What the Papers Say, Nov. 13, 2013

Kommersant


1. Yegor Popov and Denis Skorobogatko article headlined "Budget pointed at Zvezda" says Gazprombank, Rosneft and the United Shipbuilding Corporation are to set up a consortium of investors that will take over shipyards in Russia's Far East. However, money for reviving the shipbuilding industry in the area is likely to be borrowed from the state; pp 1, 12 (727 words).


2. Olga Shestopal article called "Sberbank to see off one every eighth" says Russia's largest state-owned bank Sberbank has devised a new profit growth strategy that provides for sacking 12 per cent of its employees in the next five years; pp 1, 10 (832 words).


3. Sofya Samokhina et al. article called "10th falls on 12th" says President Vladimir Putin is to deliver his 10th state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly on Dec. 12 when Russia marks Constitution Day; pp 1-2 (656 words).


4. Yevgenia Pertseva article headlined "Stop feeding America" says Russian businessman Andrei Rogachyov is winding up his supermarket business in the U.S.; pp 1, 13 (753 words).


5. Irina Nagornykh article called "Patriotism to be handed out for distribution in regions" previews a series of workshops for deputy governors of Russia's regions that will be held on Nov. 15-16 to teach them patriotism; p 2 (528 words).


6. Ivan Safronov article headlined "Army does not want to make advance payments any more" says that the Audit Chamber has released the results of audits of spending on construction at the Defense Ministry. The ministry's main building contractor was found to lack any equipment or production facilities, while its subcontractors failed to meet their obligations; p 2 (597 words).


7. Maxim Ivanov and Viktor Khamrayev article called "Judicial reform being executed" says Communist lawmakers were the only ones who voted against amending the Russian constitution to pave the way for merging the Supreme Court and the Supreme Arbitration Court; p 3 (845 words).


8. Olga Churakova and Alexander Chernykh article called "Mandatory articles forced upon scientists" says the Russian Academy of Sciences is opposed to the request of the newly-established Federal Agency of Scientific Organizations for a list of articles that scientists are going to publish in the next three years; p 4 (572 words).


9. Vladislav Trofimov article entitled "Bank kickback system" reports that the Investigations Committee has completed an investigation against Vyacheslav Pokhlebin, a former deputy director of Sberbank, who is suspected of extorting 100 million rubles ($3 million) from a businessman for writing off his loan of 722 million rubles to the bank; p 4 (710 words).


10. Yury Senatorov article called "Extradition of Sergei Polonsky to be considered" says a Cambodian court is to rule today on the extradition of businessman Sergei Polonsky to Russia. On Nov. 12, his lawyer was unable to get access to him; p 6 (286 words).


11. Vladislav Litovchenko and Anna Pushkarskaya article headlined "Greenpeace activists brought to St. Petersburg" reports that the members of the Arctic Sunrise crew, earlier detained by the Russian police and charged with piracy and hooliganism for trying to climb up a Gazprom oil rig in the Pechora Sea, have been brought to St. Petersburg from Murmansk. A source in the Foreign Ministry told Kommersant that diplomatic ways of resolving the Arctic Sunrise issue could be found if The Netherlands withdrew the case from the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea; p 6 (316 words).


12. Nikolay Sergeyev article entitled "Spain recognizes British asylum for Russian banker" says Spain's Supreme Court has ruled against extraditing banker Ilya Khaykin to Russia where he is wanted on charges with fraud and organizing a criminal group. The court received a confirmation from the British authorities about Khaykin having been granted asylum in Britain; p 6 (386 words).


13. Andrei Kolesnikov article called "Hanoi arc" reports on President Vladimir Putin's visit to the Vietnamese capital Hanoi; p 7 (1,056 words).


14. Olga Kuznetsova article headlined "Libyan authorities running out of resource" comments on the situation in Libya and says that it is on the brink of yet another revolution as the interim government has lost control of the country and oil production has hit a record low; p 7 (463 words).


15. Maria Yefimova article headlined "Egypt's constitution called up to army" says that a new constitution, that is being drafted in Egypt, may give military courts a right to try civilians; p 7 (549 words).


