What the Papers Say, Jan. 17, 2014

Kommersant


1. Alexander Chernykh article headlined "Science to sparkle with grants" says that President Vladimir Putin has initiated the overhaul of the system of financing of the Russian science; pp 1, 3 (750 words).


2. Natalia Gorodetskaya and Yaroslav Malykh article headlined "Reform of local government to pass through Volgograd" says that half of the comments on the reform of the local government suggest that heads of municipalities should be appointed rather than elected; pp 1, 3 (659 words).


3. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Conscience of years" gives an ironic account of Putin's meeting with historians drafting the concept of a new set of history textbooks; pp 1, 3 (789 words).


4. Svetlana Dementiyeva et al. report headlined "Master-suit" says that the owners of Master Bank have entrusted JSC Interroks, affiliated with former banker Vladimir Sipachev, with the powers to dispute the Central Bank's withdrawal of Master Bank's license; pp 1, 8 (853 words).


5. Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Terms, estimates for Olympics summed up" says that the final report on preparations for the Winter Olympics in Sochi has been submitted to the government. The report says that the budget has spent some 99 billion rubles (about $2.9 billion), whereas private investors have spent 115 billion rubles (about (about $3.4 billion); p 2 (657 words).


6. Ivan Safronov article headlined "Commander found for cosmodrome" says that the Federal Space Agency and the Russian government have chosen deputy head of the Amur region government Konstantin Chmarov to head the Vostochny cosmodrome; p 2 (436 words).


7. Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Russian citizens do not understand term 'federation'" looks at the poll that has shown that 46 percent of the polled think that the federal center affects the life in their region more than the regional authorities; p 2 (344 words).


8. Maxim Ivanov et al. report headlined "Lower chamber opens doors to ombudsmen" says that although a number of human rights activists have asked the president for the re-election of ombudsman Vladimir Lukin for a third term, the Kremlin will prefer a new person at the post; p 2 (592 words).


9. Petr Netreba et al. report headlined "Not everything has been banned" says that Economic Development Minister Aleksei Ulyukayev has asked the cabinet to postpone for a month or two the approval of the Finance Ministry's budget strategy; p 3 (640 words).


10. Grigory Tumanov article headlined "Amnesty with border liability" says that the constitutional amnesty will not be applied to a number of political activists who have received political asylum abroad; p 4 (731 words).


11. Oleg Rubnikovich article headlined "French court does not believe Aleksei Kuznetsov's tears" says that a French court has agreed to extradite former first deputy head of the Moscow region government and regional finance minister Alexei Kuznetsov to Russia; p 4 (836 words).


12. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "U.S. to bring surveillance down" says that U.S. President Barack Obama is to announce plans for the reform of special services today; p 5 (694 words).


13. Yelena Chernenko interview with the new coordinator for German-Russian Intersocietal Cooperation headlined "One should avoid slamming door on Russia" where he speaks on how his appointment will affect Russian-German relations; p 5 (724 words).


14. Pavel Belavin and Yelizaveta Kuznetsova article headlined "Alexander Lebedev gives up newspaper subscription" says that Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev has put up The Independent for sale; p 9 (375 words).


15. Anastasia Fomicheva article headlined "Vietnam suspends nuclear plan" says that Vietnam has postponed the construction a nuclear power plant by the Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom until 2020; p 9 (420 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Viktor Myasnikov article headlined "Kalashnikov gets down to broad intervention to America" says that the Kalashnikov arms concern and the U.S.-based Russian Weapon Company (RWC) have signed an agreement to make the RWC Kalashnikov's exclusive dealer on the U.S. and Canadian markets; pp 1-2 (495 words).


2. Yekaterina Trifonova article headlined "From swindlers to bribe takers" says that lawmakers are drafting a bill aiming to toughen punishment for crimes in office and eliminate loopholes that make it possible for corrupt officials to get away; pp 1, 3 (699 words).


3. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Gold parachutes to be limited to six-month salary" says that the government's bill limiting the sum of "gold parachutes" to state companies' CEOs to the amount of a six-month salary does not envisage any limitations of monthly salaries, which makes the attempt to reduce state companies' expenditures pointless; pp 1, 3 (680 words).


4. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Ministers rebel against budget abuse" says that at the Gaidar Forum, several high-ranking officials have slammed oppressive taxes and poor budget planning, including the financing of the president's May decrees which are impossible to fulfill; pp 1, 4 (1,092 words).


5. Olga Loginova article headlined "Traffic jams done with in Sochi" says that as a ban on vehicles from other towns to pass through Sochi without a special permission had come into force, the town got rid of traffic jams altogether. Now Sochi residents are writing petitions asking to prolong the ban even after the Olympics are over; pp 1, 6 (339 words).


