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What the Papers Say, Dec. 16, 2013

Kommersant

1. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Anatoly Serdyukov covered by negligence" says the investigation of the criminal case against former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has been completed. He was charged with negligence and is likely to avoid prison a sentence due to an amnesty. Article is followed by comments of politicians and experts on the issue; pp 1, 3 (850 words).

2. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Ukraine not for sale" says that concessions made by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych do not suit either the West or the opposition, who demand that the country should not be "sold" to Russia; pp 1, 8 (1,000 words).

3. Yulia Gallyamova article headlined "Bombardier on side track" says the Canadian company Bombardier will not take part in the joint project with Uralvagonzavod to supply trams to Moscow. The Canadian manufacturers were replaced by Polish PESA company; pp 1, 11 (600 words).

4. Olga Shestopal and Yelena Kovaleva article headlined "Banks give in cards" says Russians will have a right to full compensation of money stolen from their credit cards as from January 2014; pp 1, 10 (600 words).

5. Natalya Gorodetskaya article headlined "Igor Slyunyayev does not need extra ministry" says the Kremlin has not decided what government body will control the federal center for monitoring ethnic relations. Meanwhile, Regional Development Minister Igor Slyunyayev has said that his ministry is already performing the functions of the center; p 2 (700 words).

6. Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Third year without new politicians" says that a survey of Public Opinion Foundation has shown that Russians named President Vladimir Putin a politician of the year for the third time in a row; p 2 (650 words).

7. Grigory Tumanov et al. report headlined "Arctic Sunrise placed in position without visas" says the Greenpeace activists released on bail cannot get visas to leave Russia. The authorities are waiting for the amnesty law to come into effect as it will free the activists, the authors note; p 3 (500 words).

8. Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Severity added to extremism" says that the State Duma has approved in the first reading amendments to the Criminal Code toughening punishment for extremist activities; p 3 (850 words).

9. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Russia and NATO drift apart in Afghan direction" says the delegations of Russia and NATO have discussed the future of Afghanistan at a special meeting. It has become clear that the sides have opposite views of the country's development. Moscow expects the security situation to deteriorate dramatically, while the alliance hopes for the best; p 8 (700 words).

10. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "Edward Snowden may be forgiven, if he keeps silent" says the U.S. authorities may consider an amnesty for U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden if he stops revealing information that could damage the U.S.. Reform of the U.S. secret services is out of the question, article says; p 8 (500 words).

11. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Intemperance of Syrian opposition grows" says the recent developments in Syria have made Western leaders change their attitude to the Syrian opposition as radicals are replacing moderate politicians there; p 8 (600 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Kiev afraid of coup in Crimea" says the future of Crimea depends on Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's visit to Moscow on Dec. 17 . Some sources say the Black Sea Fleet may take control over the region if Yanukovych does not put an end to anti-European protests in Kiev; pp 1, 7 (2,200 words).

2. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Nabiullina's commissars to be held to account for banking sector" says the Russian Central Bank is to send its special envoys to all large banks in the country in 2014. The envoys will monitor the work of the banks to prevent violations of the law. Experts note that the move will make the staff of the Central Bank too large, while the effectiveness of the new measures is doubtful; pp 1, 4 (900 words).

3. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Anti-constitutional protection of children" says a bill to protect the rights of Russians with dual citizenship, which are violated by the Dima Yakovlev bill banning U.S. adoptions of Russian orphans, has been submitted to the State Duma. At present, Russians with U.S. citizenship cannot adopt children even when they are their close relatives; pp 1, 3 (700 words).

4. Alina Terekhova article headlined "Cleanup at private pension funds estimated at 3 billion rubles ($90 million)" says the Central Bank has calculated the cost of reorganization of some private pension funds. The funds may lose up to 3 billion rubles; pp 1-2 (550 words).

5. Sokhbet Mamedov article headlined "Baku authorizes Shah Deniz-2 project" says Azerbaijan has stepped up gas extraction in the Caspian Sea. A new large-scale project Shah Deniz-2 is being launched; pp 1, 7 (400 words).

6. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "Transgenic Terminator threatens Brazil" says that as Brazil is going to approve transgenic seeds developed with the use of biotechnologies considered unsafe by some experts, environmentalists are worried about the negative effect of the move; pp 1, 8 (800 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Cult takes over culture" says an increasing number of officials are speaking about the role of traditional religions in the cultural life of people; p 2 (450 words).

8. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Yabloko finally breaks up with Navalny" says the Yabloko opposition party is getting ready for the Moscow City Duma election and has slammed opposition leader Alexei Navalny calling him the "project of oligarchs"; p 3 (700 words).

9. Viktor Litovkin article headlined "Carte blanche. Adaptive Iskander" justifies the deployment of the Iskander missile systems in the Kaliningrad region as a response to the NATO policy; p 3 (500 words).

10. Savely Vezhin report "Team of half dead horses" says that Gennady and Dmitry Gudkovs with the support of billionaire Gleb Fetisov are trying to unite left forces around themselves; p 6 (750 words).

11. Yury Paniyev report "America needs positive things in Middle East" looks at John Kerry's visit to the Middle East and features a Russian expert's comment on the issue; p 8 (600 words).

12. Yevgenia Novikova report "Preparations for removal of Syrian sarin being completed in Cyprus" says that according to a UN schedule, all Syria's chemical weapons should be transported from Syria by Feb. 5 ; p 8 (600 words).


Vedomosti

1. Darya Borisyak article headlined "Central Bank continues mopping up banks" says the Central Bank has recalled the licences of three more banks and is going to send its representatives to all large Russian banks; pp 1, 15 (1,066 words).

2. Svetlana Bocharova article headlined "Prosecutor's block" says officials from the Prosecutor-General's Office can get a right to block websites without court sanctions. The Russian media may be affected by the new regulations; pp 1, 3 (615 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Olympic Games of security agencies" says the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi has given the authorities an advantage in the fight for political influence in the North Caucasus. Criminal cases are being opened against environmental activists and public activists in the region. Moscow ousts unwanted businessmen from the region as well; pp 1, 6 (371 words).

4. Another editorial headlined "Rubber law" says the law targeting so-called "rubber flats", where a large number of migrants get their registration, is unlikely to be effective as society does not trust the authorities; p 6 (335 words).

5. Maxim Glikin article headlined "Person of week: Vladimir Putin" says that in his annual address to the Federal Assembly, Putin has called on the country to live in accordance with its means and save money; p 7 (361 words).

6. Maxim Glikin report "Mayors should not be elected" says that the pro-Kremlin foundation of Dmitry Badovskiy has drafted a report suggesting two variants of municipal reform; p 2 (850 words).

7. Anastasia Kornya report "Courts renewed, but trust still lacking" says that according to the Audit Chamber, Russians do not trust the country's judicial system; p 3 (600 words).

8. Polina Khimshiashvili report "No taiga unions" comments on the results of the talks between the Ukrainian opposition with the country's president; p 3 (450 words).

9. Margarita Papchenkova report "Medvedev to implement U.S. laws" says that a draft agreement that will oblige Russian banks to give tax information about American clients, should be in the government in January; p 5 (700 words).


Izvestia

1. Svetlana Povoraznyuk and Anna Akhmadiyeva article headlined "Novosti's foreign property to be handed over to Rossia Segodnya" says the foreign property belonging to the RIA Novosti news agency is being handed over to Rossia Segodnya (Russia Today) international news agency replacing the former; pp 1-2 (499 words).

2. Svetlana Subbotina interview with Regional Development Minister Igor Slyunyayev "It is necessary to attach migrants to precise region" speaking on ways to prevent ethnic conflicts and how to return Russian companies from off-shore zones; pp 1, 4 (1,540 words).

3. Alexandra Bayazitova article headlined "Central Bank to take test" reports on the requirements the Central Bank's staff will have to meet and on the reshuffle expected in the bank in 2014; pp 1, 5 (1,730 words).

4. Alexei Krivoruchek article headlined "Iskanders in Kaliningrad stand for over year" says that the Defense Ministry has refused to comment on an article in a German newspaper that has said that some 10 Iskander missile systems have been deployed in the Kaliningrad region; pp 1, 6 (900 words).

