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What the Papers Say, March 5, 2014

Kommersant


1. Yelena Kiseleva and Yelena Kovaleva article headlined "Ukraine to be competed for in mother and daughter game" says Ukrainian businesses owe $10 billion to the subsidiaries of Russian banks in the country. Experts doubt that the banks will be able to collect the debts; pp 1, 8 (914 words).


2. Text of an open appeal of Russian publishers to the Russian president who ask him not to abolish subsidies to the Russian Post that cover its losses from lower fees for newspapers delivered. The publishers argue that higher fees would affect newspaper subscription numbers; p 1 (364 words).


3. Valery Kalnysh et al. article called "Vladimir Putin moves Ukrainian front back" summarizes President Vladimir Putin's news conference on March 4 that focuses on the Ukrainian developments and Russia's decision to build up its military presence in Crimea; pp 1-2 (2,031 words).


4. Vitaly Gaidayev article headlined "Currency exchange rates return to bases" says the Russian stock market and the currency exchange rate have recuperated from a plunge on March 3 after Putin dispelled fears of the Russian intervention in Ukraine. Experts say, though, that it will take more than one day for the markets to fully recover, at least until fully-fledged negotiations on Crimea begin; pp 1, 8 (562 words).


5. Yury Senatorov article called "Alexander Bulbov listened to right people" says charges have been dropped against Lieutenant General Alexander Bulbov, a senior staff member of the federal drug trade control service, who was suspected of wiretapping; pp 1, 6 (929 words).


6. Dmitry Butrin and Alexei Shapovalov article headlined "Bills for rhetoric are on their way" looks at how economic sanctions, which are being devised by the U.S. in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine, could affect the Russian economy and forecasts that capital flight may amount to $160 billion this year; p 2 (655 words).


7. Yelena Chernenko article called "Russia sees Ukraine's future in the past" reports on a meeting in Madrid between EU foreign policy head Catherine Ashton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who discussed the latest developments in Ukraine, and looks at some of the sanctions that may be introduced against Russia by the EU; p 3 (720 words).


8. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "Europe does not join U.S." says the U.S. has failed to persuade its European partners to freeze economic cooperation with Russia. The package of U.S. sanctions against Russia is unlikely to badly hit the latter as its trade with the U.S. is only $40 billion a year; p 3 (451 words).


9. Ilya Baranov report headlined "Crimea in transition period" describes the situation at a Ukrainian army unit stationed near the Belbek air base in Crimea; p 3 (527 words).


10. Pavel Tarasenko article called "Self-taken Donbass" reports from a rally in Donetsk that protested against Ukraine's new leadership; p 3 (582 words).


11. Yaroslav Malykh and Natalya Gorodetskaya article headlined "Municipal reform begins with alternative city councils" describes a reform of municipal government that is being piloted in Volgograd and may then be implemented in 67 cities in Russia; p 4 (427 words).


12. Irina Nagornykh article headlined "Public control reaches president" gives details of a bill "On public control" that has been drafted by the Russian Public Chamber and the human rights council under the Russian president; p 4 (554 words).


13. Viktor Khamrayev article called "Kremlin human rights champions split by Crimean line" says the current political crisis in Ukraine has almost divided the human rights council under the Russian president where half of the members voiced their concern about the Federation Council's decision to meet the request of the Russian president for permission to send troops to Ukraine; p 4 (621 words).


14. Grigory Tumanov article entitled "Capital disappointment" discusses loopholes in the law on national parks that cause the concern of environmentalists as they allow for construction activities in protected wildlife areas; p 5 (644 words).


15. Vyacheslav Kozlov article called "OMON has no complaints" provides an update on the trial of Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev. Four riot police officers, who testified in court, said they had not seen the suspects on Bolotnaya Ploshchad during the rally on 6 May 2012 and had no complaints against them; p 5 (451 words).


16. Yelizaveta Kuznetsova article headlined "Dobrolet to be forced into garage" says Aeroflot's low cost carrier Dobrolet will not get a license until it has at least eight aircraft; p 7 (512 words).