6. Yury Panyev article headlined "U.S. preserves Iranian intrigue" looks at the meeting of visiting Iranian and Syrian foreign ministers with their Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and contemplates over the prospects of the Geneva 2 peace conference; pp 1, 8 (860 words).


7. Editorial headlined "Trust in elections higher than turnout" comments on the results of a public opinion poll that has shown that the number of Russians who consider elections to be a tool for solving the country's burning problems has grown from 26 percent in 2010 to 42 percent in December 2013 amid rather a low turnout in latest elections; p 2 (509 words).


8. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Bolotnaya case approaches climax" says that the Investigations Committee has finalized a new indictment for the Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov charged with organization of mass riots on Bolotnaya Ploshchad with foreign money; p 3 (709 words).


9. Yevgeny Grigoriyev article headlined "Carte blanche. U.S.' espionage stirs up Europe" says that Europe, especially Germany, is dubious that the reform of the U.S. special services, that U.S. President Barack Obama is to announce today, will reduce U.S. surveillance; p 3 (691 words).


10. Alina Terekhova article headlined "Kremlin's main gas project in for big changes" looks ahead at Russia's talks with the EU on the South Stream project. Experts wonder what concessions Moscow is ready to make to keep the project going despite the EU's objections; p 4 (722 words).


11. Igor Naumov article headlined "British promise bright shale future for Russia" looks at the World Energy Outlook report presented by the BP company which says that Russia will remain the leader on the world's hydrocarbons market, although its natural gas production will be lower than the Russian energy strategy envisages; p 4 (717 words).


12. Alexander Malyshev article headlined "Shifting of scenes in Chelyabinsk region" looks at the sudden dismissal of Chelyabinsk region governor Mikhail Yurevich; p 6 (433 words).


13. Svetlana Gavrilina article headlined "Expelled instead of getting degree with honors" says that activists from the RPR-Parnas party and the unregistered People's Alliance have staged a number of pickets in support of student Mikhail Konev, who may be expelled from university allegedly for taking part in the activities of the RPR-Parnas party; p 6 (540 words).


14. Maria Bondarenko article headlined "Terek chieftains decide to counter terrorists in military way" says that Cossacks' chieftains have drafted a plan to counter terrorism following recent explosions in Stavropol territory; p 6 (365 words).


15. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Maidan getting ready for storming" comments on latest developments in Ukraine and says that the supporters of the ruling party may try to storm the area where protesters are staying in Kiev's Independence Square; p 7 (894 words).


16. Viktoria Panfilova article headlined "Bishkek, Dushanbe cannot eliminate differences" says that although the situation on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border is gradually going back to normal, the problem over the undefined sections of the joint border may be solved only within the frames of the Eurasian Union, and features Russian experts' comments; p 7 (778 words).


17. Yevgenia Novikova article headlined "Referendum in Egypt legalizes power of top brass" says that the Egyptian authorities have managed to ensure a 55 percent turnout at the referendum and a 95 percent approval of the new constitution, and features a Russian expert's comment; p 8 (661 words).


18. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "U.S. missile men mess around with drugs" comments on the situation with some 34 officers from the U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces who have been suspended from service as a check revealed they were cheating when taking aptitude tests and some cases of drug abuse; p 8 (480 words).


Vedomosti


1. Maxim Tovkaylo et al. report headlined "Monopolies to have to pledge tariffs" says that the Economic Development Ministry has suggested that natural monopolies be banned from financing investment programs at the expense of tariffs; they must take loans instead; pp 1, 5 (1,000 words).


2. Anastasia Kornya and Svetlana Bocharova article headlined "Referendum from scratch" says that an attempt to organize a referendum on paid car parks in Moscow is on the verge of failure; pp 1, 3 (800 words).


3. Editorial headlined "Place for expert" says that the Kremlin's policy shows that experts are allowed to advise, but not allowed to criticize anymore, and looks at the Gaidar Forum taking place in Moscow; pp 1, 6 (500 words).


4. Alexei Nikolsky report "Su aircraft for navy" says that the defense Ministry will buy for the naval aviation 50 Su-30CM aircraft worth $2 billion; p 3 (400 words).


5. Editorial headlined "Putin's grants" says that Putin has issued a decree to stop budget financing of fundamental science; p 6 (400 words).


