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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A brief look at the stories making headlines in the Russian-language press

Wednesday, August 16



Segodnya
Kommersant
Vedomosti


Segodnya
www.segodnya.ru

Navy headquarters Tuesday officially announced the beginning of a rescue operation for the Kursk submarine crew. The article details the plans. Also covered in Kommersant, Izvestia, Noviye Izvestia, Vremya Novostei, Vremya MN, Komsomolskaya Pravda and Moskovsky Komsomolets.

An Ekho Moskvy radio telephone opinion poll asked Tuesday: Is it correct that Russia rejects foreign aid to rescue the Kursk submarine crew? 3,611 respondents out of the 4,248 people surveyed answered in the negative and 638 answered in the affirmative.

Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov is quoted as saying "the government is unable to say anything definite about reasons behind the Kursk tragedy ... The situation is non-standard," which means, notes the article, that all possible variants have been tested and dismissed. The article criticizes what it calls the ineptitude of commanding admirals, who may lose their high posts as a result.

The article reports on the Western press' coverage of the plight of the Kursk submarine.

Officials at the Prosecutor General's Office investigating the Aug. 8 blast on Pushkin Square have offered a new version of the developments, and Interior Ministry investigators have made a new Identikit picture of a suspect. The article gives details. Also covered in Kommersant, Vremya MN, Komsomolskaya Pravda and Argumenty i Fakty.

The government is expected in the near future to announce whether it supports changes in legislation allowing Russia to bring in heat-emitting elements extracted from the active zones of foreign nuclear reactors. The article comments on the issue, focusing on three draft bills developed by ministries and departments that are interested in solving this problem.

Dmitry Rogozin, head of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, said Tuesday that Moscow has every ground to apply to the International Arbitration Court for Ukraine's alleged robbery of Russian gas. Experts say that Russia has sustained billions of dollars in losses. The article details this long-standing conflict. Also covered in Kommersant and Noviye Izvestia.

Four-time Olympic champion and entrepreneur Alexander Tikhonov, who is suspected of organizing a plot to murder Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleyev, was moved Tuesday from Lefortovo Prison to a temporary detention prison in Novosibirsk. The article details his case.

Moscow police officers Monday arrested Andrei Sergiyenko, 38, a supposed medical doctor, who tried to treat two Muscovites for drug addiction ? one of them died and the other was hospitalized. The article gives details.

The government has decided to raise export duties on gas and diesel fuels. The corresponding government decree will take effect Sep. 15. The article comments on the decision. Also covered in Vremya Novostei.

After three hour of negotiations Tuesday, the government and a commission on military-industrial issues decided to increase the defense budget. The article comments on Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin's statement on the matter. Also covered in Vremya Novostei, Vremya MN.

The State Duma election campaign is in full swing in Chechnya. The article describes how candidates Akhmad Kadyrov and Beslan Gantamirov are vying for a seat in the lower house of parliament. Also covered in Izvestia, Vremya MN.

President Vladimir Putin has signed a directive approving the creation of the State Council. Putin has recommended that both houses of parliament submit their proposals on its status and composition. The article comments on the issue.

In an interview, Boris Nemtsov, leader of the State Duma Union of Right Forces faction, says there is no need for the State Council. Nemtsov offers his own proposal.

Russia is expected to resume negotiations with the Paris Club of creditors this fall regarding its $42 billion debt. Experts say it will not be easy to come to agreement on restructuring this debt on terms similar to the settlement signed earlier with the London Club. In an interview, executive director of Troika Dialog, Oleg Vyugin, discusses what Russia may expect from the negotiations.

According to reports from the Education Ministry, secondary schools in large cities are short 50,000 teachers. The article comments on the problem.

Two drunk schoolgirls, 14 and 15, allegedly drowned their 18-year-old friend Nadezhda Lopatina in the Yauza River on Monday. The article gives details.



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Kommersant
www.kommersant.ru

Presidential representatives and federal government officials are struggling for power seats in the seven federal districts. Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko last week promised that a government decree would be signed on Aug. 13 to divide duties between presidential and government representatives in the districts, but such a document has not yet surfaced. Instead, another document has been released. The article details the situation and behind the scenes intrigues.

The Moscow city government's statements that it lacks enough money to cover its debts have caused concern among Western creditors. Sergei Pakhomov, head of municipal debt committee Moskomzaim, said Tuesday that the CS First Boston Bank had demanded the city clear a $295 million credit ahead of time. The story features the situation.

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Alexy II, says several Russian Orthodox soldiers and officers killed in Chechnya could be canonized.

Kommersant daily was printed in Chelyabinsk for the first time Tuesday, thus allowing readers in that and other Sverdlovsk regions to get the newspaper the same day.

Azeri President Geidar Aliyev on Tuesday signed several laws to privatize the most profitable enterprises, which was a main condition set forth by international financial institutions for releasing credits to Azerbaijan. The article names several enterprises set to be privatized.

