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What the Papers Say, April 7, 2014

Kommersant


1. Yegor Popov article headlined "Euro-worth car" says that billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim group has sold the Yo-mobil hybrid car project to the State Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engine Institute (NAMI) for one euro; pp 1, 12 (591 words).


2. Sergei Goryashko and Ivan Safronov article headlined "Crimea joins phone-in session" says that President Vladimir Putin's annual phone-in session has been scheduled for April 17; pp 1, 3 (472 words).


3. Andrei Pertsev et al. article headlined "Novosibirsk made red-hot" says that according to preliminary information, Communist nominee Anatoly Lokot has won the April 6 early mayoral election in Novosibirsk, having defeated acting mayor Vladimir Znatkov representing the United Russia party. A split in the local elites and the ruling party accounted for his victory, the article says; pp 1-2 (771 words).


4. Ivan Safronov article headlined "No use crying for Kosmonet" says that former president of the company Satellite Communications System Gonets, Alexander Galkevich, has asked the Federal Space Agency head, Oleg Ostapenko, to resume the development of the Kosmonet low-orbit satellite communications system, but the initiative has been rejected as costly and technically impractical; p 2 (586 words).


5. Maxim Ivanov and Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Future being revised for death sentence" says that according to Federation Council senator Igor Morozov, if Russia quits the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,or PACE, the moratorium on death penalty may be abolished in Russia. However, members of the Russian delegation in the PACE assure that there are "no signals" for the move so far; p 2 (422 words).


6. Ivan Safronov and Olga Shkurenko article headlined "Vyacheslav Dzirkaln lays down arms" says that Putin has dismissed the deputy head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, over his reaching the retirement age; p 2 (459 words).


7. St. Petersburg-based Anna Pushkarskaya article headlined "Georgy Poltavchenko draws staff to himself" says that Sberbank top manager Alexander Govorunov will head the St. Petersburg governor's administration; p 2 (561 words).


8. Irina Nagornykh and Yaroslav Malykh article headlined "Dmitry Medvedev combines agricultural and party affairs" looks at the first-ever All-Russian Congress of Municipal Deputies and a meeting of the ruling United Russia party's leading bodies in Volgograd region chaired by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev; p 3 (621 words).


9. Maxim Ivanov et al. article headlined "Parties explore new territories" says that Russian political parties have begun to establish regional branches in Crimea and Sevastopol; p 3 (712 words).


10. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Moldova presents bill to Russian banker" says that Moldova has asked the U.K. to extradite to it notorious Russian banker German Gorbuntsov. Gorbuntsov thinks that the raiders, who want to obtain his assets, are behind the 2012 attack on him in London and his prosecution in Moldova; p 4 (860 words).


11. St. Petersburg-based Anna Pushkarskaya article headlined "Law on citizenship to be submitted to rally" says that nationalists in St. Petersburg are planning to hold a rally on April 13 in protest against a bill facilitating the mechanism of granting Russian citizenship, passed by the State Duma. Regional branches of parliamentary parties are also displeased with the bill, but they are afraid of taking part in the nationalist rally; p 5 (572 words).


12. Maxim Yusin and Yanina Sokolovskaya article headlined "Yulia Tymoshenko playing supporting roles" outlines the presidential election campaign that has begun in Ukraine. Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, who was considered to be the key candidate, has yielded to frontrunner Petro Poroshenko. Also, for the first time ever, Ukraine's eastern regions have not nominated a competitive candidate; p 7 (750 words).


13. Vladimir Solovyev article headlined "Crimea of fatherland is nice and pleasant to them" says that talks on the Dniester region settlement set for April 10-11 have been wrecked because the unrecognized republic has refused to participate in them. Following Crimea's example, the Dnestr region wants to secede from Moldova and join Russia; p 8 (843 words).


14. Maria Yefimova interview with Andreas Gross, the Council of Europe's rapporteur on Russia, headlined "'Most in PACE want to punish Russia'", who speaks about pending PACE's sanctions against Russia over its stance on Crimea and prospects of the relations between Russia and the Council of Europe; p 8 (424 words).


15. Maria Yefimova article headlined "Russia ready to go as far as withdraw from PACE" previews the forthcoming PACE session that opens today in Strasbourg, at which sanctions against Russia over its stance on Crimea will be debated. If the organization decides to deprive the Russian delegation of powers, Russian parliamentarians are ready to quit the organization; p 8 (637 words).


16. Yelena Chernenko interview with Russia's permanent representative to NATO Alexander Grushko, headlined "'Those who want to return to cold war times overpower NATO'", who speaks about changes in NATO's policy towards Russia given the Ukrainian crisis; p 8 (655 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Airborne troops master Arctic region" says that reconnaissance specialists from the Airborne Troops together with the Air Force military transport aviation and the Russian Geographic Society have begun to actively study the Arctic region; pp 1-2 (835 words).


