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What the Papers Say, Dec. 24, 2013

Kommersant


1. Vladislav Noviy article headlined "Parcels put behind threshold" says the Finance Ministry has come up with an initiative to limit the amount a person can spend in on-line trade by 150 euros to bring internet trade to order; pp 1, 10 (665 words).


2. Vadim Visloguzov article headlined "Ukrainian share is one tenth" says the Russian government has authorized investing up to 10 percent from the National Welfare Fund into risky assets, in particular Ukrainian bonds. This means Moscow will be able to take $9 billion from the fund and will have look for more money elsewhere as President Putin promised Kiev $15 billion ; pp 1, 3 (548 words).


3. Ivan Safronov and Irina Nagornykh article headlined "Kremlin to separate personnel selection from check-ups" details the reshuffle at the committee on security and counteracting corruption presidential adviser Sergei Dubik lost his post in the council and will be replaced by the head of the Kremlin's anti-corruption directorate, Oleg Plokhoi; pp 1- 2 (465 words).


4. Valeria Kozlova and Yelena Kovaleva article headlined "Insurance for state banks" says state-controlled banks benefit from the Central Bank's policy of stripping unreliable banks of their licenses. State banks are leading in getting insurance for deposits and they can keep some of this money as their assets; pp 1, 8 (782 words).


5. Sofya Samokhina et al. report headlined "Deputies make amendments to their style of work " sums up the results of the parliament's work and says the State Duma made an attempt to show their own political will in 2013 when the Russian Academy of Sciences reform was discussed; p 2 (533 words).


6. Taisia Bekbulatova and Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Alexei Kudrin speaks out with New Year apprehension" says former Finance Minister and present head of the Civil Initiatives Committee Alexei Kudrin has called the freeing of Mikhail Khodorkovsky the most significant event of 2013. He laments the fact that Khodorkovsky was sent abroad as it cancels the positive effect of his freedom on the Russian investment climate; p 3 (570 words).


7. Petr Netreba article headlined "Only wages take growth" says that President Putin has acknowledged that a raise in salaries in the education sector was the only element of his May Decrees that the authorities managed to implement. The rest of the social plans are still to be implemented in 2014; p 3 (665 words).


8. Ivan Safronov and Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Gun maker of main calibre" pays tribute to Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the AK47 assault rifle that bears his name, who died at the age of 94; p 5 (471 words).


9. Vyacheslav Kozlov article headlined "Repeated criminal appears in Bolotnaya case" says that the new suspect in the Bolotnaya case, Dmitry Altaychenkov, has two criminal records. He has already admitted his guilt and asked the court to consider his case separately; p 5 (450 words).


10. Grigory Tumanov article headlined "Golos calls tax collectors to arbitration court" says the NGO Golos has appealed to the arbitration court against tax claims. The tax service demands that the organization pay 2.28 million rubles ($69,000) in taxes for 2009 — 2010, as the funds the NGO received from USAID were not charity but money spent in U.S. national interests; p 5 (462 words).


11. Olga Kuznetsova article headlined "Turkey protects internal corruption cases from interference" says the Turkish authorities have accused the U.S. ambassador to the country of ties with the opposition and subversive activities in Turkey. Meanwhile, fresh anti-government protests sparked in the country; p 6 (580 words).


12. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Israel and Palestine to not talk to each other directly" says Israel and Palestine are now communicating only via U.S. mediators, their direct talks announced in summer reached a deadlock; p 6 (436 words).


13. Maria Yefimova article headlined "Brits to pay with citizenship for Jihad in Syria" says the UK authorities have decided to strip Muslims of their British passports if they fought in Syria supporting the radical opposition; p 6 (480 words).


14. Galina Dudina and Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Germany looks for Slavic approach to Russia" says Berlin may appoint a new coordinator for cooperation with Russia. A politician with ties to Moscow, Social Democrat Gernot Erler, may receive the post; p 6 (590 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Pensioners thrown under bus of budget deficit" says the pension reform coming into effect in Russia is non-transparent and may result in some people losing their pension savings; pp 1, 4 (1,094 words).


2. Svetlana Gamova article headlined "Moscow starts dealing with Chisinau" says Russia supports both communists and democrats at the upcoming parliamentary election in Moldova; pp 1, 6 (712 words).


3. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Russian money not enough for Ukrainian authorities" says the cancelation of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych's trip to Moscow may be a certain signal to the Russian authorities; pp 1, 6 (1,142 words).


4. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Why State Duma's inquiries do not work" says the State Duma is to amend the law on parliamentary inquiries to make it more effective; pp 1, 3 (786 words).


5. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Statistics of growth makes surprise for Americans" says the U.S. economy is showing growth, so the IMF is going to give a better economic forecast for the country in 2014; pp 1, 7 (535 words).


6. Andrei Serenko article headlined "Volgograd residents demand guns" says Volgograd activists from the Right for Weapons movement plan to take part in the local parliamentary election in 2014; pp 1, 5 (535 words).


7. Viktor Litovkin article headlined "Missile carrier as New Year present" says at a special ceremony at Severodvinsk plant, the Russian navy flag was raised at the Borey-class nuclear submarine Alexander Nevsky carrying Bulava missiles; p 2 (685 words).


8. Editorial headlined "Wrong time for politician Khodorkovsky" says Khodorkovsky's decision to stay away from politics is understandable. He is unlikely to attract the Russian electorate willing to vote for a populist leftist candidate; p 2 (494 words).


10. Alexander Knyazev column headlined "Integration know-hows of Almazbek Atambayev" says that Kyrgyzstan's accession to the Customs Union on Bishkek's terms would destroy the union; p 3 (650 words).


9. Anna Gushchina article headlined "Shots do not subside in South Sudan" says South Sudanese rebels are killing civilians and firing at U.S. aircrafts, preventing foreign diplomats from being evacuated; p 7 (442 words).


10. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "U.S. and UK spy on Israeli Prime Minister" says Israeli reaction to U.S. leaker Edward Snowden's information on U.S. and UK spying on the Israeli authorities was critical but low-key; p 7 (682 words).


Vedomosti


1. Maxim Tovkaylo et al. article headlined "Japanese to get Russian land" says Japanese companies may receive land and tax benefits for the development of farming in the Russian Far East; pp 1, 4 (634 words).


2. Yulia Orlova article headlined "Dinner of forecasters" says the owner of Alor corporation, Anatoly Gavrilenko, and the main shareholder of Otkrytiye financial corporation, Vadim Belyayev, made the most correct forecast for the Russian economy a year ago; pp 1, 14 (586 words).


3. Editorial headlined "War on huts" says President Putin has criticized bureaucrats who disrupted his plan for the relocation of people living in old and run-down housing. The article notes that the program, in general, does not cover all people having poor living conditions; pp 1, 6 (390 words).


4. Maria Zheleznova and Anastasia Kornya article headlined "Celebrities get out fast " says two members of Pussy Riot punk band Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have been freed thanks to the presidential amnesty. Meanwhile, it is going to take more time for ordinary prisoners to make use of the amnesty to go at large; p 2 (665 words).


5. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "KamAZ lorries to cleanse Syria" covers Russia's shipment of vehicles and equipment to be used for chemical weapons disposal to Syria; p 3 (270 words).


6. Editorial headlined "History repeats itself" says the fact that both Khodorkovsky and Pussy Riot band announced their plans to fight for human rights and protect rights of prison inmates shows a new trend in Russian politics. Campaigning for human rights becomes an alternative to fighting for power; p 6 (343 words).


6. Maxim Tovkaylo et al. interview with Deputy Economic Development Minister Oleg Savelyev speaking on plans to set up special agricultural zones in the Russian Far East and the economic future of the North Caucasus; pp 8-9 (2,911 words).


7. Yelena Khodyakova article headlined "Gazprom getting ready to export more" says Gazprom's export to Europe is growing as its export to Ukraine is dwindling; p 13 (540 words).


Izvestia


1. Ivan Cheberko article headlined "India and Brazil to be offered stake in GLONASS" says the Russian government is forming an international consortium to develop the GLONASS navigation system. India and Brazil may be invited to join the consortium; pp 1, 3 (1,800 words).


2. Yelena Teslova article headlined "Verdicts by European Court of Human Rights to stop being binding" says a United Russia lawmaker wants to draft a bill giving Russian legislation a priority over international law, mainly decisions by the European Court of Human Rights. The relevant amendments to the law on the Constitutional Court will be submitted to the State Duma in spring; pp 1, 4 (570 words).


