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What the Papers Say, Feb. 18, 2013

Kommersant


1. Natalya Goroteskaya and Maria-Luiza Tirmaste article headlined "Based on resources that do not exist" says the Russian authorities decide not to hand over more powers to regions but to set up additional ministries to coordinate their work instead; pp 1-2 (679 words).

2. Khalil Aminov and Anastasia Gorshkova article headlined "Flats to be taken under guardianship" says officials are to get the right to block the sale of housing where minor children are registered. Realtors oppose the plans as they warn it may give rise to additional red-tape and corruption; pp 1, 12 (551 words).

3. Alexandra Bayazitova article headlined "Spartak to be colored white and blue" says Otkrytiye financial corporation is buying the name and colors of Spartak stadium opening in Moscow; pp 1, 10 (657 words).

4. Olga Shestopal et al. report headlined "Markdown of values" says the Russian Central Bank is to hire professional assessment officers to estimate the value of assets kept by banks as pledges for their loans; p 1 (763 words).

5. Pavel Belavin and Maksim Ivanov article headlined "To the fullest extent of Web 2.0" says amendments to the law on media will call media to account for comments their visitors leave on their websites; p 2 (522 words).

6. Anna Pushkarskaya article headlined "New legislation to be checked for contradictions" says the European Commission for Democracy through Law is to carry out expert examination of two Russian laws on NGOs and espionage. The commission's conclusions may give ground for criticizing Russia; p 2 (783 words).

7. Vladislav Trifonov article headlined "Hermitage Capital introduced into Gazprom shares case" says the Russian Interior Ministry is checking the legality of the purchase of Gazprom shares. The police have demanded that HSBC provide information on the companies belonging to Hermitage Capital; p 4 (515 words).

8. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Taleban get protection from American planes" says a speech by Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has closed the country's air space for NATO forces; p 7 (431 words).

9. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Pakistan explodes from within" says Pakistan is on the verge of a war between Shi'a and Sunnis Islam believers following a large explosion at a market in the country; p 7 (500 words).

10. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "Viktor But [Bout] partner detained when trying to find job" says partner of Russian businessman Viktor But serving a prison sentence in the USA Richard Chichakli is to be extradited from Australia to the USA as he was trying to find a job using forced documents; p 8 (751 words).

11. Vladimir Solovyev article headlined "Moldovan alliance falls apart on way to Europe" says Moldova is in a political crisis as the ruling alliance has fallen apart and early parliamentary election may improve the situation; p 8 (754 words).

12. Article by Fedor Lukyanov, chairman of the presidium of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council, in opinion column headlined "Price of issue" looks into the reasons for the political crisis in Moldova; p 8 (349 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Igor Naumov article headlined "G20 financiers miss aim with agenda" says financial experts believe the discussion of the so called currency wars to be a bad choice for the G20 financial summit agenda, as the issue should have been discussed several years ago; pp 1, 4 (906 words).

2. Tatyna Ivzhenko article headlined "Tymoshenko prepared for discharge" says the lawyers of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are claiming that it was businessman Petr Kirichenko who ordered the contract killing of parliamentarian Yevgeny Shcherban in 1996; pp 1, 6 (1,049 words).

3. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Public Chamber of public councils" details the regulations for forming public councils within all branches of power which allow the authorities to keep the councils under control; p 1, 3 (722 words).

4. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Self liquidations of sole traders' business" says sole traders all over Russia are winding down their legal activity due to an increase in social taxes they have to pay; pp 1, 4 (783 words).

5. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Greek market being taken away from Gazprom" says Washington opposes the sale of DEPA Greek gas concern to Gazprom; pp 1, 4 (621 words).

6. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Cartographic fight for islands" says China's dispute with neighbors over islands is escalating, as both sides are trying to present the proof of their land ownership; pp 1, 6 (541 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Enforcement of bomb making" says aggressive Washington policy makes Pyongyang develop the nuclear weapons as the only measure preventing the regime from failure; p 2 (545 words).

8. Alexander Chernyavsky article headlined "No changes on Russian map" reviews the results of the Krasnoyarsk economic forum where Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave up the idea to set up the state corporation to develop Siberia; p 2 (610 words).

9. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Kamea trace in Magnitsky case" reports on the opening of a new case against the Hermitage Capital fund; p 3 (557 words).

10. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Hagel nomination gets stuck in Senate" says the Republican senators have suspended the voting on Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel; p 6 (577 words).

11. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Interpol will look for Serdyukov's partners" says former defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov may be faced with charges of fraud and abuse of office this week; p 3 (400 words).

Vedomosti


1. Margarita Papchenkova and Natalya Biyanova article headlined "Pensions like deposits" outlines the Russian government's plans to save the pensions savings from inflation. A special security fund managed by the Deposit Insurance Agency will protect the savings; pp 1, 14 (600 words).

2. Editorial headlined "Motherland of meteorites" reports on Russians' reaction to the explosion of a meteorite in Chelyabinsk Region; pp 1, 6 (447 words).

