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What the Papers Say, March 27, 2014


1. Oleg Trutnev et al. report headlined "Well-forgotten Crimean wine" comments on Russia's plans to revive the wine-making industry in Crimea. The authorities are asking large retail networks to allocate space in their shops for Crimean wines; pp 1, 10 (708 words).

2. Natalya Korchenkova article headlined "Television fighting against disturbances in Ukraine" says Rossia 1 director general Konstantin Ernst has asked the Ukrainian authorities not to stop broadcasting the leading Russian television channels in the country as the move "contradicts international law and the viewers' interests"; pp 1- 2 (669 words).

3. Maria Yefimova and Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Russia to be ahead of PACE sanctions" says Russia could suspend its membership in the PACE before it is expelled from the organization. Some European deputies want to vote in favor of expelling Russia from PACE over the Ukrainian crisis; pp 1, 6 (568 words).

4. Roman Rozhkov article headlined "Administrative resource aimed at pirate ones" says Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has suggested that web portals involved in piracy on a regular basis should be closed. He called for the development of relevant legislation. However, experts believe the move would not resolve the problem of piracy as new websites may be set up; pp 1, 10 (496 words).

5. Maxim Ivanov et al. report headlined "All-Russia People's Front deploys its forces to Crimea and Sevastopol" says the All-Russia People's Front movement is going to set up branches in Crimea, with Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and Sevastopol mayor Alexei Chaly at their head. Meanwhile, the Crimean authorities are experiencing problems with appointing their representatives to the Russian Federation Council as Russian legislation does not make allowance for Crimea's "transition" situation; p 2 (613 words).

6. Viktor Khamrayev and Pavel Korobov article headlined "Freedom of conscience being distributed in favor of confessions" says the Russian authorities are going to ease regulations for registering religious organizations; p 2 (584 words).

7. Alexei Shapovalov article headlined "Middle class demands new jobs" says that according to World Bank research, the share of people belonging to the middle class in Russia has grown from 27 to 60 percent between 2001 and 2010; p 2 (400 words).

8. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Vladimir Putin starts dealing with Far Eastern settlement" reports on President Putin chairing a government meeting where the construction of new power plants in the Far East was discussed; p 3 (1,205 words).

9. Irina Nagornykh article headlined "Members of presidential human rights council not to keep foot in both camps" says that the Kremlin has demanded that the regulations for the membership in the presidential council be tightened. For example, members of the council are to be banned from holding positions in other federal bodies dealing with society and human rights; p 3 (600 words).

9. Oleg Rubnikovich article headlined "Judge gives birth to immunity from investigation" says Moscow Arbitration Court Judge Irina Baranova suspected of corruption is living in the U.S. where she gave birth to a son, so Russian law enforcement agencies are now unable to reach her; p 5 (551 words).

10. Sergei Strokan article headlined "China introduces itself to Europe" reports on the European tour of the country's leader, Xi Jinping. Beijing is willing to reduce disagreements with Europe to step up economic cooperation; p 6 (549 words).

11. Nina Sokolova article headlined "Ukraine to plough constitutional field" says the Ukrainian parliament is re-writing the country's constitution ahead of the presidential election; p 6 (556 words).

12. Sergei Strokan article headlined "China introduces itself to Europe" says that China has launched a "reset" in its relations with Europe, leaving all the disagreements in the past and "aiming for the most favorable terms of trade and economic cooperation with the EU"; p 6 (600 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Mikhail Sergeiev article headlined "World Bank names price of Ukrainian crisis for Russia" says the Russian economy is likely to lose $38 billion this year due to the Ukrainian crisis and the overall economic slowdown. Moreover, the Russian Central Bank has already spent $39 billion on currency market interventions; pp 1, 4 (713 words).

2. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Issue of migrants to become bait at City Duma elections" says the problem of illegal migration is to become one of the main topics of discussion for candidates running for the Moscow Duma elections; pp 1, 3 (679 words).

3. Yekaterina Trifonova article headlined "Bloggers to be punished for anti-Crimean statements" says some Russian lawmakers suggest that bloggers posting critical articles on Crimea should be punished in accordance with the xenophobic article of the criminal code; pp 1, 3 (569 words).

4. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "European commissars control power in Kiev" reviews Ukrainian economic problems and notes that Kiev is borrowing more money abroad, so its foreign debt can reach 80 percent of the GDP; pp 1, 7 (1,286 words).

5. Grigory Zaslavsky article headlined "Senators take part in preparation for 50th anniversary of Taganka [theater]" says Federation Council senator Oleg Panteleyev has accused Taganka Theater of a lack of patriotism; pp 1 — 2 (658 words).