16. Pyotr Netreba article headlined "One way ticket to solve problem of single-industry towns" reports on an external meeting of the Cabinet in Tutayev, Yaroslavl region, that considered the problem of single-industry towns; p 8 (584 words).


17. Pyotr Netreba article called "Auditor sent to budget contracts" says the government is going to raise the status of the Federal Service for Financial and Budgetary Supervision (Rosfinnadzor) as it will be in charge of controlling the execution of state procurement contracts as of Jan. 1, 2014; p 8 (460 words).


18. Tatyana Yedovina article headlined "Gas and oil going east" summarizes the latest analysis by the International Energy Agency that forecast a drop in energy consumption in Europe, while China and Asian markets will become the prime consumers of gas by 2020; p 8 (431 words).


20. Sergei Sobolev column "Rule of the game" looks at how Perets television channel, owned by STS Media, has found a clever way of broadcasting more commercials than it is allowed by the law; p 9 (376 words).


21. Natalya Skorlygina and Anastasia Fomicheva article called "Guarding energy facilities is state's business" says the Energy Ministry and the Interior Ministry may be granted an exclusive right to guard hazardous energy facilities; p 9 (567 words).


22. Yulia Gallyamova et al. article headlined "Russian Railways denied cheap buys" says that in an attempt to cut costs, the Russian state-owned railway operator Russian Railways has asked its suppliers to bring down prices by 10 percent, but the answer was negative; p 9 (591 words).


23. Maria Yakovleva article headlined "Pension funds to get last help from state" says the State Duma has passed a bill that extends the deadline for transferring one's pension savings from the state Pension Fund to a private fund until the end of 2015; p 10 (536 words).


24. Roman Kondratyev article headlined "Rusal fails to economize enough" says Oleg Deripaska's RusAl aluminium company has been able to bring down production costs to $1,872 per ton by closing down loss-making production units, but the costs are still higher than the market price; p 12 (509 words).


25. Kirill Melnikov article headlined "Rosneft prefers gas to oil processing" reports on a clash of interests between oil companies Rosneft and Gazprom Neft on the Vietnamese market; p 12 (591 words).


26. Yelizaveta Kuznetsova article headlined "Egypt supports Russian aviation" says air passenger figures in Russia were up 14.7 percent in October, apparently due to a revived interest in trips to Egypt; 12 (230 words).


27. Yury Barsukov and Oleg Gavrish article called "Gazprom gets confused about its consumers" says Ukraine may have halted gas imports from Russia because Gazprom has refused to recognize a confusing swap agreement between Ukrainian gas importing companies Naftohaz and Ostchem; p 12 (518 words).


Vedomosti


1. Editorial headlined "Faith in state" discusses the results of an opinion poll that showed that 46 percent of those interviewed said Russia had a state religion; pp 1, 6 (404 words).


2. Yelena Khodyakova and Mikhail Serov article headlined "Rosneft not for sale" says the privatization of the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft could be postponed till 2016. Experts say the company has a risky financial strategy and its merger with TNK-BP did not boost its value considerably; pp 1, 12 (508 words).


3. Margarita Papchenkov et al. article headlined "Medvedev's defense" says Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has spoken against a bill that would enable law-enforcement agencies to launch criminal cases in connection with tax offences without files from tax services. Tax liberalization was one of the few reforms implemented by Medvedev during his presidency, and Medvedev's criticism of the bill that was initiated by Putin is quite a precedent; pp 1, 5 (699 words).


4. Sergei Titov article called "Breakthrough from East to Asia" says Medvedev has approved a development model for the Far East. Experts say it might be too late to try and attract investors to the area because of predominantly shadow economy; p 4 (475 words).


5. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "Spent a lot, built a little" reports on the results of an audit of the construction contracts that the Defense Ministry has signed with its sole contractor, a subsidiary of the infamous Oboronservis company; p 3 (357 words).


6. Editorial headlined "Scientific spanner" criticizes the rigorous planning methods of the newly-established Federal Agency of Scientific Organization that asked the Russian Academy of Sciences to submit a list of articles that will be published in peer-reviewed Russian and foreign journals until 2016; p 6 (300 words).