2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Return death penalty to spite Europe" says that Russia may abolish the moratorium on death penalty in response to the PACE's decision to deprive the Russian delegation of powers in the organization. According to pundit Fedor Lukyanov, a political and rhetoric war between Russia and the Council of Europe is being waged; pp 1, 3 (982 words).


3. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Central Bank does not fear sanctions and recession" says that according to the Central Bank, the Russian banking sector will withstand both Western sanctions and an economic decline of up to five percent. The article also features Russian economists' comments on the issue; pp 1, 4 (1,060 words).


4. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Kiev prepares for gas war with Moscow" says that the Ukrainian government has held a meeting to discuss actions in case of a gas war with Russia. A Ukrainian governmental delegation will visit Brussels on 8 April for gas consultations with representatives from the European Commission; pp 1, 7 (1,346 words).


5. Svetlana Gamova article headlined "Moldova may go to EU without part of its territory" says that the settlement of the Dnestr region problem has topped the agenda of global politics as the unrecognized republic wants to follow Crimea's example; pp 1, 7 (1,204 words).


6. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Japan plays Crimean card in dispute with China" says that Japan has expressed support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia over Crimea, thus planning to increase its influence in Ukraine at the expense of China, which has taken a neutral stance on the conflict. Also, Japan believes that China may follow Russia's example and "occupy" the disputed Senkaku, or Diaoyu, Islands in the East China Sea; pp 1, 8 (646 words).


7. Igor Bolotin article headlined "One-third of electorate elects Novosibirsk mayor" focuses on the April 6 early mayoral election in Novosibirsk and notes that the voter turnout was low: about 31 percent; p 2 (518 words).


8. Editorial headlined "Blasts do not hamper election in Afghanistan" contemplates the future of Afghanistan after the new president was elected there on 5 April; p 2 (529 words).


9. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "March of Truth rally to be cheaper than March of Peace" says that the venue for the April 13 March of Truth in support of the freedom of speech will be determined today. Meanwhile, the opposition is currently collecting money for the march. The previous March of Peace in protest against Russia's policy towards Ukraine, held on 15 March, cost 500,000 rubes ($14,150) for the opposition; p 3 (554 words).


10. Yury Panyev article published in the regular Carte Blanche column headlined "Second life begins for NATO" says that Crimea's joining Russia has breathed a new life into NATO, which has become a defensive alliance against Russia once again; p 3 (771 words).


11. Alina Terekhova article headlined "Gazprom concerned about Ukrainians' paying negligence" says that Ukraine's debt to the Russian gas giant Gazprom exceeds $2 billion now and may reach up to $6 billion by the end of the year; p 4 (818 words).


12. Yevgenya Novikova article headlined "U.S. to supply additional arms to Syrian opposition" says that Syrian President Bashar Assad has announced amnesty for militants who have agreed to lay down arms. The U.S. is concerned about the move and is completing a project of military and tactical aid to the Syrian opposition to attack Damascus from south; p 8 (790 words).


13. Anton Oleynik article headlined "Candidate A and candidate B" focuses on the ongoing presidential election campaign in Ukraine; p 9 (851 words).


14. Denis Volkov article headlined "Logic of reaction" praises the Russian authorities' actions in response to the protest movement in the country, but notes that they do not help solve the problem of them losing legitimacy; p 9 (1,215 words).


Izvestia


1. Yury Matsarsky interview with the head of the Armenian Church in Syria, bishop Armash Nalbandyan, headlined "When giving arms, U.S. forgets that it thus generates death and devastation", speaking about new genocide against Armenians in the Syrian town of Kessab, the situation with national minorities in the country and the role of the Russian Orthodox Church in settling the conflict; pp 1, 8 (717 words).


2. Lyudmila Podobedova article headlined "Regions' debt to Gazprom grows to 46 billion rubles" says that housing utilities companies' gas debts to the Russian gas giant Gazprom have increased by 60 percent over the last six months. At least 700 companies in 57 Russian regions may be cut off gas supplies in mid-April; pp 1, 4 (897 words).


3. Andrei Gridasov article headlined "Arrested fighters against corruption complain to minister" says that lawyers of the deputy head of the Interior Ministry's main directorate for economic security and combating of corruption, Boris Kolesnikov, charged with official crimes, have asked Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev to pay attention to the case because Kolesnikov and other defendants are innocent and have fallen victim to a war between special services, which may result in the liquidation of the directorate; pp 1, 4 (464 words).


4. Natalia Bashlykova article headlined "Anatoly Lokot winning Novosibirsk mayoral election" focuses on the April 6 early mayoral election in Novosibirsk and provides the details of the election; pp 1-2 (1,161 words).


