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What the Papers Say, April 9, 2014

Kommersant


1. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Crimea being placed on Russian foundation" says the constitutional commission of Crimea will consider today a draft constitution of the republic. The text of the constitution has reportedly been approved by the Kremlin; Kommersant claims to have a copy of it; pp 1-2 (797 words).


2. Ivan Kuznetsov article called "Issuer of national security" looks at the feasibility of the Russian companies delisting from overseas stock exchanges, as suggested by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov; pp 1, 10 (1,160 words).


3. Yury Barsukov and Kirill Melnikov article headlined "Moscow and Kiev ready for valve measures" previews further tensions between Moscow and Kiev as President Vladimir Putin is to chair a meeting with the cabinet today that will consider possible restrictions on gas supplies to Ukraine over the latter's default on its bills; pp 1, 11 (924 words).


4. Sergei Sobolev article called "Troubled beaches have rest from Russians" says fewer Russians travelled to Egypt and Thailand last winter due to political turmoil there; pp 1, 12 (687 words).


5. Dmitry Komarov and Natalia Gorodetskaya article called "Yekaterinburg follows Kazan's path" reports that the Yekaterinburg city council has adopted an address to the State Duma, criticizing the planned local government reform as unconstitutional because it would abolish mayoral elections. The reform is also opposed by the authorities of Tatarstan and Kazan; p 2 (561 words).


6. Andre Pertsev and Alexei Kozhevnikov article titled "Astrakhan ready to give up mayoral elections" quotes a source in the government of Astrakhan Region as saying that the local authorities might take advantage of the local government reform to get rid of its mayor Mikhail Stolyarov who is facing charges of corruption; p 2 (610 words).


7. Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Ministers of high approval" says the approval rating of the Russian government has grown following the Sochi Winter Games and the merger with Crimea. The most popular ministers are Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu; p 2 (376 words).


8. Grigory Tumanov article called "Crimea brought to norm" looks at how judges of courts in Crimea are being retrained to master the Russian legislation and qualify for work in Russian courts; p 3 (546 words).


9. Anna Pushkarskaya article called "Law on foreign agents escapes exposure" reports that the Russian Constitutional Court has refused to uphold a complaint from NGOs who wanted the law requiring them to register as foreign agents if they receive funding from abroad to be deemed unconstitutional; p 3 (858 words).


10. Alexei Shapovalov article called "Crisis management instead of reforms" looks at measures proposed by the Economic Development Ministry to mitigate the current economic downturn; p 6 (457 words).


11. "Rules of the game" column by the former finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, who advocates for economic reforms instead of injecting money in the economy; p 6 (607 words).


12. Vadim Visloguzov and Petr Netreba article headlined "Rest prescribed to taxes" says the Russian government has decided against raising taxes rates until the 2018 presidential election; p 6 (543 words).


13. Sergei Strokan article called "Hamed Karzai might be left without successor" reports on how Afghanistan voted for a new president, concludes that the outcome of the election is not at all clear yet; p 7 (491 words).


14. Ivan Safronov article titled "Engine disintegrates to 'Atom'" says Volvo has suspended cooperation with Russia's state-owned Uralvagonzavod armour maker on building a new infantry vehicle called Atom over the threat of sanctions; p 7 (435 words).


15. Maria Yefimova article headlined "PACE listens to Snowden" gives the details of the April 8 session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that was addressed by fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The session voted for a resolution that stripped the Russian delegation of the right to vote; p 7 (617 words).


16. Olga Kuznetsova et al. article called "Ukraine fences territory with law" says the tensions are easing in eastern Ukraine where billionaire Rinat Akhmetov has apparently managed to mediate a compromise between separatists and the Kiev authorities; p 8 (1,003 words).


17. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "EU makes up blacklists with reserve" says Kommersant has got hold of an extended list of persons who might be blacklisted in case the situation in Ukraine escalates. The list features 107 names, including some members of the Russian Security Council and high-profile FSB officials; p 8 (881 words).


18. Ksenia Dementiyeva and Svetlana Dementiyeva article called "Ukrainian banks pulling out of Crimea" looks at how Ukrainian banks are withdrawing from Crimea, notes that Russian banks have so far opened only 40 offices on the peninsula and will not be able to quickly deploy chains large enough to compete over 1,000 offices of Ukrainian banks that are currently being shut down there; p 10 (798 words).


19. Anna Solodovnikova article headlined "Crimea to be fueled in Russian way" says prices on petrol and petroleum products are to be brought down in Crimea to match the national average; p 11 (509 words).