7. Svetlana Bocharova et al. article called "Premier cheaper than deputy" says that as a result of the September pay rise award to State Duma deputies and senators, their salaries will be higher than those of the president and the prime minister; p 2 (595 words).


8. Anastasia Golitsyna et al. article called "Newspaper won't be printed and TV sets will become outdated" says that according to the latest report by Civil Society Development Foundation, newspapers might shut down their print versions in 2020-30; p 11 (905 words).


9. Op-ed by Novaya Gazeta observer Andrei Kolesnikov headlined "Political economy: Un-short course" says 46 percent of those interviewed by the Levada center pollster approve President Vladimir Putin's policy, while 23 percent say there is no long-term policy as such. The author concludes that the current recession is obviously a result of a lack of a clear-cut course of action; p 7 (436 words).


10. Essay by scholar Maria Snegovaya "Learning through comparison: Africa, not Latin America" finds similarities between Vladimir Putin's regime and neopatrimonial governments in Africa; pp 6-7 (1,050 words).


11. Mikhail Serov and Milana Chelpanov article headlined "State-owned companies going to Vietnam" gives an overview of contracts and agreements signed by Russian companies during President Vladimir Putin's visit to Vietnam; p 12 (308 words).


12. Maria Lyutova article headlined "Gazprom's defense" says Russia may raise three or four cases with the WTO to protect Gazprom's interests in Europe; p 5 (397 words).


13. Maria Zheleznova article headlined "Reform does not help court" looks at a report by Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, criticizing the Russian judicial system; p 3 (463 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Yevgenia Novikova article headlined "Polish right-wing radicals do not like Kremlin and LGBT" gives details of an incident in Warsaw where Polish nationalists have thrown flares and petrol bombs at the Russian embassy. Author notes that the only stumbling block in Russian-Polish relations seems to be the controversy over the 2010 plane crash that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski; pp 1-2 (692 words).


2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "From politicians to habitual offenders" says Moscow's Basmanny District Court has ordered to seize Alexei Navalny's property as part of a second embezzlement case against him and his brother. It may be a signal to society that the authorities will not tolerate any criticism; pp 1, 3 (943 words).


3. Ivan Rodin article called "Putin makes prosecutors subordinate to himself" says the State Duma has approved a bill that would give the president the sole right to appoint regional prosecutors; p 1 (465 words).


4. Svetlana Gavrilina article headlined "Greenpeace to set up tents in both capitals" reports on the transfer of members of the Arctic Sunrise crew to St. Petersburg's Kresty prison. The local branch of Greenpeace is going to set up information booths and hand out leaflets in the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg to tell people their side of the story; pp 1, 6 (517 words).


5. Yury Simonyan article headlined "Georgian president may be prohibited from going to Olympics" says the Georgian government has started discussing its options regarding the Sochi Olympics. President Giorgi Margvelashvili may go, or the country may only send a delegation made of low-profile officials, or only its athletes to the Games; pp 1, 7 (735 words).


6. Tatyana Ivzhenko and Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Ukraine dares to gas blackmail" looks at the possible underlying reasons of Ukraine's refusal to import Russian gas until at least the end of the year; pp 1, 7 (1,508 words).


7. Editorial headlined "Ukrainian valve found for Russian pipe" says Ukraine's decision to halt gas imports from Russia is actually the declaration of a new gas war that may aggravate Russia's relations with the EU. It is not clear, though, whether Ukraine will be able to sign an association agreement with the EU because the issue of Yulia Tymoshenko's treatment abroad is yet to be settled; p 2 (524 words).


8. Yekaterina Trifonova article headlined "Amendments for holiday" says more ideas as to how to modernize the Russian constitution will be voiced at an event marking the 20th anniversary of its adoption on Nov. 14-15; p 2 (633 words).


9. Vladimir Mukhin op-ed "Carte Blanche: Cam Ranh in exchange for trade union and submarines" says the key result of President Vladimir Putin's visit to Vietnam is an agreement on setting up a support base of the Russian Navy in Cam Ranh; p 3 (773 words).


