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What the Papers Say, March 24, 2014


1. Petr Netreba article headlined "Government starts ruling in Crimea" says Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who was in charge of the preparations for the Sochi Olympics, will now be in charge of the Russian support to Crimea. Moscow plans to set up a special economic zone there and to co-fund cheap flights to the region; pp 1-2 (685 words).

2. Anna Zanina et al. report headlined "Auntie's blooper" says the Economic Development Ministry plans to expand a list of relatives of the heads of state-controlled corporations who will be considered interested sides in the contracts signed by these corporations. Although the new regulations aim at fighting against corruption, experts note that the heads of the companies will find loopholes in the legislation; pp 1-2 (547 words).

3. Yulia Gallyamova and Yegor Popov article headlined "Automobile industry rolled away from benefits" says the Russian government will not allocate funds for soft car loans to help the automobile industry suffering from a slump in car sales; pp 1, 8 (812 words).

4. Ksenia Dementiyeva article headlined "Accelerated banking" says Russian and Crimean deputies are considering the structure of the Crimean banking system. Not many Russian banks are willing to become the basis for the banking system in the peninsula. The Bank of Moscow may take this role; pp 1, 8 (786 words).

5. Maxim Ivanov and Natalia Gorodetskaya article headlined "Crimea whipped into Russian shape" says Crimea is being integrated into the Russian politics, as the Federation Council is waiting for Crimean representatives to join the council and the Russian Public Chamber is setting up its office in the peninsula; p 2 (531 words).

6. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Person charged with terrorism aims to become political prisoner" says Chechen national Adam Osmayev charged with plotting to assassinate President Vladimir Putin could be released from the Ukrainian prison following the recent crisis in Russian-Ukrainian relations; p 3 (517 words).

7. Andrei Pertsev et al. report headlined "New dismissal being prepared for governors" says the governors of Bryansk and Kursk regions may resign soon, according to a source in the Kremlin; p 3 (682 words).

8. Taisya Bekbulatova et al. report headlined "Moscow election given voluntary basis" says the Moscow city authorities believed to be interested in having new people elected to the city duma are said to be behind an initiative by some activists to carry out joint primaries for political parties and independent candidates ahead of the city duma election in September; p 3 (799 words).

9. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Nuclear security boils down to Ukraine" says Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov representing Moscow at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague tried to act as if nothing had happened when Crimea became a part of Russia. Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama held a G7 meeting on the sidelines of the forum to discuss the situation in Ukraine; p 6 (482 words).

10. Nina Sokolova article headlined "Uncontrollably armed forces" reports on the security situation in Ukraine where a large number of armed groups are not planning to lay down arms; p 6 (484 words).

11. Yelena Chernenko interview with NATO's Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow who says the West does not plan a military response to the Russian annexation of Crimea; p 6 (304 words).

12. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "NATO directed at old target" says the Ukrainian crisis has given NATO a new reason for developing the deterrence policy against Russia; p 6 (688 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "Energy loop for Crimea" says the forthcoming summer season is likely to be a failure for Crimea as very few tourists are going to spend holidays there. Crimea is facing a risk of energy, transport and water blockade from Ukraine; pp 1, 4 (1,020 words).

2. Svetlana Gamova article headlined "Gagauzia goes to Customs Union" says a delegation of officials from Moldova's Gagauz region is visiting Moscow with a proposal to join the Customs Union; pp 1, 6 (1,018 words).

3. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Government does not need excessive responsibility" says the Russian government has rejected a bill on punishment of officials over failure to implement presidential instructions; pp 1-2 (691 words).

4. Yury Paniyev article headlined "The Hague solidly behind Ukraine" says Crimean Tatars are going to hold a congress to discuss their future following the region's merger with Russia; pp 1, 7 (749 words).

5. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Russia promised 'Turkish surprises' in Crimea" says the U.S. is mobilizing the international community against Russia following its annexation of Crimea. President Obama held a G7 meeting on the sidelines of the international Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague; pp 1, 6 (926 words).

6. Alina Terekhova article headlined "They want to take migrant workers under tax control" says the Public Chamber is looking for ways to make migrant workers pay taxes in Russia. The bureaucratic hurdles are expected to be eased for them; pp 1, 4 (507 words).