17. Yury Barsukov article called "Gazprom raises price for Ukraine" says that Gazprom is indeed raising the price of natural gas for Ukraine, but the latter is likely to get loans from the EU as well as from Moscow to pay its gas bill and ensure uninterrupted gas supply to Europe; p 7 (681 words).


18. Pavel Belavin article headlined "Press is in for hungry year" says Russian newspapers and magazines saw its advertising revenues fall by 10.6 percent in 2013, and the trend seems to continue this year; p 9 (614 words).


19. Boris Gorlin et al. article entitled "Defense Ministry is not afraid of premier" says the Defense Ministry owes Gazprom 4.7 billion rubles (about $127 million) for gas supplies and is in no rush to settle the debt; p 9 (604 words).

Vedomosti


1. Alexei Nikolsky article called "First hand crisis" summarizes the key points that President Vladimir Putin made in his news conference on Ukraine on March 4; pp 1-2 (1,100 words).


2. Editorial called "How to stop war" recalls how near war situations were resolved through diplomatic effort in the past and praises President Putin for refraining from military action in Ukraine; pp 1, 6 (500 words).


3. Maria Zheleznova article headlined "Military conflict in human rights council" looks at the situation in the human rights council under the Russian president that appears to be split over the stance of half of its members who were against sending Russian troops to Ukraine; p 2 (600 words).


4. Anastasia Kornya article entitled "Complicated Themis" attempts to explain how a commission, that will select judges for the newly established Supreme Court, is being formed, describes the procedure as "cumbersome and nontransparent; p 3 (500 words).


5. Svetlana Bocharova article called "Citizenship for the rich" says the streamlined procedure of granting Russian citizenship to foreign graduates of Russian universities and people who invest in Russian businesses favors the rich, while those who have been living and working in Russia for years will still find it hard to become Russian citizens; p 3 (300 words).


6. Margarita Lyutova article headlined "How they can punish Russia" discusses possible sanctions that the USA and the EU may take against Russia if it attempts to escalate the conflict in Ukraine. The USA may make life harder for Russian banks, but the EU is unlikely to take any serious steps, the authors conclude; p 4 (1,300 words).


7. Editorial headlined "Imperial burden" doubts that Russia's economy is strong enough to sustain its imperial ambitions and says that Russian people may soon start to question their government's decision to offer protection to Crimea as money is running out; p 6 (500 words).


8. Nikolai Epple op-ed headlined "Concept has changed" previews a change of tone on Ukraine in the Russian media as open aggression has been averted; p 7 (500 words).


9. Boris Safronov column headlined "Figure of the week: $10.5 billion " says the Central Bank had to sell $10.5 billion to support the ruble on March 3 when its exchange rate hit a new record low, says the Central Bank's decision to raise its interest rate will further slow down the economy; p 7 (450 words).


10. Yelizaveta Sergina article called "Yury Kovalchuk is contender for Rostelecom" quotes its sources as saying that Yury Kovalchuk has been named among the potential buyers of the government's stake in the telecommunications company Rostelecom; p 10 (500 words).


11. Yulia Orlova and Mikhail Overchenko article headlined "Markets recover half" tracks the stock market's behavior on March 5 when indices bounced back on the news that Russia will not intervene in Crimea; p 14 (1,000 words).


12. Yelena Khodyakova article called "Gazprom ends season of discounts" quotes experts as saying that the gas giant's decision to cancel its gas price discount for Ukraine was politically motivated and that it is likely to see its export volumes go down; p 12 (700 words).


13. Alexandra Terentyeva et al. article called "What Kolomoisky and Abramovich tried to share" investigates a business conflict between the newly appointed Dnipropetrovsk governor Ihor Kolomoisky and Roman Abramovich that Putin mentioned during his March 4 news conference, calling Kolomoisky a "rogue"; p 11 (750 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Yekaterina Trifonova article called "Party elections back on agenda" says the Communist Party of the Russian Federation is going to raise again the issue of having back elections by proportional representation, arguing that the lawmakers in the Ukrainian Rada, who were elected in single-seat constituencies, switched sides to join the opposition; pp 1, 3 (808 words).


2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "For simple Ukrainian guy" reports on Putin's news conference on March 4, quotes Nikolai Petrov of the Carnegie Moscow Centre as saying that Putin's stance on Ukraine is "impeccable" in a sense because he is not starting armed intervention, but only calls for abiding by law; pp 1, 3 (1,499 words).


