What the Papers Say, Feb. 12, 2013

Kommersant


1. Yelena Kiseleva and Pavel Belavin article headlined "Vladimir Medinsky asks for spare ticket" says the Russian Culture Ministry wants to organize state lotteries. Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has already asked Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's authorization for five lotteries; pp 1, 7 (807 words).

2. Irina Nagornykh et al. report headlined "Personnel reserve equaled to state service" says President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to merge two of his commissions, for state service and personnel reserve. The move is seen as an attempt to make personnel policy less transparent; pp 1, 3 (840 words).

3. Yelena Chernenko et al. report headlined "Pope to leave alive" comments on the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to resign; pp 1, 6 (935 words).

4. Alexandra Bayazitova article headlined "UEC-end" says the Russian government has given up its project to provide people with universal electronic cards (UEC) to replace paper documents. The change will affect Sberbank that counted on the project; pp 1, 7 (722 words).

5. Sofia Samokhina and Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Deputy immunity does not bear criticism" says the State Duma may strip two more opposition MPs, a Communist and a A Just Russia member, of their seats this week; p 2 (629 words).

6. Anton Arsenyev and Natalya Gorodetskaya article headlined "Co-chairmen chosen for Mikhail Fedotov" says that Putin has approved a reform of the presidential human rights council. There will be three co-chairmen in the council, liberal and pro-Kremlin activists are expected to compete for the posts; p 3 (444 words).

7. Alexei Sokovnin article headlined "Yukos money spent via defense" comments on an arrest warrant issued for the former head of Yukos affiliates, Stanislav Vinokurov, living in Germany. He has been charged with misuse of corporate funds; p 4 (651 words).

8. Darya Shuchalina and Nikolai Sergeyev report "Vorkutinskaya is dead obsolete" on a mine explosion in the Republic of Komi, which killed 17 miners; p 5 (470 words).

9. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Bright past forecast for Afghanistan" says the USA is likely to keep its forces in Afghanistan because the national reconciliation policy does not work and the country's law-enforcement agencies cannot cope with the Taleban; p 6 (573 words).

10. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Sergei Lavrov opens Africa with Algeria" says that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has started his African tour with Algeria where he hopes to improve Russia's image; p 6 (677 words).

11. Vladislav Trifonov report "First embezzlement revealed in Skolkovo" looks at the first corruption scandal in the Skolkovo fund; p 5 (350 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Russian debts exceed gold and currency reserves" says the Russian foreign debt is rapidly growing. At present, every citizen of the country owes 4,200 dollars to foreign creditors; pp 1, 4 (851 words).

2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Cancellation of moratorium: First attempt" says the authorities have raised the issue of lifting the moratorium on death penalty in Russia in an attempt to study public opinion on the issue, as Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev spoke out for the death penalty in his recent interview with NTV; pp 1, 3 (933 words).

3. Valeria Khamrayeva article headlined "Harm from bad company" says the Russian Supreme Court has started hearing the case of A Just Russia member Gennady Gudkov, who was stripped of his State Duma seat; pp 1, 3 (591 words).

4. Igor Naumov article headlined "Secrets of investigation of Yelena Skrynnik " says that a high-profile corruption case involving former Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik must have been set aside by Russian law-enforcement agencies as no reports on the probe into the case have been heard for two months; pp 1, 4 (777 words).

5. Andrei Serenko article headlined "Ilyumzhinov returns via parliament" says that supporters of former head of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov are likely to win the parliamentary election in the republic to be held in September 2013; pp 1, 5 (479 words).

6. Artur Blinov article headlined "Europe fed with horse meat" gives details of a meat scandal in Europe where Romanian horse meat has been sold as beef; pp 1, 7 (476 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Scientific community rots starting from supreme certification commission" looks at the scandal with forged thesis and scientific degrees in Russia; p 2 (529 words).

8. Ivan Rodin report "Resuscitation of fight against extremism" says that the government's bill toughening responsibility for extremism, which was put aside in 2011, will be debated soon; p 3 (650 words).

9. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "China becomes center of international trade" says Chinese economic success is unlikely to affect the Russian economy as Beijing is interested in importing hi-tech products, which Russia cannot provide; p 4 (938 words).

10. Svetlana Gamova article headlined "Moldovan Watergate" says Moldova has started a probe into a money laundering case involving Russian Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service officials; p 6 (509 words).

11. Andrey Serenko interview headlined "Taleban aims at north" with the former vice-president of Afghanistan and the current leader of the opposition coalition, speaking on the Taleban and the security situation in the country; p 7 (654 words).

12. Yuriy Paniyev article headlined "Washington wants to save money on warheads" says US President Barack Obama is to speak on nuclear arms reduction plans in his address to the nation. The issue is also expected to be raised during the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller to Moscow; p 7 (723 words).

13. Andrey Ilyin article headlined "USA in Chinese cyber spying nets" says that China is suspected of hi-tech spying against the USA, as American companies are losing their secrets via the Internet; p 7 (401 words).

14. Alexei Mastepanov report "Energy partnership in Southeast Asia" looks at Russia's gas pipeline project in South Korea; p 11 (3,700 words).

Vedomosti


1. Yekaterina Sobol article headlined "Superjet starts landing" says that the Rosaviatsiya air safety watchdog has ordered the Russian airline Aeroflot to stop using four out of 10 Superjet 100 aircraft the company owns due to technical problems of the aircraft; pp 1, 12 (516 words).

2. Olga Kuvshinova article headlined "February to become expensive" says that growing inflation will affect macroeconomic stability in the country; pp 1, 5 (647 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Pope's message" looks at the reasons making Pope Benedict XVI resign from his post; pp 1, 6 (470 words).

4. Maxim Glikin et al. report "Prokhorov's citizens" says that businessman Mikhail Prokhorov has announced that his party Civil Platform will stand in local elections; p 2 (700 words).

5. Anastasia Kornya report "Sacked according to photocopy" says that the Supreme Court has found out that Gennady Gudkov, former State Duma member from A Just Russia, has been deprived of his deputy seat on the basis of a photocopy of the document whose existence has not been confirmed; p 2 (500 words).

6. Polina Khimshiashvili report "Pope goes to pray" looks at the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI; p 3 (450 words).

7. Another editorial headlined "Obama's threat" says the USA is to benefit from its plans to scrap more nuclear warheads. Russia, however, may accept the offer; p 6 (248 word).

8. Yelizaveta Sergina report "Osnova protects frequencies" says that despite the fact that the Defense Ministry no longer needs creation by the company Osnova Telekom of the sub-system of classified communications, it will be difficult to deprive the company of the frequencies that have already been allocated to it; p 16 (700 words).

9. Valery Kodachigov report "Yandex distances itself from blogosphere" says that Yandex has closed the service Pult Blogosfery; p 16 (650 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Renat Zakiyev et al. interview "Connecting net" with Communications Minister Oleg Nikiforov speaking on the work of the Russian post service and the communications services provided by Russian airports and other public places; pp 1, 5 (3,036 words)

2. Vladislav Kulikov article headlined "VIP call to be jammed" says a new bill is to make the work of Russian judges more independent as all phone calls in Russian courts will be recorded to avoid pressure on judges; pp 1, 9 (815 words).

3. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Looking forward" reports on Putin's meeting with leading diplomats whom he instructed on new approaches in their work; p 2 (592 words).

4. Igor Dunayevsky article headlined "Obama reduces arms" says that nuclear arms reduction plans will become one of the key issues in US President Barack Obama's address to the nation; p 8 (767 words).

5. Niva Mirakyan report "Pope leaves" looks at resignation of Pope Benedict XVI; p 8 (900 words).

Izvestia


1. Margarita Kazantseva article headlined "Caucasus breaks record in gas consumption and failure to pay for it" says the debt for gas consumption in Chechnya alone exceeds R1bn (around 33m dollars); pp 1, 4 (898 words).

2. Dmitry Yevstifeyev article headlined "First embezzlement found in Skolkovo" says a criminal case has been opened against the former head of the financial department of the Skolkovo fund suspected of embezzlement; pp 1, 4 (487 words).

