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What the Papers Say, Mar. 29, 2013


1. Vladislav Novyy et al. report headlined "Tele2 being taken away from Swedish family" says that MTS, Vimpelcom and Alfa-group are trying to prevent the purchase of Tele2Russia telecommunications operator by the VTB group; pp 1, 12 (941 words).

2. Sergey Mashkin article headlined "Not bad handing back" says that the Investigations Committee has called on the businessmen who bought the Defense Ministry's buildings, lands and assets via the Oboronservis company to return them to the ministry; pp 1, 4 (810 words).

3. Oleg Trutnev article headlined "Rustam Tariko outdoes Alfa" says that the owner of the Russian Standard company, Rustam Tariko, seems to be the only viable buyer of the Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC); pp 1, 12 (710 words).

4. Maksim Ivanov article headlined "Front of trust in Vladimir Putin growing fast" says that the leader of the A Just Russia, Sergei Mironov, has stated that he is ready to cooperate with the All-Russia People's Front; pp 1-2 (923 words).

5. Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Supervisor's observations" provides glimpses of a lecture delivered by the chairman of the Audit Chamber, Sergei Stepashin, in which he advised the future political elite to study well and not to steal; p 2 (525 words).

6. Grigory Tumanov and Aleksandr Chernykh article headlined "Prosecutor-General's Office finds checking word" says that yesterday the Prosecutor-General's Office for the first time explained the reasons for recent mass checks of NGOs. The checks are aimed to reveal extremist nationalist and religious organizations; p 3 (594 words).

7. Ivan Safronov et al. report headlined "Military schooling in most unexpected way" says that yesterday at 0400 Moscow time (0000 gmt) President Vladimir Putin ordered Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to begin a "surprise large-scale" drill near the Black Sea; p 3 (925 words).

8. Vladislav Trifonov article headlined "Former EBRD director to be thoroughly studied" says that the former director from Russia at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Yelena Kotova, has been placed in a mental hospital on a court order; p 4 (522 words).

9. Oleg Rubnikovich article headlined "Gazprom's affiliate's documents eaten" says that two companies affiliated with Gazprom have been suspected of tax evasion and their offices have been searched; p 4 (623 words).

10. Aleksandr Zheglov article headlined "Interior Ministry's cadets detained for hostage" says that four cadets of the Interior Ministry's Moscow University were detained yesterday for the kidnapping of businessman Aysif Ragimov. Their teacher who is believed to be the organizer of the crime has been put on the federal wanted list; p 4 (805 words).

11. Dmitry Zhdakayev article headlined "Sergei Polonskiy builds everything in prison" describes the journalists' meeting with Russian businessman Sergei Polonskiy, who is being kept in prison in Cambodia; p 5 (921 words).

12. Vadim Visloguzov et al. article headlined "Cypriot crisis enters non-cash phase" says that the Cypriot banking system has resumed its work but with significant restrictions; p 6 (714 words).

13. Aleksey Shapovalov article headlined "Stakes at wind" says that in their macroeconomic report for January and February, analysts of the Economic Development Ministry highlight numerous reasons against softening the monetary policy which Deputy Minister Andrey Klepach advocates. Independent analysts say that the speculation about the need for monetary stimulation is only aimed at distracting attention from the real problems in the economy; p 6 (724 words).

14. Article by Yevgeniy Gontmakher headlined "Authorities choosing priorities" says that the authorities should focus on protection of people's health instead of vague promises of a bright future; p 8 (710 words).

15. Mikhail Serov and Olga Mordyushenko article headlined "Cold March beneficial for Gazprom" says that due to a cold spring in Europe demand for Russian gas has increased; p 11 (695 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Aleksandra Samarina and Ivan Rodin article headlined "People's Front's field exercises" looks at the plenary session of the All-Russia People's Front that was held the previous day and says that Vladimir Putin seems to be ready to make the front a ruling party and gradually give up the weakening One Russia party; pp 1, 3 (1,227 words).

2. Viktor Myasnikov article headlined "Admiral VIP salon instead of penalty" says that despite a significant delay in the commissioning of the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, the Indian side is not going to demand a penalty. If the final tests are successful, the vessel will be handed over to the client in November; pp 1-2 (457 words).