6. Andrei Babitsky report "Proof of pudding" looks at Putin's policy and at the Sochi Olympics and says that the Games will be the most important political event in Russia; p 7 (550 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Vladislav Vorobyov article headlined "Finita la tragedia" says that Washington is becoming increasingly nervous as Iranian and Syrian foreign ministers meet the Russian foreign minister in Moscow; pp 1, 8 (1,000 words).


2. Tamara Shkel article headlined "Procedure launched" says that the State Duma is to vote on the new rights ombudsman in March; p 2 (550 words).


3. Vladimir Fedosenko article headlined "Baumgertner allowed to walk" says that Moscow's Basmanny court has prolonged house arrest for former Uralkali head Vladislav BaumgertnerBaumgertner; p 2 (700 words).


4. Vladislav Kuzmin article headlined "Olympic report" looks at the cabinet's meeting to discuss the report on preparations for the Winter Olympics in Sochi; p 3 (800 words).


5. Valery Vyzhutovich article headlined "Set of presents" says that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a resolution to toughen control over presents given to officials; p 3 (700 words).


6. Tatyana Zykova interview with Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov; p 5 (2,000 words).


Izvestia


1. Anastasia Kashevarova article headlined "Lyudmila Shvetsova to be nominated for ombudsperson" says that the United Russia faction may nominate deputy chairperson of the State Duma Lyudmila Shvetsova for ombudsperson; pp 1-2 (707 words).


2. Andrei Gridasov report "Six volumes of evidence disappear from Vasilyeva's case" says that six volumes are missing from the Oboronservis fraud case over sale of Defense Ministry property; pp 1, 3 (600 words).


3. Lyudmila Podobedova report "Government to make it easier to receive licenses to extract oil and gas" says that the Russian government is preparing amendments regarding the conditions of getting licenses to extract mineral resources; pp 1, 4 (1,400 words).


4. Yelena Malay report "Terrorism suspects to be imprisoned for month" says that the State Duma wants to increase the term of detention of people suspected of terrorist activities from 48 hours to 30 days; p 4 (600 words).


5. Vladimir Zykov report "New security rules to cost Russian internet 1 billion rubles" says that Russian internet companies will have to spend some 1 billion rubles (about $29 million) to comply with the anti-terrorist bills being debated by the State Duma; p 4 (600 words).


6. Ivan Cheberko report "Glonass takes time out" says that due to technical malfunctions, the schedule of the launches of Glonass satellites has been amended; p 5 (3,000 words).


7. Alexandra Yermakova report "Russian mass media allowed to hire foreigners without restrictions" says that having allowed mass media outlets to hire foreigners, officials are trying to solve the issue of staff deficit; p 7 (650 words).


8. Maria Gorkovskaya article headlined "European deputies indignant over Russian Foreign Ministry's report on human rights in EU" says that the European Parliament has referred to the report on human rights in the EU drafted by the Russian Foreign Ministry as an attempt to distract the world community from problems with human rights in Russia ahead of the Sochi Olympics; p 8 (595 words).


9. Leonid Zlotin article headlined "High noncontracting parties" says that two contradictory points of view on the country's economic processes have clashed at the Gaidar Forum; p 9 (722 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Natalia Rozhkova article headlined "Navalny encroaches on RPR-Parnas?" says that the issue of whether to support opposition activist Alexei Navalny or not has split the leadership of the RPR-Parnas party; pp 1-2 (638 words).


2. Stanislav Belkovsky report "Russian Orthodox Church: Moving steadily down" looks at the activities of the Russian Orthodox Church and at Andrei Kurayev, a protodeacon and the critic of the church; p 3 (1,100 words).


RBK Daily


1. Katerina Kitayeva article headlined "Independent from Lebedev" says Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev is planning to sell the British newspaper The Independent; p 8 (400 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Alexander Grishin article headlined "Fuss around the counter" sets out to prove that recent scandalous anti-gay rhetoric by actor Ivan Okhlobystin was a publicity move; p 7 (600 words).


Krasnaya Zvezda


1. Dmitry Semenov article headlined "State defense procurement: Strategy and tactics" covers a news conference by three senior Defense Ministry officials with some details and statistics regarding the state defense procurement order in 2013; p 2 (1,700 words).


Zavtra

1. Alexei Gordeyev article headlined "Recipes of 'controlled chaos'" is anti-liberal reaction to the recent letter sent to Vladimir Putin by 27 Nobel Prize winners, asking that the "anti-gay" law be repealed; p 1 (750 words).


Tvoi Den

1. Anton Stepanov article headlined "Jackal in sheep's clothing" explores recent reports saying that the perpetrator of one of Volgograd bombings was "disguised as a hipster"; pp 4-5 (500 words).


Jan. 17, 2013 / BBC Monitoring / ©BBC

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