20. Anastasia Fomicheva article titled "Light to be dimmed for Muscovites" forecasts that electricity prices in Moscow might grow by at least 20 percent as the Federal Tariffs Service is calling for a new method of calculating electricity tariffs; p 11 (518 words).


21. Alexandra Metsalova and Khalil Aminov article called "HSE asking money for campus" says the Higher School of Economics is asking for a hefty sum of 23 billion rubles (about $638 million) to buy premises in Moscow and St. Petersburg; p 12 (596 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Svetlana Gamova article called "Russian military in Dnestr region surrounded" says that the breakaway Dnestr region is effectively surrounded by the armies of Ukraine and Moldova as the republic itself has put its armed forces on combat alert to counter "internal threats"; pp 1-2 (798 words).


2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Migration special purpose squad of Konstantin Romodanovsky" says the Federal Migration Service is about to have its dream come true as a bill might soon be passed allowing the service to have its own police; pp 1, 3 (732 words).


3. Alina Terekhova article called "Spring not to come any time soon to economy" reports on the results of a poll showing that Russians are fairly optimistic about the state of the national economy; pp 1, 4 (700 words).


4. Anastasia Bashkatova article titled "Dmitry Medvedev testing banking sector for strength" looks at the problems faced by Russian banks that were discussed at the cabinet meeting on April 8; pp 1, 4 (834 words).


5. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Donetsk republic surrenders" reports on the developments in eastern Ukraine where billionaire Rinat Akhmetov openly mediated between separatist forces and the government in Kiev; pp 1, 7 (2,001 words).


6. Yury Paniyev article called "Moscow agrees to talks with Kiev" summarizes the terms on which Russia has agreed to engage in talks with the U.S. and the EU on the future of Ukraine; pp 1, 8 (698 words).


7. Editorial headlined "Why Moscow finds it difficult to seek compromise with Kiev" points out that Russia has room for manoeuvre in the Ukrainian crisis as from the very beginning the Russian leadership adopted the policy of exerting pressure on the Ukrainian authorities rather than seeking a compromise. People in Russia, inspired by the annexation of Crimea, will not appreciate it if Russia backs down on its tough guy policy now; p 2 (468 words).


8. Oleg Vladykin article called "Epoch of nonstate wars" profiles the U.S. private military company Greystone Limited that is allegedly being involved in security operations in Ukraine; notes that the "polite people in uniforms" who took control of Crimea in March could have been from a private military company, too; p 2 (869 words).


9. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Zorkin sorts out political activity of NGOs" reports that the Constitutional Court has ruled that the term "foreign agent" did not sound like propaganda and that the law on NGOs requiring those funded from abroad to register as foreign agents does not violate the Russian constitution; p 3 (932 words).


10. Vladimir Mukhin op-ed called "Carte Blanche. Does Donbass need Russian peacekeepers now?" spells out the reasons why Russia is unlikely to send its troops to the east of Ukraine; p 3 (614 words).


11. Igor Naumov article headlined "Business allowed to assess investment appeal of regions" says a national investment climate rating is to be presented at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in June; p 4 (719 words).


12. Alexander Lukin essay called "Collapse of post-Soviet consensus" calls for a policy of "moderate patriotism and liberalism" as an alternative to Russia becoming an isolated state, on the one hand, or fully subduing itself to the West, on the other; p 5 (2,601 words).


13. Svetlana Gavrilina article headlined "St. Petersburg box of political surprises" says the opposition is bracing itself for problems ahead of the September municipal elections in St. Petersburg, the most recent example being the nonregistration of the St. Petersburg branch of Alexei Navalny's Party of Progress; p 6 (536 words).


14. Oksana Skripnikova article called "Moscow preparing to welcome hundreds of thousands of tourists" forecasts an influx of tourists to Moscow during the May holiday break thanks to good weather, cheaper hotel prices and an interesting activity agenda; p 6 (697 words).


15. Viktoria Panfilova article titled "Kazakhstan bypassing Russia" says Kazakhstan is looking for oil export routes bypassing Russia to make sure it can deliver oil to its markets in the case of tougher sanctions against this country; p 7 (730 words).


Vedomosti


1. Olga Kuvshinova and Margarita Lyutova article called "Lost year" says the Russian Finance Ministry has reduced its GDP growth forecast to 0.5 percent this year due to fleeing capital and a slump in the demand for natural gas; pp 1, 5 (800 words).