3. German Petelin report "Ombudsman Lukin files lawsuit with Supreme Court against Justice Ministry" says that Russian ombudsman Vladimir Lukin has filed a suit at the Supreme Court trying to protect women working in detention facilities; pp 1, 3 (1,300 words).

4. Yelizaveta Mayetnaya interview "I do not want to hide behind deputy mandate" with Communist MP Konstantin Shirshov, who risks losing his deputy seat. The parliamentarian speaks on charges brought against him; p 2 (653 words).

5. Alexander Yunashev report "Putin calls on Foreign Ministry staff to strengthen stability" says that Putin has announced preparation of a new concept of Russia's international policy; p 2 (400 words).

6. Vladimir Dergachev interview with the chairman of the Cossack Party of the Russian Federation and deputy governor of Rostov Region Sergei Bondarev speaking on his party and possibility of merging with other political forces; p 3 (695 words).

7. Anna Akhmadiyeva interview with Deputy Communications Minister Alexei Volin, who comments on his recent statements about the role of propaganda and journalists' work; p 5 (928 words).

8. Alexei Mikhailov report "Shoigu returns to Rogozin's idea to set up cyber command" looks at Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu's recent instruction to create the cyber command; p 5 (900 words).

9. Mariya Gorkovskaya article headlined "Iraqi prosecutor's office starts questioning over Russian bribes" says the Iraqi prosecutor's office has begun questioning of officials believed to be involved in a corruption scandal over purchases of Russian arms; p 7 (501 words).

10. Igor Yavlyanskiy report "President's three associates leave government of Tunisia" looks at the situation in Tunisia; p 7 (650 words).

11. Igor Yavlyanskiy report "Left throne" looks at resignation of Pope Benedict XVI; p 7 (1,000 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Alexander Minkin article headlined "Charlatans, go ahead" criticizes the Kremlin's decision to set up a new movement allegedly defending families headed by political scientist Sergei Kurginyan; pp 1, 3 (845 words).

2. Sergei Bychkov report "Will Catholics have their own Obama?" looks at resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and his possible successors; pp 1-2 (750 words).

3. Yevgeny Krasnikov interview with the chairman of the State Duma's committee on energy, Ivan Grachev, speaking on energy efficiency and ways of saving energy in Russia; p 2 (720 words).

4. Georgy Yans report "Double standards of Russian Orthodox Church: Not to forgive Pussy Riot and be friends with Communists" looks at recent statements of Russian Orthodox Church leaders; p 3 (600 words).

5. Yeva Merkacheva report "American citizens who are not free" looks at a prison in Pittsburgh; p 4 (2,300 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda


1.Vladimir Sungorkin and Viktor Baranets interview with the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu; pp 8-9 (2,200 words)

2. Alexander Gamov brief interview with the Russian president's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in which he says President Vladimir Putin's stance on capital punishment is "well known" and there is no need to change legislation; p 3 (150 words).

3. Yelena Chinkova article headlined "Obama to Kremlin: Let's reduce nuclear warheads" says Department of State's Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller, who visits Moscow today, plans to discuss the reduction of nuclear arms with the Russian authorities; p 4 (150 words).

RBK Daily


1. Vladimir Pavlov article headlined "Vatican to earn on election of pope" says experts think that elections of a new pope will help the Vatican overcome the budget deficit; pp 1, 4 (400 words).

2. Aleksandr Litoy article headlined "Fifteen million for Nemtsov" says pro-Kremlin activists have accused liberal politicians of the 1990s of financing the opposition Coordination Council; p 2 (200 words).

Trud


1. Olga Smolnova article headlined "Pope decides to step down" looks at the official reason for resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and features comment of journalist Maksim Shevchenko who says he was shocked by the news and may link the pope's decision to a wave of "absolutely anti-Christian" laws that are being adopted in European countries and in France in particular; p 1 (300 words).

Novyye Izvestia


1. Yulia Savina article headlined "Council for three" says President Vladimir Putin has changed the way the presidential human rights council was formed; p 2 (500 words).

Feb. 12, 2013/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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