6. Ivan Shvarts article headlined "Beijing takes out new gas trump card ahead of Putin's visit" says China has announced a strategic breakthrough in shale gas exploration in the country; pp 1, 4 (702 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Russia outside of privileged club" comments on G7 member states' decision to cancel the summit in Sochi and notes that the club of developed states is losing its influence as China has turned into the second economy and the power of India is growing as well; p 2 (513 words).

8. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Ukrainian army leaving Crimea" says that approximately 18,800 military staff have decided to leave Crimea and continue their service as part of the Ukrainian military forces; p 2 (400 words).

9. Vladimir Pechatnov article headlined "Carte blanche. Playing with fire" recalls U.S. strategies over Ukraine dating back to Cold War times and noted that Washington used to realize that Ukraine cannot be artificially separated from Russia. These ideas, however, were forgotten by new Western leaders, the author notes; p 3 (743 words).

10. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Catalonia denied right for referendum" says that the Constitutional Court of Spain has ruled that the referendum on Catalonia's independence from Spain, which has been scheduled for upcoming November, is illegal. "Separatists in Barcelona do not want to be compared with Crimeans," the article notes; p 7 (600 words).


1. Maxim Tovkaylo and Olga Kuvshinova article headlined "Russian pensions to be accumulated in Crimea" says the frozen pension savings of Russians will be spent on Crimea. This year alone the region will receive $6.6 billion ; pp 1, 4 (900 words).

2. Yelena Khodyakova and Yekaterina Kravchenko article headlined "Obama offers gas" says U.S. President Barack Obama has claimed that the U.S. is ready to fully replace Russian gas supplies to Europe. Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has ignored the statement; pp 1, 12 (900 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Crisis in two dimensions" says the Ukrainian crisis has hit the Russian economy hard, so Moscow is now looking for new business partners abroad; pp 1, 6 (450 words).

4. Polina Khimshiashvili and Svetlana Bocharova article headlined "With no voice or power" says that Russia is likely to be stripped of voice and its powers as a member of PACE; p 2 (450 words).

5. Maria Zheleznova article headlined "We need Western Ukraine too" says that according to a recent survey conducted by Levada Center, two-thirds of those polled think other regions of Ukraine could willingly join Russia following Crimea's example; p 3 (200 words).

6. Olga Kuvshinova article headlined "Two crisis options" says that the World Bank has presented two scenarios of Russian economy's development in 2014-2015, both of which are negative; p 4 (500 words).

7. Margarita Lyutova et al. article headlined "Russia secretly threatened by West" says that the government awaits "silent" unofficial sanctions from the West, whereas pundits fear Western investors will no longer regard Russia as a market for their businesses; p 5 (600 words).

8. Another editorial headlined "Return of complexes" comments on a new Russian trend — the return of Soviet names to some organizations and facilities in Moscow; p 6 (300 words).

9. Mikhail Serov article headlined "'Gazprom' unfolding export" says that gas giant Gazprom intends to boost its gas sales by means of developing African and Middle Eastern markets. Gazprom's objective is to diversify its sales in face of sanctions imposed on Russia; p 12 (500 words).


1. Alexandra Yermakova and Svetlana Povoraznyuk article headlined "Military uniform to become fully domestic" says only textile manufactured in Russia will be used for the country's military uniforms; pp 1, 5 (700 words).

2. Yelena Teslova and Yelena Malay article headlined "State Duma and Federation Council drafting sanctions against U.S." says the State Duma and the Federation Council are considering sanctions against the West; pp 1, 5 (500 words).

3. Rafael Fakhrutdinov article headlined "If elections were held today, Putin would have got 85 percent of votes" comments on the record high popularity rating of Vladimir Putin; pp 1 — 2 (500 words).

4. Maria Gorkovskaya interview with Egypt Industry and Trade Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour reports on prospects for the country's economic development; pp 1, 8 (1,200 words).

5. Article by political scientist Andranik Migranyan headlined "Variants of way out" suggests that Russia and the West should cooperate in resolving Ukraine's problems; pp 1, 9 (2,300 words).

6. Anastasia Alexeievskih article headlined "State Duma deputies to issue Ukrainian banks ultimatum" says that according to the law on the introduction of changes to the Russian constitution following Crimea's joining Russia, Ukrainian banks on the Crimean territory will be asked to register as Russian subsidiary banks of foreign credit companies; pp 1, 4 (1,400 words).

7. Yelena Teslova et al. article headlined "Party of power launches United Russia magazine" says that already this April, United Russia will launch its official magazine; p 2 (600 words).

8. Alena Sivkova article headlined "President to discuss Crimea with senators" says President Putin is to meet with top senators of the Federation Council, adding that Crimea's merger with Russia tops the agenda; p 3 (400 words).

9. Dmitry Runkevich and Yelena Malay article headlined "Revival of peninsula economy to start from defense enterprises" says that a special commission will be set up to work on the social and economic development of Crimea; p 4 (700 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Mikhail Falaleyev article headlined "Reception in accordance with all regulations" comments on the authorities' plans to set up a migration police force to curb illegal migration; pp 1 — 2 (600 words).

