What the Papers Say, May 20, 2013

Kommersant

1. Maxim Ivanov et al. report headlined "Golden parachutes reach ceiling" says United Russia plans to make amendments to the Labor Code to limit the so-called golden parachutes, bonuses paid to dismissed heads of state corporations; pp 1, 3 (1,035 words).

2. Ivan Buranov et al. report headlined "Banks impound" says that thousands of law-abiding drivers in Russia have become victims of the ineffective work of the Russian banking system as the traffic police were not informed about the fines paid by them; pp 1, 4 (1,017 words).

3. Khalil Aminov article headlined "Olimpstroi bears unplanned losses" says that the corporation Ingeokom has sued the state corporation Olimpstroi in charge of the construction of Olympic Games facilities in Sochi and won the case. The court ruled that the state corporation should pay the private company 116 million rubles for unscheduled work to reinforce the foundation of an ice palace. Many other companies are also suing Olimpstroi; pp 1, 9 (651 words).

4. Viktor Khamrayev and Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Migration flows gathered into code" comments on United Russia's plans to draft a migration code to more effectively control migrant workers; p 2 (582 words).

5. Taisia Bekbulatova article headlined "Large landowners work in supreme courts" looks at income declarations made public by supreme court judges in Russia; p 2 (837 words).

6. Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "Mikhail Prokhorov wants to 'rule and manage'" reports on a Civil Platform party forum where the party leader Mikhail Prokhorov has spoken about his political ambitions; p 2 (579 words).

7. Irina Nagornykh report "United Russia removes 'someone else's projects from budget" says that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has chaired a joint session of United Russia's supreme and general councils, which focused on party projects in the social sphere; p 2 (800 words).

8. Vsevolod Inyutin article headlined "Alexei Kudrin not ready to replace Dmitry Medvedev" says that former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has ruled out the possibility of being appointed new prime minister as he has political disagreements with the country leadership. He also said he was not ready to become an opposition politician; p 3 (505 words).

9. Natalya Korchankova and Sofya Samokhina article headlined "Public TV shows its face" reports on the beginning of Public TV's broadcasting in Russia; p 3 (478 words).

10. Tatyana Yedovina article headlined "Fiscal cliff being leveled" says that possible US fiscal cliff has been postponed at least until September 2013; p 6 (425 words).

11. Maria Yefimova article headlined "Turkish prime minister tries to get rid of Bashar Assad in Washington" says that U.S. President Barack Obama has not supported the idea of an international military operation against official Damascus voiced by the Turkish prime minister during his visit to the U.S.A. Washington is waiting for the results of an international conference with Russia's participation; p 7 (422 words).

12. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "U.S. State Department protects Russian missiles" says the U.S. State Department has denied reports on fresh Russian arms supplies to Syria and expressed the hope that the upcoming international conference on Syria will help resolve the crisis; p 7 (617 words).

13. Galina Dudina and Maxim Yusin article headlined "European countries get rid of internal Islamists" says Germany and France have learned the lesson of the recent Boston bombing and will expel immigrants supporting radical Islamist ideas; p 8 (760 words).

14. Article by Sergei Utkin, expert from the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in an opinion column headlined "Price of issue" analyses the EU counterterrorism strategy; p 8 (348 words).

15. Sergei Strokan article headlined "North Korea hits sea with missile" says Pyongyang has launched a new round of the war of nerves with its neighbors as the it tested a missile on the weekend; p 8 (497 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Igor Naumov article headlined "Finance Ministry abruptly changes attitude to foreign loans" says experts are wondering why the Finance Ministry has abruptly changed the attitude to foreign loans and plans to issue euro bonds despite stable prices on oil and guaranteed budget revenues; pp 1, 4 (989 words).

2. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Pyanj plan for Russian border guards" says Russia is considering the possibility of deploying its troops near the Tajik-Afghan border as NATO forces are leaving Afghanistan; pp 1-2 (791 words).

3. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Public initiatives exceed 1,000" says the Russian Public Initiatives portal, which has been operating for six weeks, has come up with some 1,000 initiatives. However, even the most popular ones gathered only 48,000 signatures. Experts believe that people do not trust the organizers of the portal and do not expect their voting to change anything; pp 1, 3 (857 words).

4. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "American gas may appear in Japan earlier than Siberian one" says that U.S. gas export will affect Gazprom's plans to conquer the Asian energy market; pp 1, 4 (422 words).

5. Yevgenia Novikova article headlined "State Department does not see new Yakhont [missiles] in Damascus" says U.S. authorities have said they were unaware of new Russian arms supplies to Syria, while the U.S. press spread information about Yakhont missiles supplies. Preparation for a new international conference on Syria is under way as planned; pp 1, 6 (718 words).

6. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Chinese salaries turn out to be more innovative" compares average salaries in Russia and China and notes that Chinese researchers make 2.5 times more money than an average person in the country; pp 1, 4 (1,064 words).

