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What the Papers Say, Dec. 13, 2013


Kommersant


1. Dmitry Butrin et al. report headlined "Time to withdraw" says that in his State of the Nation address, President Vladimir Putin has lamented the slow pace of the "de-offshorization" of the Russian economy. He proposed further steps to speed up the process; pp 1; 3 (3,757 words).


2. Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Academic maneuvers" says that Putin has admitted for the first time that domestic reasons are behind the slowing-down of the Russian economy in his annual address to the Federal Assembly; pp 1-2 (539 words).


3. Sofya Samokhina et al. report headlined "New reform prescribed for Public Chamber" says that the State Duma has promptly reacted to the president's proposal on the reform of the Public Chamber voiced in his State of the Nation address: the bill was tabled the same day; p 2 (591 words).


4. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Yevgenia Vasilyeva may begin walks" says that the Moscow city court has annulled its own decision to prolong house arrest for the main defendant in the Oboronservis fraud case Yevgenia Vasilyeva; p 4 (563 words).


5. Nikolai Sergeyev report "Energy withdrawn from clan" says that police have detained Magomed Kaitov, whom Putin used to call the head of the clan that controlled virtually the whole energy system in North Caucasus; p 4 (1,400 words).


6. Grigory Tumanov article headlined "Justice Ministry uses personalized weapons against environmentalists" says that the Justice Ministry has decided to eliminate the environmental organization Ulukitkan registered in the Amur region for drawbacks in the organization's charter and improper name; p 5 (478 words).


7. Vladislav Trifonov article headlined "France choosing country to give banker Ablyazov to" says that a French court has begun to consider Russian and Ukrainian requests for the extradition of former head of the biggest bank in Kazakhstan Mukhtar Ablyazov, who is charged with fraud and withdrawal of assets worth $5 billion; p 5 (424 words).


8. Tatyana Vdovina article headlined "Russian capital speeding up" says that Russia is among leaders in terms of the amount of illegal withdrawal of capital from the country; p 6 (503 words).


9. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Iranian atom's guard corps" says that the Iranian political and military leadership is split over relations with the West and the nuclear deal with the 5+1 group. Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress is considering the introduction of new sanctions against Iran, which may be disastrous for the nuclear deal; p 7 (536 words).


10. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "They do not promise anything good to Ukraine" says that the West is increasing pressure on Ukraine: the U.S. has stated that sanctions against Ukrainian officials may be introduced, whereas the EU is not going to provide any financial aid to Kiev; p 7 (515 words).


11. Olga Kuznetsova article headlined "Syrian opposition does not let unite itself" says that moderate and radical groups fighting against Bashar Assad are becoming increasingly more hostile towards each other, which has made the West suspend its aid to the Free Syrian Army. The U.S. may fail to ensure the presence of the opposition at the upcoming Geneva-2 conference, experts warn; p 7 (546 words).


12. Yury Barsukov article headlined "South Stream flows to level of EU" says that the European countries, that have signed agreements on the South Stream gas pipeline with Gazprom, have strongly opposed the European Commission's demand to revise the agreements; p 9 (562 words).


13. Kirill Melnikov report "Rosneft becomes bad example" says that in his address to the Federal Assembly, Putin has criticized the scheme of the TNK-BP deal; p 11 (400 words).


14. Olga Shestopal report "They will give terrorists money for bread and taxes" says that lawmakers have decided to let the people, whom the state considers terrorists and extremists, partly use the money on their deposits; p 10 (700 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Yevgeny Grigoryev article headlined "Jihadists seize headquarters of Free Syrian Army without struggle" says that London and Washington have partially suspended supplies of non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels as an Islamist group has seized the headquarters and warehouses with arms and ammunition of the Free Syrian Army. Experts are growing more confident that the West may change its course and place its stakes on jihadists who are becoming a dominant force among the Syrian opposition; pp 1, 8 (756 words).


2. Petr Tverdov and Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Domestic and foreign policy of conservatism" says that in his State of the Nation address, Putin has confirmed his conservative course. The strong criticism of the government he has voiced fits the model perfectly; pp 1, 3 (1,335 words).


3. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Criminal filter as weapons against opposition" says that the State Duma is to get back to the discussion of a ban for people with criminal records for grave and particularly grave crimes to run for public offices and a bill to qualify extremist crimes as grave ones. Thus, the authorities are trying hard to prepare legal grounds and bar their opponents from elections; pp 1-2 (634 words).


4. Igor Naumov article headlined "Elvira Nabiullina not to leave bankers to themselves" says that quite a lot of banks, including large banks, are going through hard times now. As the Central Bank's approach aiming to remove weak and unreliable players from the market remains unchanged, the state-run banks are the ones to benefit most from bankruptcies of private banks; pp 1, 4 (699 words).


5. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Russia gets stuck in age of transition" says that large-scale structural reforms among the majority of developing countries including Russia have slowed down, a report by the EBRD says and warns that it is a long-term trend; pp 1, 4 (864 words).


6. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Kiev names new price for integration with Europe" says that the opposition in Kiev is planning to stage a most large-scale rally ahead of the Ukrainian president's trip to Moscow. The Ukrainian authorities, however, have already stated that they are not going to sign any documents related to the Customs Union and plan to continue talks on integration with the EU; pp 1, 7 (1,184 words).


7. Editorial headlined "Foul language puts missionary on verge of dismissal" says that the Tomsk diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church is considering the dismissal of head of its missionary department Maxim Stepanenko, who has used vulgar language about single mothers with children; p 2 (369 words).


8. Editorial headlined "Loss of obligatory copy" looks at the consequences of the presidential decree that has eliminated the state fund of television and radio programs as well as the Russian book chamber; p 2 (492 words).


9. Alina Terekhova and Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "Vladimir Putin: Money this way" says that a war against offshore companies, which the president has declared in his State of the Nation address, is unlikely to prompt private businesses to increase their investment activity in Russia, but will be beneficial for the state coffers; p 3 (701 words).


10. Oleg Vladykin article headlined "Commander-in-chief dispels illusions of potential enemy" says that Putin has announced the quality re-equipment of the army and the fleet in his State of the Nation address; p 3 (661 words).


11. Veniamin Popov and Marina Popova article headlined "Why did Muslim Brotherhood fail?" says that Egypt's political life reflects the overall situation in the Arab world and analyzes reasons behind the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood movement to retain power; p 5 (2,295 words).


12. Yury Roks article headlined "Tbilisi becomes yellow-black" says that the Georgian parliament has supported protesters in Euro-Maidan in Ukraine and condemned the use of force against them, as well as interference of Russia or any other country in Ukrainian domestic affairs; p 7 (575 words).


13. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "U.S. eases pressure on Karzai" says that the Afghan president has achieved a partial victory in his dispute with the U.S.: Washington does not insist anymore that the security deal be signed by the year end; p 8 (514 words).


14. Yevgeny Grigoryev article headlined "Germany gets new government" looks at the formation of a new government in Germany amid calls of the German business circles for resuming a dialogue with Russia; p 8 (592 words).


15. Anna Gushchina article headlined "People of 2013: Snowden and Francis" says that readers of The Guardian consider former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden to be the hero of the year; p 8 (403 words).


Vedomosti


1. Margarita Papchenkova et al. report headlined "Plan of war against offshores" says that Putin has demanded that businesses registered in offshore companies should pay taxes in Russia; pp 1, 4 (805 words).


2. Tatyana Voronova et al. report headlined "Kim going to Czech Republic" says that the owner of Ekspobank, Vostochnyy and some other banks, Igor Kim, may buy a Czech bank affiliated with the Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg; pp 1, 15 (456 words).


3. Editorial headlined "Myths about Mandela" looks at what Nelson Mandela's rule in the South African Republic has resulted in; pp 1, 6 (448 words).


4. Andrei Babitsky article headlined "Bad news: Sad holiday" says that the 20th anniversary of the constitution is a sad holiday as it has been changed for the worse and is awaiting more changes for the sake of tactical needs; p 7 (444 words).


