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What the Papers Say, May 22, 2014

Kommersant


1. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Contract for multi-gas use" gives an ironic account of the second day of President Putin's visit to China which resulted in the signing of a landmark gas deal; pp 1, 3 (2,006 words).


2. Yulia Galyamova et al. report headlined "Port in Taman may be built without state" says that as the government has given up plans to develop the port of Taman and decided to redirect the funds allocated for the project for the development of Crimean ports, Tamanneftegaz company is planning to invest at least 40 billion rubles (about $1 billion) in the port development; pp 1, 11 (756 words).


3. Vladimir Barinov article headlined "VTB sanctions affect Donetsk governor" says that the assets of Ukrainian oligarch Serhy Taruta, who was appointed Donetsk region governor in early March, have been arrested in Cyprus under a VTB suit; pp 1, 4 (736 words).


4. Anna Zibrova article headlined "Indigenous people left with fishing rods" says that the Agriculture Ministry has drafted a bill to limit the fishing quotas for indigenous groups; pp 1, 12 (577 words).


5. Sofia Samokhina article headlined "Governors line up to get to president" says that several more governors are going to ask Putin to authorize their early resignation in order to be able to take part in the autumn elections; p 2 (622 words).


6. Natalya Gorodetskaya article headlined "Ombudsman's report criticized" says that the Federation Council has criticized ex-ombudsman Vladimir Lukin's report for 2013 for what it viewed as a biased approach; p 2 (583 words).


7. Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Confiscation becoming law" says that the Prosecutor-General's Office has drafted a bill to use property confiscation as criminal punishment and prison terms instead of fines for corruption. Experts warn that the toughening of the punishment in the current circumstances will only boost corruption; p 3 (423 words).


8. Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Bailout for province" says that as the problem of regional budgets' credit burden is aggravating, the Finance Ministry has suggested that a share of regional debts be settled with budget loans; p 6 (523 words).


9. Article by former leader of the Civic Platform party Mikhail Prokhorov headlined "New Economic Policy 2.0: about defensive and offensive" looks at how the efficiency of Russia's economy can be boosted; p 7 (2,977 words).


10. Sergei Strokan and Yanina Sokolovskaya article headlined "Round-table discussion in Ukraine ignores rough corners" looks at another national unity round-table discussion held in Mykolayiv, Ukraine, which was not attended by leaders of the so-called Donetsk people's republic; p 8 (882 words).


11. Yury Barsukov and Denis Skorobogatko article headlined "Gazprom makes China closer to Europe" says that after ten years of talks Gazprom has finally signed its gas deal with China, and features experts' comments on the signing; pp 9, 11 (705 words).


12. Anna Balashova article headlined "Cable not extending" says the growth of the paid television market has slowed down in Russia; p 12 (300 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "Threat of more sanctions destabilizing banking sector" says that Washington is planning to impose sanctions on Russia's state banks in case Russia hampers the Ukrainian presidential election, and looks at the consequences of the move on the banking sector; pp 1, 4 (652 words).


2. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Romodanovsky not giving up investigation" says that the Federal Migration Service head Konstantin Romodanovsky has stated that the service needs powers to conduct probes in line with a number of articles of the Criminal Code; pp 1-2 (594 words).


3. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Irina Prokhorova aiming higher than Moscow City Duma" says that leader of the Civic Platform party Irina Prokhorova has decided not to run for a seat in the Moscow City Duma. Some other Civic Platform members will get the seats anyway, experts say; pp 1, 3 (835 words).


4. Alexandra Samarina and Yekaterina Trifonova article headlined "Governors to be taught, tested and sacked" says that the Regional Development Ministry has presented a report on the efficiency of regional authorities in 2013, Tatarstan being the leader; pp 1, 3 (1,189 words).


5. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Week to go before new gas war" looks ahead at the Ukraine-Russia-EU gas talks set for May 26; pp 1, 6 (1,302 words).


6. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Putin manages to smoothen way to East for Gazprom" looks at the outcomes of President Putin's visit to China; p 2 (616 words).


7. Editorial headlined "Transatlantic partnership heavily criticized" looks at the talks on setting up a free trade zone between the EU and the U.S. and says that the move will make Russia and China step up cooperation; p 2 (513 words).


8. Valery Goreglyad article headlined "Stagnation without looking for way out" says that the government has discussed a macroeconomic forecast for 2014-17 drafted by the Economic Development Ministry. The cabinet considers stagnation or insignificant growth to be the most probable scenario but is not suggesting any plan of actions; p 3 (665 words).


9. Yevgeny Grigoryev article headlined "Germany values Russian Davos" says that despite Washington's tough pressure most German businesses have found it necessary to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum; p 7 (666 words).