7. Editorial headlined "About trust in Putin without alternative" analyses reasons for high popularity of President Vladimir Putin and notes that the overwhelming support allows the Kremlin to pursue any policy it wants; p 2 (495 words).

8. Yekaterina Trifonova article headlined "Party assault lands in Crimea" says a number of Russian parliamentary parties — A Just Russia, CPRF and LDPR — are opening their branches in Crimea. Experts predict that Russia's ruling party United Russia is likely to enjoy popularity in the region; p 3 (970 words).

9. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Moscow and Delhi one step away from historic agreement" says India is expected to sign an agreement with Russia to build two more nuclear power plants. Meanwhile, the U.S. is calling on India to stop military cooperation with Moscow; p 7 (530 words).

10. Yevgeny Grigoriyev article headlined "Merkel continues dialogue with Kremlin" says the German authorities support plans to deploy NATO troops to the Ukrainian-Russian border despite the fact that Chancellor Angela Merkel held a telephone conversation with President Putin; p 7 (515 words).

11. Sergei Rogov article headlined "Does Russia await new cold war with West?" speculates on the future of the relations between Russia, the EU and the U.S. following Crimea's merger with Russia; pp 9, 11 (4,300 words).


1. Oleg Salmanov article headlined "Calling Bank Rossia" says the international rating agency Fitch has lowered the rating of wireless operator Tele2 Russia by three points. The agency claims it is not connected with the Western sanctions against the Rossia bank. Experts, however, do not believe this explanation; pp 1, 16 (900 words).

2. Editorial headlined "Labour resources fleeing" says Russia is holding a second place after Syria in terms of the number of asylum seekers. Most of the them are fleeing from Chechnya; pp 1, 6 (400 words).

3. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "Fleet for 100 billion rubles" says Moscow plans to invest 100 billion rubles ($2.77 billion) to upgrade the Black Sea Fleet and construct new infrastructure in Crimea; p 3 (400 words).

4. Another editorial headlined "Bialowieza syndrome" attributes Russians' overwhelming support of Crimea's merger with Russia to the "post-traumatic disorder" caused by the Soviet Union collapse. The authorities regard the merger of the peninsula as Russia's response to the failure to win the Cold War; p 6 (400 words).

5. Daria Borisyak article called "Nine billion taken from Rotenberg's bank" says clients of the bank controlled by Russian businessmen Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, put under the Western sanctions, have withdrawn 9 billion rubles ($249 million) from their accounts as of today; p 11 (400 words).


1. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "Websites owners to be obliged to pay state duties" says the Federation Council has drafted a bill to set up a register of Russian websites' owners to make them pay duties for the registration of websites; pp 1, 3 (776 words).

2. Alena Sivkova article headlined "Half of American films to be removed from cinemas" says the State Duma has drafted a bill limiting the number of foreign films to be shown at Russian cinemas to 50 percent. Half of the films must be Russian ones; pp 1, 4 (752 words).

3. Lyudmila Podobedova article headlined "Rosneft gets controlling stake in Brazilian deposit" says Rosneft will allocate funds to purchase additional 6 percent of shares in the project to develop a deposit in Brazil; pp 1, 4 (529 words).

4. Yelena Malai article headlined "Video games promoting fascism to be banned" says that a lawmaker from A Just Russia has proposed to introduce fines for the distribution of video games containing war propaganda, incitement of ethnic hatred, etc.; p 3 (600 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Larisa Ionova article headlined "Crimeans cheer about queue" reports on the life of Crimean residents after the region joined Russia. Most of the people reportedly support the changes and want to obtain Russian passports; pp 1, 9 (800 words).

2. Alena Uzbekova interview with Federal Tourism Agency head Alexander Radkov speaking on prospects for the development of tourism in Crimea; pp 1, 5 (1,700 words).

3. Article by former Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov headlined "Have you thought about Ukraine?" says the Western sanctions against Russia will not help Ukraine cope with its political and economic problems; p 8 (718 words).

