What the Papers Say, Feb. 14, 2013

Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Igor Naumov article headlined "Vladimir Putin declassifies reserves of motherland" says that President Vladimir Putin has left open the possibility of cancelling Gazprom's monopoly on LNG exports and also suggested declassifying the domestic reserves of hydrocarbons to make the fuel and energy sector more attractive to investors; pp 1, 4 (913 words).

2. Ivan Rodin article headlined "All factions like Medinsky" says that Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has delivered a report to the State Duma; pp 1, 3 (385 words).

3. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "President extends free privatization" says that Putin plans to extend the term of free privatization of housing for two years; pp 1, 4 (849 words).

4. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Arab Spring forecast for Yanukovych" says that Ukraine ranks first among European countries in a degree of the population's distrust of state-power institutions; pp 1, 6 (827 words).

5. Svetlana Gavrilina article headlined "Hazardous 'Russian jog'" says that the sentencing of nationalist Maxim Kalinichenko, charged with calling for violence against police during a December 2011 protest in St. Petersburg, has been delayed until 24 February; pp 1-2 (585 words).

6. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Difficulties of enhancing democracy" says that a government bill introducing mandatory mayoral elections has been shelved by the State Duma for six months already. The authorities are not in a hurry to pass the bill as mayoral elections make the political life in regions less controllable by Moscow; pp 1-2 (901 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Plastic modernization" says that the Russian authorities are incapable of concerted action when implementing state projects and proves the point by the example of universal electronic cards; p 2 (482 words).

8. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Conscripts to fight in conflict zones" says that a president decree authorizing sending conscripts to conflict zones after four months of military service has come into effect. The decree has been strongly criticized; p 2 (586 words).

9. Valeria Khamrayeva article headlined "Justice Ministry plans to fight against religious extremism" says that the government has approved the Justice Ministry's bill banning extremists from participating in religious organizations. Experts are sceptical about the bill; p 3 (349 words).

10. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "European deputies aim for Magnitsky Act" says that a group of deputies at the European Parliament has asked the European Commission to introduce sanctions against Russian officials involved in the death of the Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in a Moscow remand centre in 2009; p 3 (571 words).

11. Sergei Rogov article headlined "America 'concentrates'" focuses on US President Barack Obama's State of the Union address; p 3 (782 words).

12. Sergei Kiselev article headlined "High-level energy swearing" looks at Russia-Ukraine gas wars; p 5 (1,159 words).

13. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Russian fighters not to reach Syria" says that according to Russia's largest state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, the 2012 military export reached almost 13bn dollars. Russia sells arms almost around the world, but it closely adheres to the UN Security Council's decisions banning arms supplies to certain countries; p 7 (731 words).

14. Artur Blinov article headlined "Barack Obama: USA will no longer fight" looks at the US president's State-of the Union address; p 7 (729 words).

15. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Mossad agent dies in solitary confinement" covers a scandal around an Australian national dying in an Israeli prison; p 7 (500 words).

Kommersant


1. Mikhail Serov article headlined "Gazprom loses monopoly" says that Putin has become concerned with the de-monopolization of LNG exports and instructed officials to consider the issue; pp 1, 7 (772 words).

2. Anatoliy Dzhumaylo et al. article headlined "Metalloinvest to pay for Nornikel with copper" says that the Metalloinvest holding company may increase its stake in the Norilsk Nickel mining and metallurgical company in exchange for the Udokan copper deposit; pp 1, 7 (1,053 words).

3. Pavel Bulavin article headlined "Nikita Mikhalkov's author's rights infringed" says that the Telecommunications and Mass Communications Ministry has not backed the proposals by the Russian Union of Copyright Holders and the Culture Ministry as regards the management of author's and neighboring rights in the Single Economic Space; pp 1, 9 (620 words).

4. Unattributed interview with Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin, headlined "'Small projects cannot be in this city'", who speaks about his plans for a couple of years; pp 1, 4 (3,169 words).

5. Andrei Kolesnikov report headlined "Sector of victims" gives an account of a meeting of the presidential commission for the development of the fuel and energy sector and ecological safety chaired by Putin; p 2 (1,731 words).

6. Maxim Ivanov and Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Multi-party system does not fit into electronic ballot boxes" says that the State Duma committee for constitutional legislation has suggested giving up the use of KOIBs (electronic ballot paper processing machines) in elections; p 3 (626 words).

7. Natalya Gorodetskaya and Kirill Antonov article headlined "Valentina Matviyenko brings regions under consolidation" says that the Federation Council speaker has suggested resuming a merger of Russian regions since 83 regions are "too much" for the country; p 3 (629 words).