3. Alexandra Bayazitova article headlined "Mikhail Khodorkovsky may return to Russia in 2015" says Khodorkovsky's huge debts to the Russian budget may be written off if he declares personal bankruptcy. The relevant law may be passed in 2014; pp 1, 6 (1,300 words).


4. Svetlana Subbotina interview with the Federal Migration service head Konstantin Romodanovsky speaking on crime among labor migrants and ethnic relations in Russia; pp 1, 4 (1,600 words).


5. Alena Sivkova article headlined "Human rights need to be monitored" says that Russian human rights activists have suggested that a center for monitoring the situation with human rights be set up in North Caucasus; p 3 (400 words).


6. Mikhail Vignansky interview with former Georgian parliament speaker Nino Burjanadze conveys her view on current state of affairs in Georgia and Ukraine; p 7 (800 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Yury Gavrilov article headlined "Walking cap with earflaps" describes new upgraded uniforms that Russian servicemen have started receiving instead the old ones pp 1, 7 (788 words).


2. Ulyana Vylezhagina article headlined "Return the brother" covers a Russian court ruling to revoke the adoption of Kirill Kuzmin by a U.S. family following the death of his brother who was adopted by the same family; p 3 (230 words).


3. Andrei Shitov interview with Assistant to the U.S. President and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes speaking on prospects to enlarge the Magnitsky list; leaker Edward Snowden and the upcoming Sochi Olympics; p 8 (2,249 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Tatyana Fedotkina article headlined "Tale about small person and great PR" says the freed members of Pussy Riot punk group are not worth the attention media are paying to them; pp 1, 3 (549 words).


2. Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "Kudrin forecasts worst year of century" covers a statement by Russia's former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin in which he predicted that a long economic crisis awaits Russia in the near future; p 2 (470 words).


3. Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "Neither God, nor Strasbourg, nor hero" reports on Khodorkovsky's news conference and notes that his pardoning looks like the deportation from the country; pp 1, 3 (836 words).


4. Konstantin Gusev interview with Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina who was recently released from prison headlined "Alyokhina and the black Volga" details the procedure of Alyokhina's release and her future plans; p 3 (400 words).


5. Ignat Kalinin article headlined "How soldiers make the future" covers progress on Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's initiative to form "science regiments" within the army; p 6 (800 words).


6. Petr Spektor and Alexandra Zinovyeva interview with Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova speaking on the state funding for the healthcare system and the lack of doctors in Russia; p 8 (4,308 words).


Moskovskie Novosti


1. Yelena Malysheva article headlined "Brotherhood of convenience" looks into the details of the Russian-Ukrainian deal, under which Russia has issued a $15 billion loan to Ukraine, which earlier refused to sign an agreement on the integration with the European Union; pp B4-B5 (1,500 words).


Trud


1. Alexander Dmitriyev article headlined "Routes of oil giant" reports on the end-of-the-year news conference given by Rosneft's head Igor Sechin, who summed up the results of this year's work saying that "the result is strong"; p 4 (1,300 words).


RBK Daily


1. Alexander Litoy article headlined "Group for discharge" says that jailed Pussy Riot punk band members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were released from prison on Dec. 23 thanks to the presidential amnesty. They both announced they intend to fight for the rights of convicts in Russia. According to the author, the girls are split on whether they should go on and perform as the Pussy Riot punk band in its "old style"; p 2 (700 words).


2. Yevgeny Novikov article headlined "Russia feels at ease in WTO" says that Russia has filed the first lawsuit against the European Union in the framework of the World Trade Organization over energy adjustments; p 3 (550 words).


3. Timofey Dzyadko and Petr Kiryan interview with Energy Minister Alexander Novak; p 5 (2,000 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Yelena Chinkova interview with German pundit, the research director of the German-Russian forum Alexander Rahr, who gives out the details of the pardoned former head of Yukos oil company Mikhail Khodorkovsky's current lifestyle and his future plans; pp 1, 3 (400 words).


2. Yevgeny Belyakov article headlined "Seven major innovations of pension reform" lists the core changes that will be introduced under the new pension reform, which was passed down by the State Duma following heated debates; p 6 (500 words).


3. Darya Aslamova article headlined "Can Russia win in war for Ukraine" looks into the Ukrainian crisis, listing all the negative effects of Ukraine's possible joining the European Union; pp 8-9 (2,200 words).


4. Yevgeny Belyakov interview with the recently appointed Housing Minister Mikhail Men; p 14 (1,200 words).

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