Press Review Blog: Monday, January 26

By Irina Gaidarova
A digest of what the Russian-language press is reporting on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009. The Moscow Times bears no responsibility for the newspapers' claims.   


Senior Russian Orthodox clergy on Sunday nominated three candidates to the post of patriarch. All major newspapers devoted their front pages to this event. (1,5, Kommersant, 1,5 Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1,3 , Vremya Novostei, 1,2, Gazeta, 1,3, magazine The New Times, 5-17, magazine Vlast, #3, pp.28-29)

In an interview, Federation Council Senator Alexander Pochinok explains why it was a mistake to provide the Russian Orthodox Church with customs benefits in the 1990s. (5)

The well-known children's health resort Artek in Crimea has gone bankrupt and been closed. Its staff fear that its territory might be taken away from them and transferred to Ukrainian oligarchs. Russian businessmen, however, will not be admitted. The story features Artek's history, saying how its director, Boris Novozhilov, has responded to the closure. (1,4)

President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday completed his two-day visit to Uzbekistan. The story examines results of his negotiations with his Uzbek counterpart, Islam Karimov. (1,2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1,2, Vremya Novostei, 1,2, RBK Daily, 3)

The so-called gas war is over in Russia, but in Ukraine the situation around the delivery of Russian gas has become even more terse. The story describes the continuing standoff between President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, describing how it has negatively affected the health of Naftogaz head Oleg Dubina. (1,2, Vremya Novostei, 8)

The story describes how a snow-melting machine producing clouds of black smoke on Vasilyevsky Spusk near the Kremlin turns snow into water. The smoke has caused a serious discussion on the Internet, and some of Internet users said the smoke may cause an ecological catastrophe. (1,3)

The State Duma in the spring session will consider amendments to a federal law concerning the general principles of the organization of local government. The story examines several amendments of the bill. (2)

Having opened his own video blog, President Dmitry Medvedev has inspired governors to follow suit. The aim is to be closer to the people. (2)

The story details the case of former Yevroset head Yevgeny Chichvarkin, whom the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor General's Office last week accused of kidnapping, extortion and smuggling. Chichvarkin left the country inDecember and has not returned. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 7, Vremya Novostei, 3)

The Regional Development Ministry has determined the cost of one square meter of housing in the next six months in each Russian region. As compared with the last quarter of 2008, the housing price has decreased slightly. (7)

The State Statistics Service has stated that food inflation in 2008 amounted to 17.7 percent, which is by 4.3 times more than the figure (4.1 percent) in the European Union. (7)

The story examines the situation on the domestic stock market late last week. (7, Kommersant, 1,9, Vremya Novostei, 8)

The British producer of Bentley cars will suspend the work of the main conveyor at a plant in Britain for seven weeks starting in March. Brief. (8)

The production of cars in Russia last year increased by 13.6 percent compared with 2007 — up to 1.5 million, according to the State Statistics Service. The story explains why the domestic auto market is very important for foreign cars. (8, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 4)

The heads of two leading water transport research and design institutes have been fired. (8)


Russia has rejected Belarus' request for a 100 billion-ruble credit. (1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4)

Czech Prime Minister Topolanek on Sunday spoke in favor of Russia joining the planned U.S. global anti-missile defense system. He shares the viewpoint of German Chancellor Angela Merkel who believes that Russia's participation in it is necessary. (1)

The story features the first winter in South Ossetia after the war last year and the recognition of its independence. The republic has started to receive gas from Georgia. (1,3)

The story comments on the decision of 29-year-old Dmitry Gryzlov, son of State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov, to take part in the municipal elections in St. Petersburg without being a member of United Russia. The story describes his chances. (4)

The analytical Grant Thornton International organization has conducted an annual poll among 7,200 entrepreneurs in 36 countries, including Russia, to ask them about their feelings about the world financial crisis. The focuses on Russian entrepreneurs' pessimism. (4)

Belarussian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov on Monday begins a three-day visit to Brussels to discuss the prospects of Minsk's dialogue with the European Union. (5)

AvtoVAZ starting Feb. 2 will resume production and will work six-hour days for four days a week until Feb. 28. (7)

Ford, starting Feb. 1, will again raise prices of its cars in Russia by 4.5 percent on average. (7)

Aeroflot will take part in a tender to purchase Czech Airlines. Aeroflot experts are studying the tender documents. (7)

Alrosa has suspended deliveries of diamonds to the world market because the company will temporarily sell all its products only to the state stockpile agency Gokhran. (7)


This year's Tatyana's Day may become the last one for many students, who pay for their higher education and who are facing difficulties with such payments. Students are asking education authorities to allow them to pay later. (1,3, Noviye Izvestia, 1,5)

Brussels on Monday hosts an informal session of the Russia-NATO Council. In an interview, Russia's envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, says what Moscow is expecting from this meeting. He also discusses the prospects of developing relations with the alliance. (1,4)

There are about 6 million unemployed in Russia today, Yury Gertsy, head of the Federal Service for Labor and Employment, said Saturday. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday discussed the employment problem with his deputy Alexander Zhukov, who is in charge of employment issues. Zhukov told the president about special measures being worked out by a working group monitoring the labor market. (2)

Cuban leader Raul Castro's visit to Moscow is scheduled for Jan. 30, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said Friday at a meeting with Cuban Deputy Prime Minister Ricardo Cabrisas. (2)

Russia and Mongolia have signed an agreement on cooperation in the agro-industrial industry. The agreement was signed Friday in Irkutsk. (3)

United Russia on Tuesday will resume its work to support the domestic automotive industry with activities in Tatarstan, the Krasnoyarsk region and in the Kaliningrad region. (4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1,2, magazine Vlast, #3, pp. 20-22)


Gazprom on Friday agreed to consider Bulgaria's demands to refund expenses for non-deliveries of gas during the gas crisis with Ukraine earlier this month. (1,4)

Moscow is unable to fully implement its aviation-technical plans in former Soviet states. During his recent visit to Uzbekistan, President Dmitry Medvedev failed to resolve the issue concerning the joining of the Tashkent Chkalov aviation production association to the Russian United Aircraft-Building Corporation. (1,4)

State Duma parties are taking an active part in the race for seats in the legislative assemblies of nine Russian regions. The story features United Russia's efforts. (1,2)

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe opens its winter session in Strasbourg on Monday. One of the priority issues to be considered will be the situation in the South Caucasus. (1,7)