10. Alexei Gorbachev article called "Europe opens its doors to political refugees" says several people suspected of provoking mass disturbances during the Bolotnaya Square protest in Moscow have been granted asylum in Europe. Many of them traveled there through Ukraine; p 3 (608 words).


11. Igor Naumov article headlined "Square metres in Sochi will be sold in portions" says the Sochi Olympics may be disastrous to the town's property market because prices will collapse if flats in the Olympic village are put up for sale all at the same time; p 4 (573 words).


12. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Foreign investors view Russia as honeypot" reports on the third Russian-European investment forum in Milan; says foreign investors are still attracted to Russia, but among the downsides are a lack of diversification and innovation and low education problems; p 4 (898 words).


13. Savely Vezhin article called "Parties to hold staff contest" says the United Russia party will have to cooperate with other parties and lead an inter-party dialogue precisely because it got a majority of seats in local legislatures in September 2013; p 5 (970 words).


14. Alexander Malyshev article headlined "Impressions from Urals forum fixed in agreements" gives details of business as well as interregional cooperation agreements that were signed at the Russia-Kazakhstan forum in Yekaterinburg on Nov. 14-15; p 6 (564 words).


15. Yury Panyev interview "NATO to deal with Libya again" with an aide to the NATO secretary-general, Thrasivoulos Stamatopoulos, who has come to Moscow to make arrangements for a NATO-Russia Council (NRC) meeting due to take place in early December; p 8 (986 words).


16. Yevgeny Kim article headlined "Vladimir Putin to conduct negotiations in Seoul" looks ahead at Vladimir Putin's visit to South Korea today. He is to conduct negotiations with his Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye; p 8 (623 words).


17. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Breadwinner for Pakistani militants; killer for Americans" looks at the implications of the killing of Nasiruddin Haqqani, the chief financier of the Haqqani militant network; p 8 (462 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Silk and gas" says Russia and Vietnam are to speed up talks on setting up a free trade zone following President Vladimir Putin's visit to Hanoi; p 2 (1,008 words).


2. Vladimir Kuzmin article called "Town building" reports on Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Yaroslavl Region where he chaired a cabinet meeting on single-industry towns; p 3 (694 words).


3. Yulia Krivoshapko article headlined "Bring the bill" says the Customs Union is drafting a new agreement on a coordinated macroeconomic policy that will set inflation, state debt and budget deficit targets for the member states; p 5 (516 words).


4. Fyodor Lukyanov op-ed headlined "Reconciling Iran and America?" says there has been progress in the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program. Russia does not need to fear that its interests will be affected if economic sanctions against Iran are lifted. As a broker in the negotiations, Russia becomes a more influential player in the region and will only benefit from a "reset' in Iran-U.S. relations; p 8 (727 words).


5. A. Rokossovskaya article headlined "Surrounded from three sides" features interview with Russian ambassador to Poland Alexander Alexeyev who comments on nationalists' attack on the Russian embassy in Warsaw; pp 1, 8 (770 words).


Izvestia


1. Svetlana Subbotina report "Foreigners even with expired criminal record not to get to us" says that the foreigners, who have committed serious crimes, will be banned from entering Russia for at least 25 years even if their criminal record has expired; pp 1-2 (600 words).


2. Anastasia Alexeyevskikh report "Heads of state companies face disqualification for silence" says that the Economic Development Ministry has decided to toughen punishment for top managers of state companies who deliberately conceal information about financial problems of their companies; pp 1, 4 (600 words).


3. Alexei Krivoruchek report "MiG-31 aircraft to turn from air into space ones" says that the State Duma committee on defense has held a meeting on the reform of the aerospace defense; pp 1, 3 (650 words).


4. Dmitry Yevstifeyev report "U.S. ballerina accuses management of Bolshoi Theater of extortion" says that after the ballet director of Bolshoi Theater had returned to the theatre, a U.S. ballerina left the theater following a scandal; p 3 (1,000 words).