5. Alexander Yunashev and Ruben Garsya article headlined "Phone-in session with president to take place on April 17" says that Crimea's joining Russia, foreign policy issues and social problems are the most probable key topics to be addressed during Putin's annual phone-in session on 17 April; pp 1-2 (603 words).


6. Natalia Bashlykova interview with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Vasily Likhachev, a member of the Russian delegation in the PACE, headlined "'U.S. has violated fundamental principles of world order'", who tries to explain why the West has introduced sanctions against Russia and does not want to recognize the Crimea referendum; p 3 (1,447 words).


7. Irina Nenasheva article headlined "Gas reverse from Europe to Ukraine may turn out to be illegal" says that Gazprom head Alexei Miller has cast doubt on the legality of reverse gas supplies from Europe to Ukraine; p 4 (764 words).


8. Sergei Podosenov article headlined "History schoolbooks teach separatism and extremism" says that experts from the Centre for Political Information have concluded that history schoolbooks in Russia make schoolchildren believe that the Russian state is weak and may split in future and contribute to the spread of separatist and nationalist ideologies; p 5 (1,545 words).


9. Svetlana Povoraznyuk article headlined "Moskovskiye Novosti switches to Afisha and Time Out segment" says that the sociopolitical newspaper Moskovskiye Novosti will become a weekly newspaper about Moscow's cultural life after the city administration buys it; p 5 (713 words).


10. Anastasia Alexeyevskikh article headlined "Banks ask to punish for terrorism selectively" says that the Russian banking community has criticized a bill introducing punishment for financing terrorism and asked to amend it; p 6 (1,000 words).


11. Svetlana Povoraznyuk interview with new Russian business channel RBK television general director Gleb Shagun, headlined "'We will change position of RBK covering only finances'", speaking about personnel reshuffles at the RBK holding company; p 6 (672 words).


12. Konstantin Volkov article headlined "Ankara permits YouTube and Twitter again" says that access to Twitter and YouTube will be unblocked in Turkey. The article features a Russian expert's comment on the issue; p 8 (429 words).


13. Tatyana Baykova article headlined "11 countries not ready to recognize presidential election in Syria" says that 11 countries have issued a joint statement saying that they will not recognize as legitimate the presidential election in Syria set for June and that a transitional body of power should be established for the time of the country going out the crisis. The article features a Russian expert's comment on the issue; p 8 (537 words).


14. Writer Alexander Prokhanov article headlined "You who hate us!" tries to explain why the West is poison-minded against Russia; p 9 (556 words).


Vedomosti


1. Mikhail Serov et al. article headlined "Gas is not worth dollar" says that Gazprom wants to switch to ruble payments with foreign contracting parties. However, experts doubt the idea is reasonable; pp 1, 4 (800 words).


2. Editorial headlined "No longer Europeans" says that the Russian authorities want Russia to be a "unique and indigenous civilization, which is neither the West nor the East", as stipulated by a new Russian cultural policy, so its partition with Europe at all levels is not a tragedy; pp 1, 6 (500 words).


3. Lilia Biryukova and Anastasia Golitsyna article headlined "Right to obligations" says that a bill obliging popular Russian bloggers to act as media outlets will be submitted to the State Duma this week; p 2 (750 words).


4. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "Crimea made equal to Kamchatka" says that the Defense Ministry has approved a draft military development plan for Crimea until 2020. Crimea will have the status of a detached defensive area similar to Kaliningrad Region or Kamchatka Territory; p 2 (500 words).


5. Igor Zevelev article headlined "Russia's new foreign policy" says that Crimea's joining Russia has radically changed the country's foreign policy. It is no longer based on the international principles of the world order, but is closely connected to domestic policy ideas of the Russian identity, the author says; pp 6-7 (2,400 words).


6. Svetlana Bocharova report "Banned criticism" says that the State Duma intends to ban criticism of the Soviet Union's actions during World War II; p 3 (350 words).


7. Olga Kuvshinova article headlined "Between East and West" describes how the Ukrainian economy depends on Russia and the EU; pp 20-21 (3,900 words).


8. Ksenia Boletskaya report "Rotenberg's square" says that Putin's associate Arkady Rotenberg has taken up media business; p 18 (800 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Igor Dunayevsky et al. article headlined "Boomerang" says that European and U.S. companies, including banks and fast food networks, are leaving Crimea, but Russian companies will easily substitute them; pp 1, 6 (1,500 words).


2. Natalia Yachmennikova article headlined "It is mismatch" says that not only experts, but also employees of the U.S. space agency NASA have been puzzled by the agency's decision to suspend cooperation with Russia except for work at the International Space Station, over Russia's stance on Ukraine; pp 1, 4 (450 words).


