).

4. Editorial headlined "President's Autumn" comments on Putin's address to the Federal Assembly and says that it was standard, lacked specifics and made listeners feel that the president was tired. The address should, probably, have confirmed that stability is the main feature of Putin's rule. However this is not stability, but stagnation, the article says; pp 1, 4 (531 words).

5. Vladimir Shtanov article headlined "Lada to Become Renault" says that the shareholders of the Russian car plant AvtoVAZ have approved a mechanism of handing over the controlling stake in the car plant to the Renault-Nissan car alliance; p 7 (578 words).

6. Polina Khimshiashvili and Irina Novikova article headlined "Russian order" looks at Putin's initiatives concerning migration to Russia, declared in his address to the Federal Assembly; p 2 (364 words).

7. Olga Kuvshinova article headlined "Perestroika Again" looks at Putin's economic plans specified in his address to the Federal Assembly; p 3 (500 words).

8. Dmitry Kazmin et al. article headlined "Patriotism From Putin" looks at measures to be taken to orient Russian business to the domestic market suggested by Putin in his address to the Federal Assembly; p 3 (703 words).

9. Natalya Kostenko et al. article headlined "Invitation From Putin" says that in his address to the Federal Assembly, Putin spoke about political competition and announced strict rules of fighting for power; p 2 (608 words).

10. Editorial headlined "Crying for Labor Migrants" says that Putin has paid special attention to the problem of migration and presence of a big number of unskilled migrants in Russia; p 4 (300 words).

11. Alexander Rubtsov report "Language Gives Away" says that historical responsibility is shifting to society from the authorities in Russia; p 4 (1,300 words).

12. Ksenia Dokukina article headlined "Quitting RusHydro" says that five of 13 members of the board of directors at the RusHydro energy company are ready to leave their posts; p 8 (567 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Life is Good. Here and Now" looks at the Putin's address to the Federal Assembly; pp 1-2 (1,287 words).

2. Newspaper publishes the full text of Putin's address to the Federal Assembly; pp 2-4.

3. Newspaper publishes analysts' comments on Putin's speech; p 5 (1,000 words).

4. Natalya Kozlova article headlined "They Try in Special Way" says that the trial of former Interior Ministry employee Dmitriy Pavlyuchenkov, charged with organizing the murder of Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya, has begun in the Moscow City Court; p 7 (513 words).

5. Oleg Kiryanov article headlined "They Do Not Expect" comments on the launch of a North Korean missile; p 8 (416 words).


1. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev report "Putin Bewilders Federal Assembly" says that behind the scenes, Putin's address has been praised in the Kremlin, but concerns have been voiced that it will be difficult to carry out the tasks he has set; pp 1-2 (70 words).

2. Boris Mezhuyev report "Political Reform With Absence of Political Consensus" comments on Putin's speech to the Federal Assembly; pp 1, 9 (700 words).

3. Mikhail Rubin report "United Russia to Work at Caucasus Meetings" says that United Russia intends to step up its activities in the North Caucasus; p 2 (500 words).

4. Vladimir Gusev report "Government Displeased With Anti-Corruption Law" says that a legal research institute has sent a document to the government saying that the steps to fight against corruption proposed by the country's leadership are not sufficient; pp 1, 3 (700 words).

4. Ivan Cheberko report "Glonass on Russian Aircraft Proves Useless" says that Russian aviation companies are providing aircraft with the Glonass equipment that has no practical use; p 3 (500 words).

5. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev report "Medvedev to Talk to United Russia in Moscow" says that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will take part in a large-scale event organized by United Russia on Dec. 19; p 3 (550 words).

6. Igor Yavlyansky report "North Korea Frightens World With Ballistic Missile" looks at the launch of a North Korean missile and says that the U.S.A. has said it is ready to protect its allies in the Far East; p 5 (600 words).

7. Konstantin Volkov report "America Splits Assad's Opponents" says that the U.S.A. has officially recognized the Syrian opposition; p 5 (500 words).

8. Anna Akhmadiyeva interview with NTV journalist Gleb Pyanykh who speaks about the fate of NTV's "Programma Maximum"; p 7 (1,200 words).

9. Irina Khakamada report "Choice After Elections" comments on Putin's address to the Federal Assembly; p 9 (650 words).

10. Dina Ushakova report "Alexander Lebedev Gets Disappointed in Navalny" says that National Reserve Bank will not issue the cards of the foundation for fight against corruption proposed by blogger Alexei Navalny; p 7 (900 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Lina Panchenko article headlined "Court Relieves Vasiliyeva's Longing for Serdyukov" says that Yevgenia Vasilyeva, suspect in the Defense Ministry's property fraud case, has obtained a court ruling easing the terms of her home arrest; pp 1, 4 (565 words).

2. Alexei Batushenko article headlined "Average and Make PR!" comments on an initiative to fight against reckless drivers put forward by State Duma Deputy Alexander Vasilyev; pp 1, 10 (488 words).

3. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "President Threatens Elite" comments on Putin's address to the Federal Assembly. Putin is well aware about all kinds of sentiments in Russian society and uses either stick or carrot toward each social group in his address, the author says; pp 1-2 (845 words).

4. Marina Ozerova article headlined "Deputies From Single-Seat Constituencies to Return to State Duma" says that Putin has backed an idea to give up the current State Duma election system based on party lists alone; p 2 (411 words).