8. Sofya Samokhina and Anton Arsenyev article headlined "Deputies work with discrediting evidence" says that State Duma deputy from One Russia Vladimir Pekhtin has decided to suspend his activity as the head of the State Duma ethics commission for the time of a check of the information that he has property in the USA. Meanwhile, Communist Konstantin Shirshov has been deprived of deputy immunity; p 3 (602 words).

9. Oleg Rubnikovich and Oleg Sapozhkov article headlined "Five agricultural hours" says that former Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik has been questioned as part of the probe into the embezzlement of budget funds in the Rosagrolizing company, which she headed in 2001-09. The questioning lasted five hours; p 5 (481 words).

10. Galina Dudina article headlined "Scots intimidated with collapse of USSR" says that the UK government has published an expert report on the aftermath of Scotland's secession from the UK; p 6 (416 words).

11. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Iran offered to protect itself with American weapons" quotes former US Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen James Cartwright, as saying that one of the solutions to the Iranian nuclear problem may be the USA granting guarantees of security to Iran; p 6 (750 words).

12. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "Barack Obama promises bonus for poverty" looks at the US president's economic and social initiatives mentioned in his State of the Union address and says that Republicans were skeptical about many of them; p 6 (517 words).

13. Pavel Tarasenko report headlined "Sergei Lavrov cares about Russian investment in Africa" describes the Russian foreign minister's visits to Mozambique and Guinea; p 6 (591 words).

14. Kirill Melnikov and Anna Solodovnikova article headlined "Russian shelf to become American" says that the US company ExxonMobil has expanded cooperation with the Russian oil company Rosneft by concluding an agreement on the development of seven more areas on the Russian offshore area; p 7 (904 words).

15. Sergei Sobolev interview headlined "'Behaviour of audience does not always run counter logic'" with general director of TNS Russia Ruslan Tagiyev, speaking about the Russian media and media surveys; p 10 (2,673 words).

Vedomosti


1. Timofei Dzyadko article headlined "Sechin ready for cancellation" says that Rosneft president Igor Sechin has stood for cancelling Gazprom's monopoly on LNG exports at a meeting of the presidential commission for the development of the fuel and energy sector; pp 1, 12 (566 words).

2. Anastasia Kornya and Mariya Zheleznova article headlined "Elections without processing machines" says that the State Duma committee for constitutional legislation wants KOIBs (electronic ballot paper processing machines) not to be used in elections; pp 2-3 (626 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Methodical fight" looks at the Labor and Social Development Ministry's initiatives to assess and prevent corruption risks among public-sector employees and workers of state-run companies; pp 1, 6 (386 words).

4. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "China needs Russian wings" says that China was ranked third in 2012 in the number of contracts signed with Russia's largest state arms exporter Rosoboronexport; p 3 (418 words).

5. Anastasia Golitsyna article headlined "Law to be replaced with amendments" says that Russia will not pass a separate law on the internet: amendments to the current laws will regulate the use of the internet; p 16 (416 words).

6. Margarita Lyutova and Polina Khimshiashvili article headlined "Campaign becomes loose" says that Putin has been displeased with the results of an anti-corruption campaign in the fuel and energy sector; p 4 (644 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Strong feeling of debt" says that Russia's state debt increased by 22 per cent in 2012 and looks at prospects for the country's getting into a debtor's prison; p 6 (310 words).

8. Irina Kezik article headlined "Rosneft looking for money" says that Rosneft is holding talks with China on getting a loan of up to 30bn dollars and is ready to double oil supplies to the country; p 13 (448 words).

9. Irina Novikova and Maria Zheleznova article "Miami not compatible with ethics" covers a corruption scandal around One Russia MP Vladimir Pekhtin; p 2 (400 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Yulia Krivoshapko article headlined "To extreme transparency" says that the State Duma will be passing the presidential bill banning officials from having assets abroad at an accelerated pace: the bill may be approved by March; pp 1, 5 (658 words).

2. Vitaly Petrov article headlined "Without harebrained scheming" says that the government has approved a state program to develop financial markets and establish an international financial center; p 3 (804 words).

3. Irina Roshchina article headlined "No trifles, everything is important" zooms in at Putin's recent visit to Sochi to inspect the facilities being built for the 2014 Winter Olympics; p 4 (594 words).

4. Yuriy Gavrilov article headlined "Shoigu invited to Oslo" looks at talks between the Russian and Norwegian defense ministers in Moscow; p 6 (392 words).

5. Alexander Gasyuk article headlined "Obama given prime time" outlines the US president's State of the Union address; p 8 (549 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta (weekly)


1. Alena Uzbekova interview headlined "Preferential borscht" with Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fedorov, speaking about reduced prices for foodstuffs for low-income Russians; p 7 (729 words).