3. Alina Terekhova article called "Gazprom cancels discount, but offers loan" mulls over the consequences of higher gas prices for Ukraine; pp 1, 4 (621 words).


4. Tatyana Ivzhenko article entitled "Rada preparing new bill on languages" reports on the recent political developments in Ukraine; pp 1, 7 (1,740 words).


5. Yevgeny Grigoriyev article called "Ex-chancellor Gerhard Schroeder condemns sanctions against Moscow" reviews German newspapers' reaction to a speech by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder that he made in Madrid, advising the EU against taking sanctions against Moscow; pp 1, 8 (749 words).


6. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Yuan to get weaker gradually" looks at the agenda of the this year's session of the National People's Congress of China that opens today; pp 1, 8 (531 words).


7. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Moscow is not scared by termination of military cooperation with U.S." quotes Alexander Kanshin of the Russian Public Chamber as saying that the U.S.' decision to freeze military cooperation with Russia will backfire because joint anti-terror and anti-piracy drills that may be cancelled are actually in the interests of Pentagon; p 2 (576 words).


8. Vladimir Gundarov article called "Sergei Shoigu orders air force to fly more" discusses the results of a snap check on the combat readiness of the Russian army that ended on March 4; p 2 (860 words).


9. Editorial headlined "Economic growth problem solved by itself" says that the crisis over Ukraine has put Russia's economic problems on the backburner and enabled economic authorities to attribute the economic slowdown to external factors; p 2 (475 words).


10. Sergei Kazennov and Vladimir Kumachev op-ed headlined "Carte Blanche. On soft power and military might" says that the primary "lesson" that Russia should learn from Maidan is that it needs to get stronger, work harder, but also become more "man-centered" to avoid the fate of Ukraine; p 3 (832 words).


11. Sergei Turanov article called "Russia's best lobbyists — January 2014" presents this month's ranking of Russia's most successful lobbyists; p 5 (1,345 words).


12. Vladimir Gurvich essay called "Stagnation as result of stabilization" says that the Russian authorities have finalized their ideological and political concept that is aimed at contained Western influence and promotion of pan-Eurasian values. The concept, however, is not helping boost the country's development; p 5 (1,120 words).


13. Anton Khodasevich article headlined "Lukashenko laying low" points out that the Belarusian leadership has been keeping mum about the developments in Crimea, while the local opposition calls on President Alexander Lukashenko to withdraw from the CSTO; p 7 (712 words).


14. Anastasia Bashkatova report "ruble getting out of Ukrainian crisis" says that the ruble is trying to consolidate, but the Central Bank will not be able to support the national currency for a long time; p 4 (1,000 words).


15. Yury Paniyev report "Moscow given until March 6 to defuse crisis" says that the U.S. and the EU are discussing sanctions in relation to Russia; p 8 (1,100 words).


16. Vladislav Maltsev report "Slav brothers and mother church" says that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has placed the Moscow Patriarchate on the verge of split; pp 1-2 of NG Religions supplement (1,400 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Taras Fomchenkov article called "Obama scares himself" says the U.S. and the EU may lose a lot more from them their own sanctions against Russia; pp 1, 8 (952 words).


2. Chairman of the State Duma committee on labour, social policy and veteran affairs Andrey Isayev article headlined "Russian pensioners in Ukraine" confirms Russia's obligation to pay pensions to its retired nationals and veterans now living in Ukraine; p 3 (481 words).


3. Alena Uzbekova interview with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich headlined "Orient express" on the government's plans regarding the development of the Far East and Siberia and privatization of state-owned companies; p 5 (854 words).


4. Maxim Makarychev article called "Continent of hysteria" contains excerpts from an article in the Guardian pointing to "the hysterical reaction to Russian military movements in Crimea" and criticizing the Western media for over-dramatizing developments in the east of Ukraine; p 8 (661 words).


5. Vladislav Vorobyev report "Lavrov: Our stance is honest" looks at Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's statement on Ukraine he has made in Tunisia; p 10 (800 words).