2. Andrei Sinitsyn editorial headlined "Managed crisis" argues that Moscow is unlikely to send its troops to eastern Ukraine, but will continue to pursue the policy of "managing the chaos" there; pp 1, 6 (400 words).


3. Anastasia Kornya and Maria Zheleznova article called "To be agent is normal" looks at the decision of the Constitution Court that rejected a complaint from NGOs about the law requiring them to register as foreign agents if they get money from abroad; p 2 (450 words).


4. Polina Khimshiashvili article called "Russia to be left without vote" mulls over the possibility of Russia being stripped of its right to vote in the PACE. The appropriate resolution was passed on April 8; p 2 (250 words).


5. Margarita Papchenkova article titled "Finance Ministry to respond to U.S." says the Finance Ministry has drafted a bill that would allow Russian banks to directly share information about its customers with foreign tax authorities. The bill aims to protect Russian banks from paying an extra tax of 30 percent on their U.S. assets as the U.S. has refused to sign the FATCA agreement with Russia. It also contains a clause that would require American banks to do the same, but lawyers say the provision is hard to enforce; p 4 (550 words).


6. Maria Snegovaya article called "How Putin is creating Ukrainian coalition" concludes that Putin's annexation of Crimea is actually helping Ukrainian regions to overcome differences in values and get united in the face of the outside threat; pp 6-7 (1,200 words).


7. Boris Safronov column headlined "Figure of the week: 70 billion" analyses the reasons that drove Russians to withdraw as much as 70 billion (about $2 billion) from their deposits in Sberbank; p 7 (500 words).


8. Mikhail Serov and Yelena Khodyakova article headlined "Russia does not get money, Europe may not get gas" previews a meeting of President Putin with the cabinet to discuss an action plan with regard to Ukraine's refusal to pay a new hiked price for Russian natural gas and to settle its earlier bills; pp 10, 13 (1,000 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Valery Mironov et al. article titled "Tisk-tisk-phone" reports on a new bill introduced to the State Duma prohibiting officials from using unprotected mobile phones, which can be tapped, when on duty; pp 1, 17 (600 words)


2. Yulia Krivoshapko interview with the head of the Higher School of Economics, Yaroslav Kuzminov, speaking about a weakening ruble and economic contraction; pp 1, 6 (2,300 words).


3. Yevgeny Shestakov article headline "Kiev holds forced mop-up" says that the Ukrainian authorities set a course for violent suppression of rallies in the southeast of Ukraine; pp 1, 8 (700 words).


4. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Peninsula of possibilities" says that President Vladimir Putin has asked the Agency for Strategic Initiative to support Crimean businessmen; p 2 (400 words).


5. Yury Gavrilov article titled "Landing forces for North Pole" reports that the Russia's Airborne Troops have parachute-landed on drifting iceflows in the Arctic Ocean near the North Pole in a first-ever training search-and-rescue operation there; p 3 (400 words).


6. Taras Fomchenkov interview with the Crimean prime minister Sergei Aksenov on the future of the peninsula; p 4 (1,000 words).


7. Natalia Kozlova article headlined "No-one cancelled U.S.S.R.?" reports on a lawsuit filed to the Supreme Court asking to declare the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. unconstitutional; the court refused to take legal cognizance of it; p 5 (600 words).


Izvestia


1. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "Foreigners to be barred from buying sites of cultural significance" reports on a new bill prohibiting foreign citizens and companies from having a right to buy sites of cultural significance in Russia; pp 1-2 (600 words).


2. Anastasia Alexeyevskikh article headlined "Banks offer clients to shift to Chinese 'plastic"' says that the Russian banking community has called on the government to consider an alternative to Visa and MasterCard payment systems and use China's ChinaUnionPay as a substitute; pp 1, 5 (900 words).


3. Sergei Karaganov op-ed headlined "To end Cold War" provides an expert opinion on the situation in Ukraine and the relations between Russia and the West; p 9 (1,800 words).


4. Daria Tsoi interview with the Ukrainian Party of Regions presidential candidate, Mykhaylo Dobkin, on the state of affairs in the southeast of Ukraine; p 8 (1,200 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Natalia Rozhkova article headlined "'Polite people' from Donetsk: Who are they?" provides short interviews with leaders of the so-called "people's republic" declared in Donetsk; pp 1-2 (550 words).


2. Renat Adbullin article titled "'Greystone' almost invisible" provides expert comments on the Russian Foreign Ministry's claim that representatives of the U.S. organization Greystone are allegedly taking part in the Ukrainian conflict; p 3 (350 words).