3. Kira Latukhina article headlined "From Crimea to Arctic region" gives an account of Putin's meeting with Natural Resources and Ecology Minister Sergei Donskoi, at which the environmental situation in Crimea and the expansion of the continental shelf in the Arctic region have been discussed; p 2 (800 words).


4. Nadezhda Yermolayeva article headlined "They introduce European censorship" says that Latvia has suspended the broadcast of the Russian television channel Russia RTR for three months over law violations; p 5 (200 words).


5. Pavel Danilin article headlined "Virtual Maidan" says that an information war to besmirch leading Russian companies is under way; p 8 (700 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Irina Bobrova interview with Alexander Mikhaylik, a department head from the Audit Chamber, headlined "Revelations by Audit Chamber official prosecuted for bribery", who speaks about the performance of the Interior Ministry's main directorate for economic security and combating of corruption and his case on charges of bribe-taking; pp 1, 5 (3,024 words).


2. Yeva Merkacheva article headlined "Protecting rights from prisoners" looks at the performance of human rights activists in Russia. There are many former employees of law-enforcement and security agencies among human rights activists in Russia who are covering up their acting colleagues suspected of crimes; pp 1-2 (668 words).


3. Irina Badmayeva article headlined "To pay in Russian way" focuses on a national payment system being developed in Russia given the recent boycott to Russian banks organized by Visa and MasterCard; pp 1, 4 (2,512 words).


4. Konstantin Smirnov and Nikolai Makeyev article headlined "Gazprom hikes up price for Crimea" looks at the Russia-Ukraine gas war triggered by Gazprom's decision to increase the gas price for Kiev; p 3 (655 words).


5. Ilya Baranikas article headlined "NASA's space sanctions hit not Russia" says that the U.S. space agency NASA's decision to suspend cooperation with Russia is meant to exert pressure on the U.S. Congress to increase state financing for the NASA; p 3 (875 words).


6. Andrei Yashlavsky article headlined "Do we need PACE?" looks at options of Russia's response to the PACE's decision to deprive the Russian delegation of a right to vote or of powers in the organization; p 3 (451 words).


Novaya Gazeta


1. Andrei Kapustin article headlined "Different scope sights" says that Ukraine has asked Russia to help investigate the shooting of civilians by snipers on Kiev's Maidan square in late February. Russia will hardly help, the article says; p 2 (1,077 words).


2. Yulia Latynina article headlined "Ups and downs of Right Sector" speculates about the meeting between the leader of the Ukrainian far-right group Right Sector, Dmytro Yarosh, with deposed President Viktor Yanukovych, which reportedly took place on February 20; p 3 (700 words).


3. Alexander Svan article headlined "Who shoots on Maidan? Half-truth worse than lie" provides its own version of events on Maidan square in late February; p 4 (800 words).


4. Roman Osharov article headlined "How I was not let into Ukraine" describes the journalist's failed visit to Ukraine and says that Russian men aged between 18 and 55 and the Russian journalists, who have worked in Crimea, are banned from entering Ukraine; p 5 (990 words).


5. Alexander Mineyev article headlined "'Values are not bag of pepper'" says that the EU is still split over the introduction of economic sanctions against Russia over its stance on Crimea; p 8 (717 words).


6. Boris Vishnevsky article headlined "Protesters equalled to terrorists" outlines amendments to the antiterrorist laws that the State Duma is planning to pass on April 15; p 9 (600 words).


7. Kirill Martynov article headlined "If you do not like it, go away!" comments on a new "social contract" saying that "if you do not like your life in Russia, leave the country", which has been formed between the Russian elite and people; p 10 (684 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Alexander Boiko article called "Berkut officers admitted to Moscow OMON" says that Berkut officers are now attending medical examinations to later be admitted to the Moscow special-purpose police after receiving Russian passports; pp 1, 4 (200 words).


2. Ivan Grachev article headlined "CIA taking part in mopping-up operation in eastern Ukraine " quotes the former head of the Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU, Oleksandr Yakymenko, as saying that SBU officers are currently working in the eastern part of Ukraine along with their colleagues from the CIA, p 4 (550 words).


RBK Daily


1. Alexander Artyomyev article headlined "Ukraine awaits lustration" details the first in the series of lustration laws, which will be considered by the Ukrainian parliament later this week and which bans about a hundred of people from holding positions of authority; pp 1, 4 (1,000 words).


2. Ivan Tkachev article headlined "Golden rule of sanctions" reports on how the independence of Crimea affects Russian companies; p 5 (1,200 words).


3. Ivan Petrov article headlined "Crimea of Army — 2020" reports about the future of the Crimean army, saying that Russia will form efficient force there within six years; p 4 (450 words).


April 7,, 2014 / BBC Monitoring / ©BBC

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