6. Natalia Yachmennikova interview with head of the Federal Space Agency Oleg Ostapenko called "March to Mars" on the construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome and Russia's lunar program; p 12 (2,582 words).


7. Kira Latukhina report "On sending [troops] and conclusions" looks at Putin's news conference on Ukraine; pp 1-2 (2,700 words).


Izvestia


1. Yegor Sozayev-Guriyev article called "'Armed seizure of power took place in Ukraine'" looks at Putin's news conference on Ukraine; pp 1-2 (2,100 words).


2. Svetlana Subbotina interview with Federation Council member Andrey Klishas "'We are preparing reply to foreign partners' actions"' who says that Russia should reply to the West's threats to introduce sanctions against the country; pp 1, 4 (2,100 words).


3. Alena Sivkova report "Prosecutor's office asked to remove Right Sector from Facebook" says that the "State Duma intends to stop the activities of Ukrainian extremist groups in social networks"; pp 1-2 (950 words).


4. Alexandra Bayazitova report "Pavel Durov faces criminal case for embezzlement" looks at the results of the audit of the economic activities of the social network Vkontakte; pp 1, 5 (1,100 words).


5. Boris Mezhuyev report "Russian roller-coaster" comments on Russia's actions towards Ukraine; pp 1, 9 (1,900 words).


6. Daria Tsoi report "European deputies make up ways to exert pressure on Russia" looks at the EU's possible sanctions against Russia over Ukraine; p 4 (1,100 words).


7. Yelizaveta Mayetnaya report "Crimean people cannot wait for self-determination" looks at the situation in Ukraine's Crimea and says that not all its residents have decided how to vote at a referendum on the peninsula's future; p 8 (1,500 words).


8. Maria Gorkovskaya et al. article called "President's words make Europe happy" says that Europe has welcomed Putin's statement made during his news conference that "so far, Moscow does not see the need to send troops to Ukraine"; p 8 (700 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Mikhail Rostovsky article entitled "Putin not ready to retreat, but possibly to come to agreement" says that at his news conference, Putin has answered the newspaper's question about the future of Crimea; pp 1-2 (900 words).


2. Alexander Minkin report "Crimea, to whom do you belong?" looks at Crimea's future; pp 1, 5 (1,000 words).


3. Nikolai Makeyev report "Sanctions as double suicide" looks at the consequences of sanctions that may be introduced by the U.S. against Russia; pp 1-2 (400 words).


4. Mikhail Rostovsky article entitled "Save our brotherhood!" looks at the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and says that the two countries urgently need a compromise; pp 1, 5 (550 words).


5. Mikhail Delyagin report "People becoming stupid" says that according to polls carried out in 2011-13, only 17 percent of young Russians can perceive information appropriately; p 3 (900 words).


Novaya Gazeta


1. Pavel Kanygin article headlined "Do not shoot" is a report from the deployment sites of three Crimean military units that have been blocked by the Russian military; pp 2-3 (1,300 words).


2. Maria Yepifanova article headlined "Truth and fiction in reports from Ukrainian front" checks rumor about the current situation in Crimea to establish whether it is true; p 8 (300 words).


3. Yelena Masyuk interview with Moscow Human Rights Commissioner Alexander Muzykantsky headlined "Kiev scared everyone" addresses the Moscow city authorities' recent move to ban all protest rallies in central Moscow; pp 16-17 (2,200 words).


RBK Daily


1. Yekaterina Kitayeva article headlined "Television with no residue" details the financial standing of the embattled liberal broadcaster Dozhd television; pp 1, 9 (650 words).


2. Yelena Malysheva and Yulia Sinyayeva article headlined "To save economy by end of week" says Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the Economic Development Ministry to develop a set of measures to compensate for spending on the Crimean campaign; p 2 (600 words).


Argumenty i Fakty


1. Ivan Konoval article headlined "Maidan on our heads?" defends the idea that the Russian liberal opposition will attempt a revolution similar to the one in Ukraine; p 44 (600 words).


Noviye Izvestia


1. Yelena Tyulkina article headlined "I will not surrender" covers an initiative to conduct an anti-war concert of Russian and Ukrainian rock bands in Crimea; pp 1, 4 (300 words).

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