5. Sergei Podosenov article headlined "Gudkov's party and Greens ready for broad coalition" says the party Social Democrats of Russia has been set up by former State Duma deputy Gennady Gudkov in Moscow and it is expected to compete for voters with the Communists; p 3 (525 words).

6. Alena Sivkova report "Opposition and deputies confident that Navalny is 'project of oligarchs and U.S.'" says that the opposition and State Duma members have backed Sergei Mitrokhin who has referred to Alexei Navalny as an "oligarchy project"; p 3 (600 words).

7. Anastasia Kashevarova interview with Sergei Mitrokhin, chairman of Russia's opposition Yabloko party, headlined "Blogger implements political order of Alfa-grupp", who speaks about protest leader Alexei Navalny; p 3 (700 words).`

8. Darya Tsoy report "North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's uncle shot for striving for power" looks at the execution of the uncle of the North Korean leader; p 8 (700 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Vladislav Kulikov article headlined "Apprehension of amnesty" reports on the situation at a prison in Yaroslavl where convicts are getting ready for amnesty; pp 1, 7 (1,200 words).

2. Yury Medvedev article headlined "Chinese send 'hare'" says that Russian experts are discussing the Chinese progress in space exploration as China has sent a lunar rover to the moon; pp 1, 4 (1,100 words).

3. Yelena Kukol article headlined "Bank therapy" reports on the Central Bank's decision to strip three more banks of their licences and notes that most of the depositors have their money insured and will receive compensation; pp 1, 6 (1,200 words).

4. Yevgeny Shestakov article headlined "Makeyevka vs McCain" says supporters of the Party of Regions have staged rallies to back the government in Kiev; p 5 (1,500 words).

5. Vladislav Vorobyev interview with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaking on the prospects of Russian-U.S. relations as the Magnitsky list is to be enlarged; p 8 (2,700 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Leonid Berres article headlined "'Devastating collapse of common sense' or 'keep your money in bank'" slams Russian officials' policy towards private banks as the total control over the banking sector planned by the Central Bank as from 2014 will make depositors keep their money in state banks; pp 1-2 (700 words).

2. Alexander Khinshteyn report "Do you remember, Morozov, roads of the Smolensk region?" looks at a notorious general from the Interior Ministry; pp 1, 9 (3,400 words).

3. Oleg Bazak article headlined "McCain reshuffles Kiev authorities" reports on two rallies held in Kiev on Dec. 15 and notes that U.S. senator McCain has watched the rally organized by the supporters of the authorities; p 3 (500 words).

4. Report by Boris Titov, the business ombudsman, looks at obstacles and problems facing the Russian business; p 3 (1,000 words).


Noviye Izvestia

1. Arina Raksina article headlined "Joint labour responsibility" says salaries of officials and legislators are growing against the background of a worsening economic situation in Russia; pp (750 words).

2. Vardan Ogandzhanyan article headlined "Without trial and probe" says State Duma deputy Andrei Lugovoi from LDPR has proposed a bill allowing to block online resources without a court ruling; pp 1-2 (550 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Yevgenia Suprycheva article headlined "Maidan overtaken by paranoia: they are afraid of their own people and of strangers" says protesters in Kiev's Independence Square, or Maidan, advocating pro-Western values and pressing for European integration, are becoming afraid of residents of Kiev and Eastern Ukraine, who are getting tired of the ongoing protests; p 4 (400 words).


Novaya Gazeta

1. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Money — where to?" comments on President Putin's address to the Federal Assembly and his stance on offshore companies. The author notes that businesses are unwilling to give money to the Russian authorities as they spend it ineffectively; p 10 (447 words).

2. Nikolai Vardul article headlined "President takes 'second passport' away from business" comments on the political part of the presidential address to the Federal Assembly and notes that Russian investment climate leaves much to be desired; p 11 (690 words).


RBK Daily

1. Petr Kiryan interview with Russian tycoon and director general of the nickel company Nornikel Vladimir Potanin; pp 6-7 (2,600 words).

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