3. Aleksandra Samarina article headlined "New plots in 'Oboronservis case'" says that new charges have been brought against Yevgeniya Vasilyeva in connection with Oboronservis case. Meanwhile, the wife and daughter of a former deputy defense minister are alleged to have been involved in unlawful sale of the Defense Ministry's property; pp 1, 3 (900 words).

4. Anastasiya Bashkatova and Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "Russian mafia accused of Cypriot banks' bankruptcy" wonders why the EU chose to aggravate the Cypriot crisis instead of preventing it and says that the problems in Cyprus have resulted from the EU's program for writing off Greek obligations; pp 1, 4 (901 words).

5. Sergey Kulikov article headlined "Horse-power tax" looks at the pros and cons of an increased transport tax on luxury cars; pp 1, 4 (744 words).

6. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Chinese officials feast secretly" says that the fight for moderate life of officials started by China's new leader Xi Jingpin is not enough and political anti-corruption reforms are necessary; pp 1, 8 (516 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Non-aggression pact endangers normalization of relations between Moscow and Tbilisi" looks at the 23rd round of consultations on security and stability in the South Caucasus and says that the Geneva consultations have run out of steam and become inefficient so they only hamper direct Russian-Georgian dialogue; p 2 (503 words).

8. Andrey Melnikov article headlined "Saint father of peoples" looks at relations between new Pope Francis with the Russian Orthodox Church; p 3 (718 words).

9. Sergey Kiselev article headlined "Blackmailing with desman" looks at environmentalists' struggle against the development of a huge nickel deposit in Voronezh Region; p 6 (1,191 words).

10. Oksana Skripnikova article headlined "Three peculiarities of election in Zhukovskiy" looks at the situation ahead of the mayoral election in the town of Zhukovskiy in Moscow Region; p 6 (594 words).

11. Aleksandr Chernyavskiy article headlined "Krasnoyarsk echo of Arab Spring" says that a number of key timber companies in Krasnoyarsk Territory are on the verge of shutting down and looks at the reasons; p 6 (556 words).

12. Anton Khodasevich article headlined "Lukashenka has personal interest in CSTO" looks at the meeting between Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka with Secretary-General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Nikolay Bordyuzha; p 7 (537 words).

13. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Kiev awaits financial salvation from West" says that the International Monetary Fund mission in Kiev is expected to allocate a new stabilization loan to Ukraine. Whether the Ukrainian side will be able to fulfil the IMF's conditions depends on Russia's stance, experts note; p 7 (1,071 words).

14. Viktoriya Panfilova article headlined "Almazbek Atambayev plays all-or-nothing game" says that the Kyrgyz president took part in a protest in the south of the country; p 7 (614 words).

15. Darya Tsiryulik article headlined "UN to take control over arms" says that the UN's General Assembly was to approve an international agreement regulating arms trade yesterday and looks at the consequences for Russia; p 8 (480 words).

16.Yuriy Paniyev article headlined "BRICS countries to invest in Africa" looks at the outcomes of the BRICS summit in South Africa; p 8 (665 words).


1. Yelizaveta Sergina article headlined "Tele2 finds three more buyers" says that after VTB announced the purchase of Tele2Russia, Vimpelcom, MTS and Alfa-group offered more money to the owner of Tele2Russia and demanded the deal be cancelled; pp 1, 17 (701 words).

2. Editorial headlined "State purchase of stadiums" says that President Vladimir Putin has instructed Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to work out a system for assessing the efficiency of expenditures on the construction of stadiums in an attempt to avoid uncontrollable growth of expenditures during preparations for the 2018 World Cup; pp 1, 6 (388 words).

3. Liliya Biryukova article headlined "Front reverses points" says that at a two-day conference activists of the All-Russia People's Front deal with people's complaints about the government and suggestions; p 2 (517 words).

4. Margarita Lyutova article headlined "Less than three" says that the growth of the Russian economy may not reach 3 per cent this year; p 4 (514 words).

5. Editorial headlined "1 April for Central Bank" criticizes attempts to make the Central Bank responsible for economic growth; p 6 (410 words).

6. Tatyana Bochkareva and Olga Plotonova article headlined "Clients behaved fantastically" says that Cypriot banks have resumed work and looks at the restrictive measures operating at present; p 14 (611 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Vitaly Petrov article headlined "Vodka guilty" gives highlights of round-table discussions conducted at the conference of the All-Russia People's Front in Rostov-na-Donu; pp 1-2 (1,000 words).