The Moscow city government on Tuesday endorsed a program for boosting city industries from 2001 to 2003. According to the document, industrial enterprises will be removed from the city center and free land will be put up on investment tenders to earn money for the city budget. The article details the program.

British Airways canceled two Concorde flights Tuesday. The planes will not fly until French and British aviation authorities find the reason behind the crash of one of the supersonic jets on July 25 outside Paris.

The re-division of power in the stock market has been completed. The Federal Securities Commission has changed the market management system put into place by the previous team. The commission has allowed its participants to receive licenses bypassing self-regulated organizations. This, the article notes, makes the existence of such stock labor unions as NAUFOR and PARTAD pointless.

Rosneft plans to take its shares of the Sakhalin shelf consortiums from its Sakhalinmorneftergaz daughter enterprise. The article offers some possible negative consequences of this step.

Avtobank intends to expand its branches. In an interview, Irina Kostenko, deputy chief of the bank's affiliated network, speaks about these plans.

IBM specialists have designed a new working model of a quantum computer. The article describes its advantages.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin on Tuesday announced the final deadline for moving the State Customs Committee to the treasury service ? before the end of November. The article comments on the decision.

The article looks at nation power grid Unified Energy Systems' plans to export electricity.

In an interview, Brunswik USB Warburg President Marlen Manasov comments on nation power grid Unified Energy Systems' plans for exporting electricity.



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Vedomosti



World oil prices have been rising for several days. According to reports from Bloomberg, Russian oil in Mediterranean ports Tuesday cost $28.12 per barrel, the highest price since the end of June. Experts, however, see no reasons for a further steady rise.

Tver and Adelino, alcohol distillers in the Ryazan region, have become serious competition for the international distiller Bacardi-Martini, which intends to take them to court. The article details the conflict.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov at a city government session Tuesday expressed his anger at his aid Vladimir Resin, who has allegedly foiled city construction plans.

Political analyst Vitaly Portnikov comments on the Council of Bishops' decision to canonize Tsar Nicholas II and his family.

Will Spylog rating system and PricewaterhouseCoopers' project help increase the attractiveness of Internet advertising? Four experts share their views on the issue.

By the start of the State Duma's autumn session, the government is expected to have prepared amendments to the law on production sharing agreements. The Cabinet is to discuss them at its Aug. 31session. In an interview, head of the group responsible for production sharing agreements and an author of the corresponding law, Mikhail Subbotin, discusses parts of the document that he thinks should be altered.

At its Tuesday session, the Commission on Military-Industrial Policy agreed to raise defense expenditure. The article comments on the commission's decision.

Navy command launched a special operation to rescue 116 sailors from the crippled Kursk submarine Tuesday.

The Kremlin administration is willing to include heads of all 89 provinces in the State Council. The Kremlin has already determined the general principles of its regional pre-election strategy. Gleb Pavlovsky, head of the Effective Policy Fund, provides the details.

U.S. specialists have received remarkable results in experiments that could make it possible to treat many serious mental diseases. The article outlines some of these experiments and their results.

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

The article says that if the Justice Ministry registers the new Federal Securities Commission decree on the procedure of licensing participants in the securities market, the market will radically change.

Mobile TeleSystems users who were abroad between Aug. 12 and Aug. 14 found themselves cut off from their network. The company has blamed two German companies for the problem.

Svyazinvest regional enterprises will use equipment made by Cisco Systems to build long-haul networks for transmitting data. This is outlined in a framework agreement signed by the two companies.

The story features a large-scale project of assembling 20 Il-96 airliners for Aeroflot on credits under the guarantee of U.S. ExIm Bank, which may give over $100 million this week out of the $1.2 billion necessary for the project. The story highlights the project.

The anti-monopoly agencies of Europe and the United States are expected to agree on a deal between Boeing Co. and Hughes Electronics. The U.S. aviation-space giant Boeing intends to buy a satellite production branch from Hughes for $3.75 billion. The companies have had to slightly change the terms of the deal.

The price of methanol, a basic product for the industrial chemical sector, has doubled in the last six months. This has allowed domestic exporter Metafrax to considerably increase its output.

Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Kolotukhin said Russia's ability or inability to make payments on bonds of an internal hard currency loan will be made clear in early September. The MinFin, the article notes, has two options in solving this problem.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin on Tuesday announced a government plan for transferring the State Customs Committee's accounts from commercial banks to the Federal Treasury. The plan is expected to be carried out by the end of November.

The Moscow city government reported Tuesday that Credit Suisse First Boston demanded it clear a $295 million credit, which the bank had released to Moscow two years before the deadline.

The article says authorities prefer to behave as if nothing special is happening in the Kristall vodka distillery, and describes the current conflict at this enterprise.