7. Editorial headlined "South Caucasus puzzle" compares the Russian and US policies in the South Caucasus and notes that wrong ambitions and inability to notice important changes hamper the development of Russian ties with its neighbors; p 2 (511 words).

8. Alexandra Samarina and Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Pre-election ping pong" says the regional election campaign has in fact started in Russia with Prime Minister and United Russia leader Dmitry Medvedev's speech at a party forum, in which he spoke on the party's election strategy; p 3 (1,301 words).

9. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "U.S.A. and China fight for influence over Burma" says Washington is trying to develop economic relations with Burma where China has already built pipelines to export hydrocarbons; p 6 (503 words).

10. Yury Paniyev report "Russia and Latin America are natural allies" says that the State Duma has held a session dedicated to Russia's relations with Latin America; pp 9-10 (1,300 words).

11. Alexei Fenenko report "Atlantic dialogue" looks at Russia's cooperation with Britain; pp 9-10 (900 words).

12. Olga Shishkina report "Four years of Eastern Partnership" says that the EU has enough reasons for suspending the Eastern Partnership political program; pp 9-10 (1,400 words).

13. Viktoria Panfilova report "Caspian Sea is arena of contact of world superplayers" says that the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan may worsen the situation in the Caspian Sea region; p 11 (1,600 words).

Vedomosti

1. Margarita Papchenkova article headlined "Foreign countries to help" says that member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have agreed to exchange information on tax payments. The move is to prevent Russian tax payers from hiding their revenues abroad; pp 1, 5 (951 words).

2. Yelizaveta Sergina article headlined "Blavatnik to buy Svyaznoy" says Maxim Nogotkov may sell a stake in the mobile phone retail network Svyaznoy to Leonard Blavatnik for $200 million; pp 1, 16 (467 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Economy class TV" says Russian Public TV will be unable to work independently as it was set up by Dmitry Medvedev and is financed by the state; pp 1, 6 (448 words).

4. Lilia Biryukova and Anna Shcherbakova article headlined "Presidential envoy in White House" says that presidential envoy to the Central Federal District Alexander Beglov is one of the candidates to be appointed new head of the Russian government staff; p 2 (363 words).

5. Ksenia Boletskaya and Lilia Biryukova article headlined "Volodin gets on with media" says that the Russian media will be able to publish information on individuals if it does not concern their personal secrets. Media leaders have managed to persuade the Kremlin to change the disputable amendments to the Civil Code; p 2 (509 words).

6. Another editorial headlined "Reclamation of village" says that an increasing number of Russian city dwellers are buying houses in the country to spend holidays there; p 6 (332 words).

7. Vasily Kashin report "International policy and wig" looks at the recent Russian-U.S. spy scandal; p 7 (1,000 words).

8. Tatyana Voronova article headlined "Person of week: Vladimir Golubkov" comments on charges brought against Rosbank head Vladimir Golubkov; p 7 (358 words).

9. Maria Eysmont "Solidarity with gays" says that the only way Russian society can reply to discriminatory laws is unite with those who are being discriminated; p 7 (700 words).

Izvestia

1. Tatyana Shirmanova and Anastasia Alexeyevskikh article headlined "Russian money run away from Cyprus to Luxembourg and Ireland" outlines new offshore schemes used by Russian businessmen after the financial crisis in Cyprus; pp 1, 3 (900 words).

2. Andrei Gridasov article headlined "Investigators question Vekselberg as part of Skolkovo case" says president of Skolkovo Foundation Viktor Vekselberg has been questioned by the Investigative Committee as part of the probe into the payment of $750,000 to opposition lawmaker Ilya Ponomaryov; pp 1, 4 (900 words).

3. Mikhail Rubin and Andrei Gridasov article headlined "Criminal charges prepared for Ponomaryov" says the Russian Investigative Committee will demand that opposition lawmaker Ilya Ponomaryov be deprived of deputy immunity to try him over receiving too much money for his lectures; pp 1, 4 (500 words).

4. Alexei Grigoryev article headlined "Vladimir Kolokoltsev meets FBI head" says that Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev is visiting the U.S.A. where he will study the experience of U.S. colleagues; pp 1, 4 (650 words).

5. Alexei Mikhaylov and Denis Telmanov article headlined "Egypt breaks contract to develop ammunition" says Egypt has broken a contract with Russia to develop high-precision artillery ammunition. Russian developers of the ammunition lost 2.5 billion rubles (around $80 million); pp 1, 3 (1,200 words).

6. Vladimir Zykov report "Yandex receives own domain zone" says that the international non-commercial organization ICANN has approved Yandex's request for the upper level domain in Latin: .yandex; pp 1, 4 (800 words).