5. Svetlana Bocharova and Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "It is better for migrants not to go away" looks at the measures to counter illegal migration that Putin has offered in his State of the Nation address; p 2 (563 words).


6. Article by president of Kiev's Foundation of Quality Politics Mikhail Minakov headlined "Philosophy of freedom: Russia's ageing leader" looks at what Russia will end up with after Putin leaves the political arena; p 6 (756 words).


7. Editorial headlined "Nothing to send" says that the president's State of the Nation address has turned out quite short. Putin aimed to show that he is in control of everything and the economy can be saved with the help of several bureaucratic measures; p 6 (365 words).


8. Alexei Nikolsky report "Conversion again" says that the Russian defense sector is preparing for conversion after 2020 as the state defense order will decrease; p 2 (450 words).


9. Anastasia Kornya report "Mayors to be made subordinate to governors" says that the cancellation of election of mayors in big cities is assumed to be introduced by a new municipal reform, although the subject has not been mentioned in the presidential address; p 3 (600 words).


10. Mikhail Serov report "Ukraine looks for intermediary" says that a go-between may again appear in the scheme of supplies of gas from Russia to Ukraine; p 10 (550 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Kira Latukhina article headlined "He says, he does" gives highlights of the president's State of the Nation address; pp 1-2 (1,300 words).


2. Yakov Mirkin article headlined "Capital to be registered in motherland" calls for a careful and well-thought-out approach to the de-offshorization of the Russian economy; p 2 (600 words).


3. Newspaper publishes the text of the president's State of the Nation address; pp 2-4.


4. Vladimir Kuzmin article headlined "Reply ahead of time" says that the Finance Ministry is drafting three bills aimed at the de-offshorization of Russia's economy; p 5 (850 words).


5. Irina Mansurova article headlined "One does not become European by shouting on square" refers to experts as saying that current protests in Kiev are nothing more than a prolonged game of pseudo-revolution; p 7 (750 words).


6. Yevgeny Shestakov article headlined "Who administers Maidan?" says that the EU and the U.S. are acting as a 'good and a bad cop' in relation to Ukraine: the EU is coaxing it into signing a discriminatory agreement on integration, whereas the U.S. is threatening with sanctions against Ukrainian officials; p 8 (1,100 words).


7. Alexander Yemelyanenkov report "U-235 demobilized" says that Moscow has sold Washington uranium from 20,000 nuclear devices; p 11 (1,400 words).


8. Vladimir Fedosenko report "Supreme Court finds violations" says that the Moscow city court will reconsider the case of the punk group Pussy Riot; p 17 (400 words).


Izvestia


1. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev article headlined "'One needs to work and seek solutions, set clear priorities'" says that in its State of the Nation address, the president has criticized the government, warned offshore companies and vowed to improve the economic and social situation in the country; pp 1-2 (864 words).


2. Maxim Sokolov article headlined "Kremlin's speech about spirit of time" comments on the spirit of the president's State of the Nation address; p 1 (747 words).


3. Sergei Podosenov report "Gudkov and Ponomaryov to unite with Mitvol" says that Gennady Gudkov's party project Social Democrats of Russia, the founding congress of which is set for 15 December, will unite with Oleg Mitvol's Green Alliance — People's Party; pp 1-2 (800 words).


4. Natalya Bashlykova report "State Duma ready to curb 'immoral international'" says that following Putin's statements on ethnic issues, the State Duma is ready to table bills on migration; p 2 (850 words).


5. Alexei Krivoruchek article headlined "Trial center for invisible aircraft to be revived in Tver" says that the financing of research in invisible aircraft technologies will be increased; p 3 (368 words).


6. Alexei Krivoruchek article headlined "MiG-31 to down enemy's satellites" says that the State Duma will suggest that the government should reinstate the project of hypersonic high-precision systems intended for carrying out prompt and long-range strikes; p 3 (800 words).