2. Mikhail Barshchevsky interview with the head of the State Duma committee for health protection, Sergei Kalashnikov, headlined "I am not afraid of injections", who speaks about the fight against drug addiction in Russia; p 8 (1,270 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "US Afghanistan ends. Is ours returning?" contemplates prospects for the war in Afghanistan and Russia's possible involvement in it given that the USA has got very tired of it and has decided to wash its hands of it; pp 1, 3 (689 words).

2. Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "How much does summer cottage cost?" says that Communists opposing Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov have complained about him to the president's administrative department; pp 1, 8 (790 words).

3. Yeva Merkacheva article headlined "Our jail has dead battery" says that a scandal over the use of electronic bracelets as a measure of restraint for people on trial is brewing up in the Federal Penal Service; pp 1, 3 (1,037 words).

4. Anastasia Rodionova article headlined "Is Senator Margelov living with unknown man?" says that following a report about One Russia deputy Vladimir Pekhtin having property in the USA, the similar report has been published about Federation Council senator Mikhail Margelov; p 2 (505 words).

5. Melor Sturua article headlined "Obama mentions Russia only once" looks at the main topics of the US president's State of the Union address; p 3 (446 words).

6. Matvei Ganapolsky article headlined "Political Kamasutra with unhappy end" contemplates relations between the Russian authorities and the opposition given a report made by the human rights organization Agora and says that changes are inevitable whether the authorities like this or not; p 3 (997 words).

Izvestia


1. Maria Kiseleva article headlined "Ministry of Industry and Trade reports multi-billion losses of state corporations" says that the Russian Aircraft-Building Corporation and the United Shipbuilding Corporation are unprofitable; pp 1, 4 (550 words).

2. Yelizaveta Mayetnaya and Mikhail Markelov article headlined "Serdyukov threatened with new case" says that a criminal case may be opened against Former Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov on the basis of 11 lawsuits against Serdyukov won by Russian servicemen; pp 1, 4 (570 words).

3. Ivan Cheberko article headlined "Russia agrees to hand over Baikonur" says that Russia and Kazakhstan have agreed on the terms of use of the Baikonur cosmodrome; pp 1, 4 (500 words).

4. Ivan Afanasyev article headlined "Barack Obama intends to strangle 'Al-Qa'idah' with others' hands" looks at US President Barack Obama's State of the Union address; p 7 (650 words).

Novyye Izvestia


1. Yulia Savina article headlined "To starve out" says that nine servicemen have gone on hunger strike in protest against the Defense Ministry's housing department ignoring the minister's instruction to give them flats; pp 1-2 (602 words).

2. Yury Sinaleyev article headlined "Atom causes movement" says that thousands of North Korean people have been expelled from Japan following the recent nuclear test carried out by the DPRK; p 1 (339 words).

3. Margarita Alekhina interview with Galina Khovanskaya, the head of the State Duma committee on housing policy and housing utility sector, headlined "'It is advantageous for state to extend privatization of flats'", who speaks about the president's initiative to extend the term of free privatization of housing until 1 March 2015; pp 1, 5 (989 words).

4. Sergei Sobolev article headlined "Law for oneself" says that the introduction of a Russian Public Initiative system, through which Russians could send proposals for consideration of the authorities, risks turning into a fiction; p 2 (558 words).

5. Sergei Putilov article headlined "Idle shot" says that a record growth of arms sales reported by Russia's largest state arms exporter Rosoboronexport may turn to be a bluff; p 3 (757 words).

6. Sergei Manukov article headlined " Never-ending day X" says that ordinary Americans have taken a positive view of the US president's State of the Union address, whereas the Republicans have criticized some of the mentioned initiatives; p 3 (510 words).

RBK Daily


1. Yulia Yakovleva article headlined "Kudrin stops 'locomotives'" says that the Civil Initiatives Committee has drafted an Electoral Code, which, among other things, envisages electing the Russian parliament by the example of Germany; p 2 (320 words).

2. Ivan Petrov article headlined "Corruption released from jail" looks at corruption scandals in the Federal Penal Service; p 2 (580 words).

3. Alexander Litoy article headlined "Prisoner of mail" says that opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev is said to be transported under guard from Irkutsk to Moscow. Meanwhile, opposition activist Konstantin Lebedev has been released from a remand center and put under house arrest; p 2 (450 words).

4. Yulia Kalachikhina article headlined "Two dollars from Obama" focuses on the economic section of the US president's State of the Union address; p 4 (450 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Andrey Baranov article headlined " Obama hankers for disarmament" analyzes US President Barack Obama's State of the Union address; p 3 (400 words).

Trud


1. Sergei Frolov article headlined "One hundred days after order" says that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was appointed 100 days ago and analyzes his decisions and achievements; p 2 (650 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda


1. Marianna Yevdotyeva article headlined " Obama's disarmament initiative" analyzes US President Barack Obama's State of the Union address; p 3 (520 words).

Feb. 14, 2013/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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