2. Vyacheslav Prokofyev article headlined "To look in mirror more often" says that the idea to introduce censorship in British printed media has split European mass media outlets; pp 1, 8 (800 words).

3. Iadilya Zaripova interview with Russian human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin headlined "Count to ten" about his annual report published in the newspaper; p 6 (900 words).


1. Anna Akhmadiyeva article headlined "Vladimir Potanin and Aleksandr Mamut unite media assets" looks into the merger of the prominent Russian Afisha publishing house, Rambler Media and SUP Media; pp 1, 3 (300 words).

2. Alena Sivkova article headlined "Kremlin decides Suleyman Kerimov's fate" says that another senator will leave the Federation Council in early April; pp 1-2 (586 words).

3. Alexei Mikhailov article headlined "Bulava to be targeted via Gazprom" says that the Russian navy has put into service a new automated system of control of strategic nuclear forces; pp 1, 3 (696 words).

3. Vladimir Zykov interview with Deputy Telecommunications and Mass Communications Minister Aleksey Volin headlined "'Sometimes state bodies do not know what to block'" where he speaks about the ministry's stance on the black list of websites and legislature regulating the Internet; p 4 (1,048 words).

4. Vladimir Zykov article headlined "Facebook appears on Runet's blacklist for the first time" says that on 28 March Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor added Facebook on the blacklist of websites for the first time ever; p 4 (400 words).

5. Konstantin Volkov article headlined "Islamists split Syrian opposition with their achievements" looks at the latest developments in Syria; p 7 (562 words).

5. Rafael Fakhrutdinov article headlined "Britain to continue probe into Berezovsky's death" says that a coroner's court has ruled to continue the inquest into the death of exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky; p 7 (440 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "All Russia's People's Front suggests imposing responsibility for sex without obligations" says that President Putin is to visit the conference of the All-Russia's People's Front today; pp 1-2 (569 words).

2. Viktoria Prikhodko article headlined "Putin accepts Egyptian president at bath" looks at the meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with his Egyptian counterpart in South Africa; p 2 (331 words).

3. Andrey Yashlavskiy article headlined "British police: Noose found on Boris Berezovsky's neck" looks at the results of a coroner's investigation into the death of the Russian exiled tycoon; p 2 (562 words).

4. Stanislav Belkovsky article headlined "Cypriotism" slams the EU's decision on a levy on deposits in Cypriot banks; p 3 (1,236 words).

RBK Daily

1. Arfi Gevorkyan article headlined "Drag oneself to 3 per cent" says the Russian Economic Development Ministry may reduce its GDP forecast for 2013 to below 3 per cent, compared with the planned 3.6 per cent. Whereas experts predict that the figure may be less than 2 per cent; p 2 (500 words)

2. Ivan Petrov report headlined "Border without boss" quotes an unnamed source in the Russian Border Guard Service saying that its head Vladimir Pronichev will be dismissed within the next several days as he has reached retirement age; p 2 (250 words).

3. Opinion piece by Russian business ombudsman Boris Titov headlined "'Gift' rates" looks at the issue of reducing social insurance payments for small businesses and sole traders; p 4 (600 words).

4. Yevgeniy Sergiyenko article "Afisha with SUP" says the Rambler-Afisha on-line project, which forms part of the Interros holding company owned by tycoon Vladimir Potanin, will be merged with Aleksandr Mamut's SUP Media, which unites on-line projects, including news website, into a single company; p 8 (400 words).

5. Polina Stroganova report "All is quiet in Tripoli" says the Tatneft oil company is returning to Libya after a two-year break caused by the civil war; p 6 (250 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Maria Remizova interview with the former head of Boris Berezovsky's security, Sergey Sokolov, headlined "Berezovsky was murdered so that he did not return to Russia with compromising materials" contains speculation in support of that theory as well as some details about Berezovsky's private life; pp 1, 6 (1,200 words).

2. Alexandra Krylova article "Three years on since the terror attacks on the underground: Has Moscow metro become safer?" looks at security measures taken on the Moscow underground; pp 1, 8 (700 words).

3. Aleksandr Gamov article "President orders to start large-scale military exercise on the Black Sea" reports the above news, followed by a brief interview with presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov with some further details; p 2 (500 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. TV critic Irina Petrovskaya, in a piece headlined "Dancing. Mamontov", looks at Russian TV coverage of the news of exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky's death; p 3 (650 words).

Mar. 29, 2013/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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