Vedomosti


1. Yelena Khodyakova and Alexander Serov article headlined "Russia waiting for advance payment" says that Moscow and Beijing have finally signed the long-awaited gas contract. Experts are now wondering if China will make an advance payment and whether gas supplies to China will be cost-efficient; pp 1, 12 (700 words).


2. Editorial headlined "Conditional stabilization" comments on the change of President Putin's stance on the Ukrainian presidential election and says that the main question now is how Moscow will interpret the legitimacy of the election; pp 1, 6 (400 words).


3. Maria Zheleznova article headlined "Election without Prokhorovs" says that following tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov's decision not to take part in the Moscow City Duma election, his sister Irina Prokhorova took a similar decision; p 2 (500 words).


4. Margarita Lyutova and Sergei Titov article headlined "'Clean plants' operation" says that in order to improve the efficiency of labour, the Economic Development Ministry suggests forcing companies to modernize, lower credit rates, set up support funds and encourage labour migration; p 4 (600 words).


5. Editorial headlined "Price not priority" contemplates whether the gas deal with China, seen as a definite a political victory, will yield any economic profits for Russia; p 6 (400 words).


6. Vasily Kashin article headlined "Russia boosting rapprochement with China" says that rapprochement with Beijing will help Russia minimize negative consequences of the Western sanctions, but will limit opportunities for political maneuver; p 6 (700 words).


7. Maxim Trudolyubov article headlined "Deceive me if you can" says that the balance of political and economic gains in the relations with China will significantly differ from that in relations between Russia and the West; p 7 (400 words).


8. Filipp Sterkin and Margarita Papchenkova interview with Deputy Economic Development Minister Sergei Belyakov, headlined "We, like locusts, have almost eaten everything and everyone", where he talks about the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and the challenges the Russian businesses are facing; p B6 (800 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Congratulations with gas!" says that Gazprom and the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation have finally signed the long-awaited gas deal; pp 1-2 (1,000 words).


2. Article by chairman of the Constitutional Court Valery Zorkin headlined "Economy and law: New context" looks at the challenges Russia is facing amid the escalating tension in relations with the West; pp 1, 13 (3,400 words).


3. Yevgeny Shestakov interview with head of the Oriental Studies department of the Higher School of Economics Alexei Maslov headlined "On launching pad", where he talks about the prospects of Russia-China relations; p 2 (600 words).


4. Vitality Petrov and Boris Yamshanov article headlined "Supreme Court. Lebedev" says that the Federation Council has approved Vyacheslav Lebedev as Supreme Court chairman; p 4 (600 words).


5. Tamara Mikhailova article headlined "Illusion of changes" says that participants in a round-table discussion at the State Duma looked at the pre-election situation in Ukraine; p 6 (500 words).


6. Marina Aleshina article headlined "They decide to take it out on journalists" says that the Kiev authorities are keeping the Russian LifeNews television journalists in custody and trying hard to portray them as "Russian subversives"; p 8 (400 words).


7. Article by political analyst Maxim Makarychev headlined "West not to help them" looks at the developments in Ukraine; p 8 (600 words).


Izvestia


1. Lyudmila Podobedova article headlined "Russia gets rid of gas dependence on Europe" says that Gazprom has obtained a new market; pp 1-2 (836 words).


2. Anastasia Alexeyevskikh article headlined "Duma threatens bankers with prison for cooperation with U.S." says that lawmakers have warned of sanctions against bank employees for violating banking secrecy; pp 1, 3 (1,363 words).


3. Andrei Shitov article headlined "Hysteria in America" looks at the reasons behind what is seen as unprecedented anti-Russian rhetoric in the U.S.; pp 1, 8 (3,451 words).


4. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "State Duma demands that LifeNews television journalists be freed" says that Russian lawmakers have spoken in support of the journalists detained in Ukraine on May 18; pp 1, 5 (849 words).


5. Yelena Teslova article headlined "UN, OSCE should investigate military crimes in Ukraine" says that the Russian Public Chamber has asked international organizations to conduct a probe into military crimes in Ukraine; p 5 (443 words).


6. Maxim Kononenko article headlined "War with reporters" looks at the discrepancies in the information campaign aiming to portray the LifeNews television journalists as terrorists; p 5 (759 words).


7. Alexander Birman article headlined "Friendship with discount" says that Beijing used the Ukrainian crisis to obtain significant gas discounts from Moscow; p 9 (484 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Yelena Yegorova article headlined "'Biggest deal ever, biggest construction project worldwide'" looks behind the scenes of Russia-China gas talks; pp 1-2 (663 words).