4. Yevgeny Shestakov article headlined "Ukraine goes to servitude" says Kiev is counting on economic support from the West in exchange for political obedience; p 8 (696 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Yekaterina Petukhova and Igor Karamazin article headlined "It is beneficial to be Crimean resident" looks at the political and economic bonuses Crimean residents have got from joining Russia: they will receive Russian passports and will be able to exchange the Ukrainian currency for rubles at a good rate; pp 1, 3 (620 words)

2. Yelena Korotkova article headlined "Ukrainians to be jailed for five years for visiting Crimea" criticizes the Ukrainian authorities over their plans to jail their citizens visiting Crimea or conducting business with the peninsula; p 1 (543 words).

3. Yelena Yegorova article called "That is our headache now" reports on plans to set up a special economic zone in Crimea, providing expert comments; p 3 (600 words).

RBK Daily

1. Stepan Opalev report "Seliger moves to Crimea" says that Crimea will become the venue of youth forums, including the "historical and patriotic" forum Tavrida under the aegis of the All-Russia People's Front; pp 1-2 (550 words).

2. Ivan Petrov report "Crimea in Russian epaulettes" says that Ukraine has recalled its servicemen from Crimea; p 2 (800 words).

3. Yelena Malysheva et al. report "Term for Crimea" looks at economic steps Russia is taking in Crimea and says that Russian ministries are "settling" in the peninsula; p 3 (700 words).

4. Brief unattributed report "Russian economy may halt because of Crimea" says that the worsening of relations with the West against a background of Crimea becoming part of Russia has aggravated the problem of capital flight in Russia; p 3 (200 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Alexander Kolesnichenko interview with Natalia Sindeyeva, general director of the television channel Dozhd, speaking on the campaign launched to raise funds for the channel's work and on the pressure from the Russian authorities; pp 1, 5 (1,707 words).

2. Arina Raksina report "Diet enforcement" says that Russians have encountered a sharp rise in food prices against a background of the depreciating ruble; pp 1, 3 (1,600 words).

3. Elya Grigoryeva report "System error" says that Telecommunications and Mass Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov has said that Americans have made everything so that Russian officials stop using U.S. software in their computers. This is how Nikiforov reacted to an article in The Wall Street Journal about the beginning of large-scale information intelligence activities by the U.S. in relation to Russia; pp 1, 3 (550 words).

4. Konstantin Nikolayev article headlined "Take offense at Batka" says that Ukraine has recalled its ambassador from Belarus; p 2 (500 words).

5. Sergei Yezhov report "Without right to correspondence" says that the Moscow City Court has upheld the house arrest of opposition activist Alexei Navalny and banned him from filing complaints with state bodies; p 2 (400 words).

6. Sergei Putilov report "To preserve status of resort" says that according to experts, Crimea's entering the ruble zone may result in a rise in prices in the peninsula; p 3 (600 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Lyubomir Alexeyev report "'Return land of Alaska!'" says that a call for voting for Alaska's separation from the U.S. and its merger with Russia has appeared at the petition page of the official website of the White House; p 3 (250 words).

2. Viktor Baranets report "Ukrainian servicemen go home" says that the Ukrainian Defense Ministry has at last ordered the withdrawal of its troops from Crimea; p 4 (400 words).

3. Two brief reports by Viktor Baranets in the column "Security forces" say that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev have arrived in Crimea; p 4 (250 words).

4. Vitaly Tretyakov report "Enigma of operation 'Crimea'" looks at the "quickness and 100 percent success" of all the events that have resulted in Crimea becoming part of Russia; p 5 (500 words).

5. Georgy Bovt report "How to prevent looting" says that the war of nerves between Russia and Ukraine is turning into an economic war; p 7 (600 words).

6. Alexander Gamov interview "There were no proposals about separation" with Liberal Democratic party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky who comments on Poland's reaction to the letter recently sent from the party to the Polish embassy in Moscow about a possible referendum in the Ukrainian regions that used to be part of Poland; p 8 (450 words).

7. Sergei Polosatov report publishes excerpts from a tapped telephone conversation, in which a woman whose voice resembles that of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko threatens to use a "scorched-earth policy" in relation to Russia; p 8 (500 words).

March. 24, 2014 / BBC Monitoring / ©BBC  

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