7. Viktor Loginov report "Rostelecom to learn to block particular pages of websites" says that as from 2014, Russia's national telecoms regulator Rostelecom will be able to block particular pages of the websites that have been blacklisted; p 5 (500 words).


8. Tigran Oganesyan and Konstantin Volkov article headlined "Armenia may get closer to Customs Union prior to New Year" says that an Armenian delegation has discussed the plan to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan with the Eurasian Economic Commission; p 6 (575 words).


9. Yanina Sokolovskaya interview with sociologist and head of the Research and Branding Group Yevgeny Kopatko headlined "'Some 45 percent of Ukrainians do not support Euro-Maidan" where he talks about the outcome of the protests and about the polls that show Ukrainians' attitude to them and the integration with Europe; p 7 (776 words).


10. Konstantin Volkov report "Canadian Foreign Ministry hopes for Lomonosov Range" says that Canada intends to apply for expanding its continental shelf in the Arctic; p 7 (450 words).


11. Maria Gorkovskaya report "Conservatives block Snowden's video address" says that European Conservative deputies have voted against Edward Snowden's video address to the European Parliament; p 7 (550 words).


12. Article by writer and politician Eduard Limonov headlined "There is no Ukrainian State!" says that Ukraine is split over the prospects of integration with Europe; p 9 (766 words).


13. Boris Mezhuyev article headlined "Calm address for stormy times" comments on the contents and tone of the president's State of the Nation address; p 9 (866 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "Vladimir Putin, fighter against darkness" says that judging by his State of the Nation address, Putin is going to step up control over the Russian elite; pp 1-2 (954 words).


2. Marina Perevozkina article headlined "Commissars of democracy" slams the West's double-faced approach to protests in Ukraine; pp 1, 5 (575 words).


3. Alexander Minkin article headlined "Healthy again" comments on the State of the Nation address; pp 1-2 (655 words).


4. Kirill Saltykov report "Yevgenia Vasilyeva may be released by New Year" says that the main defendant in the Oboronservis fraud case Yevgenia Vasilyeva may be released this year following a ruling of the Moscow city court; pp 1, 5 (400 words).


5. Oleg Bazak article headlined "East and West to meet in Kiev" looks ahead at planned protests in Ukraine; p 5 (687 words).


Trud


1. Alexander Protsenko article headlined "And a tractor won't move it" says the Russian government has lost trust in the old economic model but has failed to find a new one; pp 1, 3 (1,000 words).


2. Sergei Frolov article headlined "Thus spoke Putin — and he did so 10 times" looks at the main messages of the president's State of the Nation address over the past 10 years; pp 1-2 (300 words).


3. Sergei Frolov article headlined "Nothing extra" further analyses President Putin's State of the Nation address on Dec. 12; p 2 (650 words).


Noviye Izvestia


1. Leonid Polezhayev article headlined "Ukraine's forces melting away at Maidan" looks at what the confrontation of opponents has brought to Ukrainians and says the Independence Square in Kiev, the venue of large-scale protests, has turned into a "delayed action mine"; p 4 (500 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Israel Shamir article headlined "Time of concerns" analyses the political situation in Ukraine, says President Yanukovych has secured "half victory" and further developments depend on what happens in the near future; p 8 (300 words).


Novaya Gazeta


1. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "All-Russian Chip and Dale" analyses Putin's State of the Nation address and says it was full of "petty topics"; p 5 (400 words).


Zavtra


1. Vladimir Vinnikov article headlined "End of Euro-Maidan?" looks at those behind the current developments in Ukraine and says "the key to this problem is not in Kiev at all"; pp 1, 3 (1,000 words).


RBC Daily


1. Ivan Petrov and Alina Yevstigneyeva article headlined "Do you want business or taxes?" says businessmen have joined hands against the bill giving law-enforcers the right to investigate tax crimes; pp 1, 3 (550 words).


2. Inga Vorobyeva article headlined "Putin has mildly touched on cabinet of ministers" comments on Putin's State of the Nation address and looks at sentiments that prevailed among those present in the Kremlin; pp 1-2 (700 words).


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