3. Dmitry Kazmin et al. report headlined "World Cup 2018: score opened" says the organization of World Cup 2018 is likely to be even more problematic than holding the Sochi Olympics, as new sports facilities and hotels should be built in 11 cities; pp 1, 20 (2,189 words).

4. Another editorial headlined "Everybody needs Cyprus" says the discussion of the Cyprus financial hardships has saved the G20 financial summit from useless talks and boredom; p 6 (336 words).

5. Maria Zheleznova article headlined "Person of week: Vladimir Pekhtin" says explanations given by One Russia MP Vladimir Pekhtin of his US property look unconvincing and clumsy; p 6 (357 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Alexander Minkin article headlined "Do you trust court?" reports on the Federatsiya charity fund defamation case against Moskovsky Komsomolets; pp 1-2 (1,068 words).

2. Tatyana Zamakhina article headlined "There are 131 billionaires in Russia. It is a diagnosis" says the number of billionaires in Russia have grown by 30 people since the crisis of 2008; pp 1-2 (463 words).

3. Inna Grigoryeva article headlined "G20 outlaws currencies wars" comments on the G20 meeting in Moscow and proposals to improve financial systems in the country-members; p 2 (300 words).

Izvestia


1. German Petelin and Vladimir Barinov article headlined "Audit Chamber checks Serdyukov's protégé" says auditors have started checking Aviaremont company engaged in scrapping old hardware and ammunition following the corruption scandal within the Defense Ministry; pp 1, 4 (913 words).

2. Igor Maltsev article headlined "Harvest curse" analyses corruption in the fishing sector in Russia; pp 1, 9 (741 words).

3. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "MPs ready to strip each other of seats for concealed property" says LDPR has drafted a bill to oust State Duma MPs and Federation Council senators because of the foreign property their fail to declare; pp 1, 3 (543 words).

4. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev interview with acting head of Dagestan Ramazan Abdulatipov speaking on plans to develop the region and improve the security situation there; p 2 (640 words).

5. Anastasia Kashevarova interview with Yevgeny Royzman, head of an anti-drugs fund standing for Yekterinburg mayor, who speaks on his political plans; p 3 (903 words).

6. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev interview with Federal Fishery Agency head Andrey Krayniy speaking on corruption charges brought against him; p 5 (414 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Mikhail Pinkus and Aleksandr Skripov article headlined "Finger to sky" reports on repair works in Chelyabinsk following the asteroid explosion there; pp 1, 4 (762 words).

2. Yelena Kukol article headlined "War is over, currency one" reviews the results of the meeting of financial ministers of G20 member-states in Moscow; pp 1, 2 (879 words).

3. Yevgeny Shestako article headlined "Ban on air" says Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is playing with muscles that do not exist as he is trying to dictate terms to NATO forces; p 5 (578 words).

4. Commentary by Fedor Lukyanov, chief editor of Russia in Global Politics magazine, says Putin's renewed conception of Russia's foreign policy remained almost unchanged compared to previous years. However, it puts more emphases on prioritizing, especially when it comes to relations with post-Soviet states; p 5 (500 words).

Novaya Gazeta


1. Yulia Latynina article headlined "Voting machines against party line" says the Russian authorities are against automatic vote calculating machines as they make it harder to forge election results; p 3 (542 words).

2. Pavel Felgengauer article headlined "Beijing rules" says Russia is unable to take an independent stance on the North Korean nuclear problem and follows China in the talks on the issue; p 7 (668 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Israel Shamir article headlined "In Israel they investigate death of secret prisoner" focuses on the death of an Australian-Israeli allegedly linked to Mossad; p 5 (300 words).

2. Alexander Kots and Dmitry Steshin report headlined "Syria is closed — all fathers have gone to war" says the most bloody version of civil war has ripened in Syria, where the opposing forces are almost equal; p 6 (1,300 words).

3. Dmitry Voskoboynikov article headlined "Isn't it wild, dear Obama?" criticizes the USA on a number of issues, including drone attacks on Americans abroad and development of the Stuxnet computer worm; p 8 (900 words).

RBK Daily


1. Ivan Petrov article headlined "Olympian anxiety" says the Kremlin intends to replace several regional leaders in the North Caucasus prior to the Olympics in Sochi; p 2 (500 words).

2. Alexei Kuzmenko article "Krainy made scapegoat" says a fraud case has been filed against Andrey Krayniy, the head of the Federal Fisheries Agency; p 8 (400 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti


1. Vasily Mikheyev article headlined "What if they shoot?" says that North Korea's nuclear test is a gross violation of non-proliferation regime; pp B2-B3 (1050 words).

2. Georgy Toloraya article headlined "Juche bomb" says Russia should insist on a considered UN resolution on North Korea and not on putting the screws on that country; pp B3-B4 (1700 words).

Feb. 18, 2013/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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