7. Yekaterina Panina report "People's attitude to Pussy Riot becomes calmer" says that according to a poll conducted by the Levada Center, Russians have become more tolerant of the punk group Pussy Riot over the last year; p 2 (850 words).

8. Anastasia Kashevarova report "Nashi split into two camps" says that the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi has split into two groups; p 3 (600 words).

9. Andrei Gridasov interview with businessman and actor Andrei Kovalev who speaks about the Rosbank head allegedly trying to extort money from him; p 5 (1,400 words).

10. Igor Yavlyansky and Konstantin Volkov article headlined "Turn in Litvinenko case linked to Berezovskiy's death" says that Marina Litvinenko, the widow of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko, has sent a letter to the British Ministry of Justice demanding that a court decision in relation to her late husband be revised; p 7 (750 words).

11. Yury Matsarsky report "Britain wants labor migrants from Russia" says that the British migration service has recommended that the UK government should introduce quotas for season workers from Russia and Ukraine; p 7 (600 words).

12. Konstantin Volkov report "Insurgents in Syria turn into oil workers" says that oil has become the source of income for various opposition military groups in Syria; p 7 (650 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Interview headlined "Without upheavals" with Deputy Prime Minister Arkadiy Dvorkovich speaking on Vladislav Surkov's resignation, Russian economic development and the energy sector in the country; pp 1, 6 (3,328 words).

2. Igor Yelkov article headlined "Secret of Taynitsky garden" on a helipad set up for the presidential helicopter in the Kremlin; pp 1, 4 (667 words).

3. Yelena Kukol article headlined "It does not count like that" says the housing tax is likely to be introduced in Russia only 2018 due to delays with the mass evaluation of housing in the country; pp 1-2 (522 words).

4. Vladislav Vorobyov interview headlined "Division of Labor" with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaking on his recent talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and about the Syrian crisis; pp 1, 5 (1,909 words).

5. Kira Latukhina report "City of talks" looks at Putin's negotiations with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Sochi; p 2 (1,300 words).

6. Olga Dmitriyeva report "Judge at crossroads" says that the "Russian trace" in the former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko's case is gradually disappearing; p 10 (600 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "Medvedev sends United Russia to ice hole" says United Russia activists have backed Dmitry Medvedev's proposal to start ice swimming. The proposal was made at a party forum; pp 1-2 (496 words).

2. Igor Subbotin article headlined "North Korea hits Sea of Japan with missiles" reports on a North Korean missile launch; p 2 (337 words).

3. Alexander Melman article headlined "I do not know any other country like that!" reports on the beginning of the Russian Public TV broadcasting; p 2 (733 words).

4. Zurab Nalbandyan article headlined "Litvinenko case may be closed" says the UK coroner has ruled that the inquest into former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko's death could not take evidence on the possible Russian state involvement; p 2 (565 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Nadezhda Krasilova article headlined "Underground prospect" says the persecution of NGOs in Russia may turn opposition activist into radicals. Meanwhile, 20 public figures including writers and actors have signed a public address to support NGOs being put under pressure by prosecutors; p 1-2 (1,166 words).

2. Vera Moslakova article headlined "'Satisfactory' for year" reviews the results of one year of the parliament's work led by Dmitry Medvedev, saying that pundits do not regard it as much of a success; p 2 (700 words).

3. Sergei Manukov article headlined "Russia clear from suspicion?" says that British investigators will not consider information allegedly confirming Russia's involvement in the Litvinenko death case; this has been done in order to improve Russian-British bilateral relations, British ministers think; p 2 (500 words).

RBK Daily

1. Yulia Yakovleva article headlined "Party mastership school" says that Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov's party Civil Platform is getting ready to take part in regional elections; p 2 (600 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Vera Chelishcheva article headlined "They decide not to establish polonium citizenship" comments on the UK coroner decision not to look for a Russian trail in Litvinenko's poisoning case; p 5 (451 words).

2. Pavel Felgengauer article headlined "Do pirates return into Mediterranean?" welcome the progress in the Russian-U.S. talks on the Syrian crisis as the preparation for a new international conference on Syria has begun; p 5 (686 words).

3. Diana Khachatryan and Maria Yepifanova article headlined "Media cleanup" lists all the recent dismissals and features comments of the key media figures on the present situation in the Russian media; pp 7-9 (1,000 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Alexander Grishin interview with auditor in the Russian Audit Chamber Sergei Agaptsov; pp 1, 10-11 (2,500 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Alexandra Beluza and Svetlana Babayeva article headlined "Violinist with no violin" features an extensive report on the results of work of Dmitry Medvedev's parliament; pp B2-B4 (1,100 words).

2. Yevgeny Volkov and Yelena Kochugova article headlined "From Sochi at Zubovskaya [street in Moscow]" comments on the visit of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Moscow, saying that the Syrian crisis was on top of the agenda; pp B7-B9 (750 words).

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