5. Darya Tsoy et al. report "Warsaw regrets attack of nationalists against embassy" says that Moscow has demanded that Poland officially apologize, repair a damage and punish those guilty of the attack on the Russian embassy in Warsaw; p 7 (700 words).


6. Darya Tsoy report "Syrian opposition intends to oust Bashar Assad in Geneva" says that the Syrian opposition will participate in the Geneva-2 conference and has given up most of the terms it put forward earlier; p 7 (750 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Marina Ozerova report "State Duma begins to amend constitution" says that the "State Duma has debated in the first reading the presidential bill that suggests that nine articles of the constitution be revised; pp 1-2 (750 words).


2. Mikhail Rostovsky report "How Zhirinovsky replays Putin" says that following Putin's criticism, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has repented of his recent anti-Caucasus statements; pp 1, 3 (700 words).


3. Renat Abdullin report "Main enemy of nationalists is incumbent Polish authorities" looks at the attack on the Russian embassy in Warsaw; p 4 (500 words).


4. Oleg Bazak report "Mysterious voyage of Yanukovych" looks at the recent trip of the Ukrainian president to Moscow and at the bilateral gas row; p 4 (500 words).


5. Olga Bozhyeva report "Defense Ministry collects land plots" says that the Defense Ministry intends to divide and rename the infamous holding company Oboronservis; p 4 (400 words).


6. Irina Badmayeva report "Russia's development index is zero" says that according to the Valdai international discussion club, Russia has preserved the negative trend of the domestic political system; p 4 (600 words).


RBC Daily


1. Yevgeny Medvedev article headlined "'Perhaps, our management in the Arctic is not effective enough, but why place the region under the alien control?'" is an interview with Russian polar traveler Viktor Boyarsky. Boyarsky says the recent Greenpeace action against a Russian oil rig seems to be politically motivated, although piracy accusations against the activists make no sense. He also speaks in support of Russia's Arctic programs; p 2 (600 words).


2. Karen Kazaryan op-ed headlined "Increased virtual reality" scrutinizes the Russian government's strategy for the IT development; p 4 (500 words).


Trud


1. Alexander Dmitryev article headlined "Prison does not heal" says the Investigations Committee would like to gain a right to file criminal cases on tax evasion without the involvement of tax authorities. Businesses are against these plans; pp 1, 3 (900 words).


2. Sergei Ruseyev article headlined "Ostap Bender's warning reasonable!" critisizes Ukraine's plans for European integration, saying that the state has hardly assessed possible consequences of an association with the EU; p 2 (500 words).


3. Sergei Frolov article headlined "Polish march, meaningless and stupid" says Polish ambassador Wojciech Zajaczkowski has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry over a nationalist attack on the Russian mission in Warsaw. Russians should show indulgence towards Poland and keep watching Polish movies and visiting the country, the article says; p 2 (300 words).


Novaya Gazeta


1. Semyon Novoprudsky article headlined "Gendarme's department" says the State Duma is discussing a draft law to ban propaganda of separatism. The author says that on practice a law like that could lead to numerous violations; p 7 (400 words).


2. Irek Murtazin article headlined "Not even invited to court" says that a Moscow court has placed properties and accounts of opposition politician Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg Navalny under arrest; p 8 (300 words).


3. Leonid Nikitinsky article headlined "Police 'utopia'" scrutinizes a police reform project suggested by the Civil Initiatives Committee, headed by former Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin; p 10 (900 words).


4. Sergei Kanev article headlined "Krug in need is Krug indeed" analyses the Brother's Circle, an alleged group of Russians blacklisted by the U.S. over supposed financial violations; p 12 (1,400 words).


5. Olga Vasilyeva article headlined "Break through to Bastrykin" says human rights defender Pavel Kulbyakov has got into trouble after sharing his concerns about crime in Russia with the Investigative Committee's leader, Alexander Bastrykin; pp 16-17 (1,200 words).


Noviye Izvestia


1. Veronika Vorontsova article headlined "Mountains of garbage" says that poor environmental conditions in Russia's North Caucasus have adverse effects on the locals' health; pp 1, 5 (800 words).