3. Igor Karamzin article headlined "Russia by itself cannot appoint those officials in regions who have appealed to supporters of 'people's republics'" provides expert comments on whether Russia will bring troops into Ukraine or not; p 2 (400 words).


Novaya Gazeta


1. Olga Musafirova report "Kiev turns on red light to 'orient express'" looks at the situation in Ukraine and says that the country's new authorities are not only saying, but also showing how they will stop separatist rallies in Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk; p 3 (650 words).


2. Irina Gordyenko report "Umarov is dead while observing formalities" says that Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security Service, has announced that North Caucasus militant leader Dokka Umarov is dead. However, Bortnikov did not say anything about how Umarov had died and where his body was, article says; p 7 (300 words).


3. Boris Vishnevsky report "Spoonerism" comments on the law, passed by the State Duma in the first reading and aimed at prevention of "rehabilitation of Nazism", and says that the law was not drafted to protect victims of Nazism; p 10 (1,300 words).


4. Stanislav Stanskikh report "One can be put in jail for doubts" looks at the amendments to the Criminal Code banning criticism of Crimea's merger with Russia after May 9 2014; p 11 (700 words).


RBK Daily


1. Anastasia Mikhaylova article entitled "Place found for agents in constitution" says that the Constitutional Court has ruled that the law that requires NGOs to register as "foreign agents" if they receive funding from abroad and are involved in political activities, is constitutional. This ruling may result in a new wave of liquidations of the NGOs that are not loyal to the authorities; p 2 (850 words).


2. Maria Makutina et al. report "Bloggers do not want to register" says that following a new initiative of the State Duma, the authors of personal internet resources will be fined and their websites and blogs blocked if they refuse to observe new rules of working in the internet; p 2 (1,200 words).


3. Ivan Petrov report "Southwest returns to be under Kiev wing" says that pro-Russian activists have seized government buildings in Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk, but their idea to proclaim "people's republics" in these regions has failed; p 3 (900 words).


4. Dmitry Nikitin report "No way without Gazprom" says that Brussels has failed to find a plan how to decrease Kiev's dependence on Russian gas; p 6 (650 words).


Noviye Izvestia


1. Dmitry Durnev report "Neither shooting, nor fighting" says that the independent "Donetsk republic", whose formation was "announced by no-one knows whom, has been cancelled by no-one knows whom"; pp 1-2 (600 words).


2. Yana Stadilnaya report "'Fire put out"' says that the Ukrainian parliament has tightened punishment for crimes against national security; p 2 (550 words).


3. Yekaterina Dyatlovskaya report "Progress of party" says that opposition activist Alexei Navalny's supporters have won a victory at the Supreme Court as it has deemed illegal the Justice Ministry's clause on submitting additional documents for the registration of political parties; p 2 (450 words).


4. Elya Grigoryeva report "Not a penny" says that Ukraine has completely stopped paying for Russian gas; p 3 (700 words).


5. Anna Alexeyeva report "No Dozhd" says that a Moscow district court has ruled that the disconnection of broadcasting of the television channel Dozhd by Russia's major operators does not impair consumers' rights; p 5 (450 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Mikhail Bocharov brief report "Contemporary world is not kindergarten!" says that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has written an article for a British newspaper, the main topic of which is Ukraine; p 2 (150 words).


2. Brief unattributed report "Foreign mercenaries used to protect Kiev junta" saying that Foreign Ministry official spokesman Alexander Lukashevich has said in an interview with state-owned Russian news channel Rossia 24 that the Kiev authorities have invited some 150 specialists from a private U.S. military organization to be used in Ukraine's southeastern regions; p 3 (150 words).


3. Nigina Beroyeva report "Donbass insurgents realize that there is nowhere to retreat" says that the "Donetsk republic is getting ready to confront punitive detachments from Kiev"; p 5 (550 words).


4. Alexander Gamov interview with senior pro-Kremlin lawmaker Vyacheslav Nikonov, who comments on the situation in Ukraine; p 7 (550 words).


5. Mikhail Bocharov report "Will Kiev sell nuclear secrets?" says that experts are concerned that the threat of default will make Ukraine sell nuclear technologies; p 8 (200 words).


6. Yevgeny Chernykh interview with Mikhail Delyagin, director of the Institute of Problems of Globalization, who looks at the economic issues in Crimea; p 10 (1,900 words).


Trud


1. Sergei Frolov report "'Without looking back at local nuances'" says that "terror against residents of southeastern regions has begun in Ukraine"; p 2 (1,000 words).


April. 9, 2014 / BBC Monitoring / ©BBC

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