5. Yelena Zelinskaya article headlined "Magnitsky vs Orphans" ridicules and criticizes the bill drafted by the State Duma in response to the U.S. Magnitsky Act; p 2 (444 words).

6. Viktoria Prikhodko article headlined "What Do Politicians Hear?" features comments by public activists, politicians and experts on certain initiatives announced by Putin in his address to the Federal Assembly; p 2 (782 words).

7. Mikhail Zubov and Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "What Should President Have Said?" features experts' critical comments on Putin's address to the Federal Assembly; p 3 (749 words).

8. Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "Gudkov to Go to Strasbourg Via Supreme Court" says that former State Duma deputy from the A Just Russia party Gennady Gudkov will file a lawsuit to the Supreme Court to challenge a decision to strip him of a deputy seat. If the court does not back him, Gudkov plans to apply to the European Court of Human Rights; p 3 (411 words).

9. Anastasia Rodionova article headlined "Razvozzhayev Finds Executioner in Courtroom" says that Moscow's Basmanny Court has extended to April 1 the term in custody for opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev; p 3 (345 words).

10. Matvei Ganapolsky article headlined "Putin as Husband" comments on Putin's address to the Federal Assembly. He highlighted the same problems as in previous addresses and this address was a "triumph of a lack of specifics, which have been missed deliberately"; p 3 (826 words).

11. Lina Panchenko article headlined "Politkovskaya' murderer hidden from her children" details the trial of former Interior Ministry employee Dmitriy Pavlyuchenkov, charged with organizing the murder of Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya, which has begun in the Moscow city court; p 4 (733 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Sergei Putilov article headlined "Auditors Call on Carpet" says that the State Duma has passed the first reading of a bill obliging law enforcers to report to the Audit Chamber on the course of investigation of the cases, which it has initiated. Experts consider the move to be an imitation of the fight against corruption; pp 1, 3 (639 words).

2. Vera Moslakova article headlined "Route of Discord" says that the organizers of the Dec. 15 rally March of Freedom and the Moscow city authorities have failed to come to an agreement on the route of the rally. The opposition threatens to hold an unauthorized rally; p 2 (681 words).

3. Sergei Manukov article headlined "Testing Neighbors' Patience" says that North Korea has successfully launched a missile; p 2 (484 words).

4. Nadezhda Krasilova and Anatoliy Dmitriyev factual report headlined "Redivision of Political Landscape" looks at Putin's address to the Federal Assembly; p 2 (960 words).

5. Alexander Kolesnichenko article headlined "Justice Calls for Special Order" looks at the trial of former Interior Ministry employee Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, charged with organizing the murder of Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya; p 5 (531 words).

6. Margarita Alyokhina article headlined "To Hurt Artist" says that Russian painter Nikas Safronov has filed a lawsuit against Pussy Riot punk band members for the unlawful usage of his images in one of their videos; p 5 (400 words).

RBK Daily

1. Inga Vorobyeva et al. article headlined "Without Blinkers and Luxury" looks at Putin's address to the Federal Assembly; pp 1-2 (800 words).

2. Alexander Litoi article headlined "Conditional Fight" says that former Interior Ministry employee Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, charged with organizing the murder of Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya, may be sentenced to 14 years behind the bars; p 2 (400 words).

3. Galina Starinskaya article headlined "Entire TNK-BP for Rosneft" says that the Russian oil company Rosneft will pay $28 billion plus interests until the deal is closed; p 7 (550 words).

4. Article by Mikhail Kozlov, director for innovation at the RusHydro energy company, headlined "5 Myths About Renewable Energy," sums up the results of the year 2012 as regards renewable energy sources; p 6 (800 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta (weekly)

1. Mikhail Barshchevsky interview with the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Gennady Zyuganov, headlined "It Is Not Sin to Spend Money," who speaks about an idea to ban officials from having property and assets abroad, the parliamentary control and the opposition in Russia; p 8 (1,185 words).

2. Ivan Yegorov interview with Prosecutor-General Yuriy Chayka, headlined "Stop Signal", who speaks about the fight against drink-driving and about from whom children should be protected; p 10 (1,574 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Tatyana Reut selection of comments by pundits, opposition activists and Duma faction leaders on Putin's address to the Federal Assembly; pp 2-3 (1,000 words).

2. Alexander Gamov brief interview with Sergei Stepashin, the head of the Russian Audit Chamber, on Putin's comment on the chamber; p 5 (200 words).

3. Viktor Baranets article headlined "Vasilyeva Asks for Tryst With Serdyukov" says that Yevgenia Vasilyeva, the former head of the Defense Ministry property department who is now under house arrest, has asked court to allow her to live in all 13 rooms of her flat (as she is now allowed to live only in three of them) and meet former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov; p 7 (400 words).

4. Yevgeniy Suchkov article headlined "North Korea Threatened With Rocket" says that the world has been disturbed by the news that the North Korean launch of a missile was a success; p 8 (200 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Viktor Ruchkin article headlined "Washington Bets on Armed Victory" comments on the U.S. recognition of the Syrian opposition as a legitimate force; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

2. Olga Vorobyeva article headlined "Transpolar Guidelines for Northern Fleet" views the prospects and objectives of Russia's Northern Fleet for the next year; p 2 (900 words).

Dec. 13, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC 

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