2. Taras Fomchenkov article headlined "Four banks in row" says the Russian Central Bank has stripped four more banks of their licences over the violations of law in their work; pp 1, 5 (664 words).

3. Tatyana Zykova interview with Sergei Gavrilov, head of the state property committee in the State Duma, speaking on Crimean property issues; pp 1, 5 (1,297 words).

4. Petr Likhomanov article headlined "News under lock" reports on a Ukrainian court ruling to ban broadcasting of the Russian television channels; p 8 (760 words).

5. Yury Gavrilov article headlined "To spread wings over sea" says Tu-22M3 missile carriers may be deployed to Crimea to safeguard the security of the region; p 9 (462 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Olga Bozhyeva article headlined "War there a war?" says the Russian and Ukrainian military have almost come to agreement over the Ukrainian military hardware in Crimea. ; pp 1, 3 (659 words).

2. Tatyana Fedotkina article headlined "Wild tolerance" slams the Danish authorities over culling animals in Copenhagen zoo; pp 1, 4 (619 words).

3. Matvey Ganapolsky article headlined "Ukrainian precedent" looks into political and economic problems in Ukraine and analyses Yulia Tymoshenko's chances of getting elected next president of the country; p 3 (1,126 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta (weekly)

1. Yury Snegirev article headlined "Sevastopol with him" features a detailed biography of Sevastopol's Mayor Alexei Chaly; pp 4-5 (1,400 words).

RBK Daily

1. Yelena Malysheva et al. report "Being beneath contempt" looks at the steps being taken by the Russian authorities to prepare for the worst-case scenario if sanctions are imposed on Russia for the annexation of Crimea. The sanctions will cost the Russian economy 1.8 percent of a slump in GDP in 2014, article says; pp 1, 3 (1,900 words).

2. Maria Makutina et al. report "Crimean regime" says that the Ukrainian parliament will debate a bill in the near future that will tighten business rules for Ukrainian companies in Crimea and Sevastopol. The State Duma has warned Ukrainian colleagues about possible sanctions if the bill is passed; p 2 (1,300 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Sergei Yezhov report "Network strain" says that it is becoming more risky to work in online media and blogs in Russia. The Federation Council has "invented" a law according to which the owners of websites will be obliged to register for a special list of the Federal Service for Supervision in Telecommunications, Information Technology and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor); pp 1-2 (1,300 words).

2. Margarita Alekhina interview headlined "'Witch hunt begins in Russia'" with Andrei Zubov, a professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, who has been sacked over his statements on Russia's actions in Crimea; pp 1, 5 (600 words).

3. Yekaterina Dyatlovskaya report "Out of sight" says that according to a Levada Center poll, LDPR party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov have topped the rating of politicians that Russians are "tired of"; p 2 (400 words).

4. Vardan Ogandzhanyan report "Hopeless situation" says that according to the Russian Constitution, having become part of Russia, Crimea will not be able to secede from it; p 2 (400 words).

5. Yana Sergeieva report "Unexpected Poroshenko" says that according to sociologists, Ukrainians do not want to see neither Vitaly Klitschko nor Yulia Tymoshenko as president of the country; p 2 (550 words).

6. Brief report attributed to Interfax news agency headlined "Alexei Navalny left without printed word" says that Roskomnadzor has refused to register the Populyarnaya Politika newspaper that Alexei Navalny's associates planned to publish; p 2 (100 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Viktor Baranets report "Combat dolphins side with Russia. Because they are smart" looks at a special center in Sevastopol where dolphins have been trained for the Navy since 1973; pp 1, 4 (250 words).

2. Viktor Baranets interview "All 193 Ukrainian military units in Crimea fly Russian flags" with the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Army General Valery Gerasimov, who comments on the situation with military units in Crimea; p 4 (400 words).

3. Alexander Kots report "Ukraine turning into European Somalia" says that an armed standoff between Ukrainian security forces and the Right Sector may follow the killing of Sashko Bily, coordinator of Ukraine's nationalist Right Sector; p 5 (800 words).

4. Article by pro-Kremlin commentator Sergei Markov "American fantasies", who comments on the article by former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul published in The New York Times; pp 8-9 (1,700 words).

5. Ksenia Konyukhova report "Why did Obama muff events in Crimea" features a comment of Telecommunications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov on an article in The Wall Street Journal that said that the U.S. intelligence service has "muffed the seizure of Crimea"; p 9 (650 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda weekly

1. Sergei Novikov report "Sanctions against Russia: Bluff or trump card of West?" looks at possible consequences of the West's sanctions against Russia over its actions in Crimea; p 4 (1,200 words).

BBC Monitoring/ © BBC

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