2. Andrei Yashlavsky article headlined "Battlefield: Will they make 'sponsor of terrorism' out of Russia" says that the petition to label Russia as "the state — sponsor of terrorism" on the U.S. administration's website has collected more than 100,000 signatures, so the White House will have to react to it; pp 1, 3 (674 words).


3. Nikolai Makeyev article headlined "Why Russian gas price for China commercial secret" features experts' comments on the landmark gas deal with China, its political advantages and economic gains; p 2 (1,025 words).


4. Mikhail Zubov article headlined "Prokhorovs leaving politics invisibly" says Russian businessman and politician Mikhail Prokhorov and his sister Irina Prokhorova have denied reports that they are leaving the Civic Platform party'


5. Dmitry Katorzhnov article headlined "Strategy-31 rehabilitated" says the Moscow mayor's office has for the first time authorized a "Strategy-31" rally, held regularly by the Other Russia party; p 2 (200 words)


6. Igor Karmazin article headlined "Ukrainian parliament votes for smoke screen instead of withdrawing troops" says that on May 20 the Ukrainian parliament approved the memorandum on peace and consent aiming to settle the crisis in the southeast, but military actions in the region are still under way; p 3 (749 words).


7. Oleg Bazak article headlined "Poroshenko in chocolate. Political portrait of Ukraine's future president" looks at presidential frontrunner Petro Poroshenko's road to power in Ukraine; p 4 (1,891 words).


RBK Daily


1. Marina Kotsubinskaya and Vladimir Pavlov article headlined "China is now ours" reports on the signing of a gas deal between China and Russia, featuring experts' comments; pp 1, 10 (1,000 words)


2. Alexander Artemyev article titled "In new authorities' basements" reports on the lawlessnes and rise in hostage taking on the territory controlled by the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk people's republics in Ukraine; pp 1, 4 (1,900 words).


3. Svetlana Bocharova and Anastasia Mikhailova article headlined "NGOs to be declared agents, not closed" reports on the new amendment to the law on foreign-funded NGOs, stripping the Justice Ministry of its right to suspend activities of these organizations for half a year; p 2 (550 words).


4. Anastasia Mikhailova and Ivan Petrov article headlined "Verdict announced, no motives found" reports on the verdict in the murder case of Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya; p 2 (550 words).


5. Yevgeny Gontmakher article headlined "Private industry and middle class to pay for Ukrainian crisis" speculates on the possible consequences of the Ukrainian crisis for the Russian economy; p 6 (1,000 words).


Noviye Izvestia


1. Sergei Putilov article headlined "Food insecurity" says that the increase in production of agricultural goods in Russia does not make them cheaper and improve their quality; pp 1, 3 (1,100 words).


2. Arina Raksina interview with the director of the Economy Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ruslan Grinberg, commenting on the significance of a gas deal signed by Russia and China in Shanghai; pp 1, 3 (800 words).


3. Vitaly Solovetsky article headlined "Siberian syndrome" says that some Russian economists predict that too close cooperation between Moscow and Beijing may lead to the loss of Siberia and Russia's Far East, which will join China; p 3 (600 words)


4. Irina Aleksidze article headlined "Money by association" reports on Georgia's latest move towards joining the European Union; p 3 (400 words).


5. Anna Alexeyeva article headlined "Court and money" says that the children of killed journalist Anna Politkovskaya have demanded 5 million rubles ($145,700) compensation from the defendants; p 5 (400 words).


6. Anna Alexeyeva article headlined "Scared by sanctions and red tape" says that highly skilled expats are fleeing Russia, which, according to pundits, has already affected the Russian economy; p 5 (400 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Dmitry Smirnov article headlined "Moscow, Beijing sign 'deal of the century'" reports on the signing of the landmark gas deal with China, features an interview with Gazprom head Alexei Miller; p 2 (700 words).


2. Alexander Gamov interview with the chairman of the new Russian Supreme Court, Vyacheslav Lebedev, on his appointment; p 5 (300 words).


3. Valerya Chepurko and Lyubov Sidorenko article "Besieged Slovyansk: people save water and lives on rumors" reports on the situation in Ukraine's Slovyansk, where the offensive is underway; p 6 (600 words).


4. Elena Chinkova interview with Petro Hetsko, coordinator of a Network Rusyn Movement from Ukraine's Transcarpathian region, explaining why the region will secede from Ukraine; p 8 (1,000 words).


Tvoi Den


1. Roman Smirnov article headlined "They will pay full fare" reports on the verdict in the Anna Politkovskaya murder case and her children's decision to demand compensation for moral damage from her killers; p 6 (300 words).


BBC Monitoring / ©BBC


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