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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

Wednesday, September 20



The article looks at possible reasons behind oligarch Roman Abramovich's defeat Tuesday in the tender for 85 percent of the state-owned Onako oil company. Yevrotek, representing the interests of the Tyumen Oil Company, won the tender. Also covered in Izvestia, Vremya MN and Vremya Novostei.

When asked in an Ekho Moskvy telephone opinion poll Tuesday: Should State Duma deputies' immunity be entirely abolished, 1,677 — 93 percent — of the 1,803 respondents answered in the affirmative.

The general conclusion of all commentaries made Tuesday on the situation around the Media-MOST holding is that the Kremlin has made another attempt to place independent mass media under its control. The article looks at authorities' response to these developments. Also covered in Kommersant, Izvestia, Noviye Izvestia, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Vremya Novostei and Vremya MN.

A Council of Europe delegation that visited Chechnya said considerable changes have taken place in settling the situation in the republic. The head of the delegation, Lord Judd, refrained from making final recommendations on lifting or prolonging sanctions against Russia. The article comments on the delegation's impressions.

Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov after a Tuesday meeting with President Vladimir Putin, who ordered that the bodies of 118 Kursk crewmen be recovered, launched preparations for the operation. The article comments on the president's decision. Also covered in Kommersant.

The article outlines problems in the creation of the Russia-Belarus Union State, which has reached a deadlock.

In an interview the former speaker of the Supreme Council of Belarus, Stanislav Shushkevich, and former deputy of the Belarussian parliament, Dmitry Bulakhov, share their views on the upcoming presidential elections in Belarus and on the prospects for the Russia-Belarus Union State.

In a short interview LUKoil Vice-President Leonid Fedun assures that there will not be price hikes on the domestic petrol market.

In an interview Sergei Rogov, planning and marketing director of the Central Fuel Company, explains reasons behind the fuel crisis on the Moscow market and proposes measures for stabilizing the situation.

The story tries to answer the question: should the remains of Russian famous people who died abroad be brought to their native land to be reburied there? Three other stories are devoted to the question.

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Forty days have passed since the perish of the Kursk submarine and its 118 crewmen. The article describes difficulties their relatives have run into in receiving donations meant for them. Also covered in Komsomolskaya Pravda and MK.

In an interview Press Minister Milkhail Lesin comments on the Media-MOST-Gazprom relationship.

Alexander Blokhin, minister on federation affairs and national and migration policy, discusses a new migration policy concept that has resulted from the merger of the Nationalities Ministry and the Federal Migration Service.

Several amendments to the second part of the Tax Code that were passed two months ago were submitted to the State Duma on Tuesday. The article highlights the amendments.

The Federal Property Fund on Tuesday summed up results of the investment tender to sell 85 percent of the state-owned Onako oil company. Yevrotek, which belongs to the shareholders of the Tyumen Oil Company, has been declared the winner. The article comments on the results.

Norilsk Nickel on Tuesday made public a detailed program of the company's upcoming reorganization. The article outlines its major provisions.

The Moscow city government approved Tuesday a draft bill on city programs to help boost the efficacy of spending budget means.

An unprecedented incident happened Tuesday in the Hungarian stock exchange: three companies asked to suspend the trading of their shares for three days. Hungarian analysts said that Gazprom's possible attempt to gain control of the Hungarian chemical-gas market could have triggered the move. The article gives details.

The BigBoard advertising agency has spread information on concluding a strategic alliance with AFK Sistema. The article provides comments.

Before President Vladimir Putin's visit to India in October, gas monopoly Gazprom, Zarubezhneftegaz and the Gas Authority of India Ltd. intend to sign a production-sharing agreement on surveying and developing a gas deposit in the east of India. According to preliminary calculations, the investment in the project will amount to $500 million. The article highlights the project.

A commission of the Ministry on Anti-Monopoly Policy and Entrepreneurship on Tuesday discussed a statement by the British-Dutch Unilever concern saying that the St. Petersburg Petroimport company is violating advertising laws. The article looks at the contents of the statement.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday said that the European Central Bank should launch hard currency interventions to support the euro. The article comments on the situation.

Russian caviar and vodka brands are mainly present on the domestic market. In an interview Vladimir Kismereshkin, head of the Advertising Council of Russia, comments on why they are not imported.

The article reports on changes in the domestic market of consumer goods over the ten years of its existence, focusing on domestic producers' policy.

Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi on Tuesday went to the Bolshoi Theater to meet with its ballet troupe. Journalists were not admitted. The article describes the meeting and the issues the minister discussed there.

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The tender to sell 85 percent of the state-owned Onako oil company ended sensationally Tuesday. Despite all expectations, the Tyumen Oil Company, or TNK, which offered over $1 billion for its assets, was the winner. The victory, the story notes, may signify the beginning of long, drawn-out war between TNK and its competitor Sibneft.

Media tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky's advisers Tuesday reported Gusinsky's conditions for agreeing with Gazprom on transferring shares of his media companies in exchange for debts. But Gazprom insists on quite different conditions, and the Prosecutor General's Office is on its side.

The population of Russia will shrink by 52.5 million people in 50 years time, but those remaining will be by 4.5 times wealthier than the people living today. This prognosis has been presented by the Economic Development and Trade Ministry to the Pension Fund.

The government will deal with the problem of natural monopolies. This was stated Tuesday by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov in London when he spoke about the future fate of national power grid UES, oil monopoly Gazprom and the Railways Ministry. Kasyanov stressed the problem is rather delicate, since the situation in these spheres holds back reforms.

The government ordered that the Finance Ministry this year allocate funds for metro construction from fines levied by the Tax Ministry on other agencies.

In light of the developments around media tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky and his holdings, Political analyst Vitaly Portnikov comments on President Vladimir Putin's recent participation in the opening ceremony of the Jewish Community Center.

Will media tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky manage to preserve his media assets? Six experts share their views on the issue.

Boeing Co. has launched summer tests of its fifth generation fighter plane. The article describes the airplane.

The government is seeking new ways of convincing the State Duma to pass the draft budget for 2001 in the first reading without revising its basic parameters. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin met Tuesday with Unity leader Boris Gryzlov to discuss the problem. The article highlight decisions they made on the fate of the draft budget.

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

The Norilsk Nickel leadership explained its global restructuring plan Tuesday to numerous representatives of the company's shareholders. The article outlines the four-stage project.

The Dutch ING Group, which has been actively buying Russian enterprises through the fund of the managing Baring Vostok Capital Partners company, intends to invest in Russia $200 million to $250 million in the next 3 years.

The Ministry on Anti-Monopoly Policy on Tuesday prevented thousands of companies working on the domestic consumer market from making huge expenditures. The ministry instructed Gosstandart that it cancel its order that companies buy imported holographic labels as protective signs.

Transneft has sent to the Federal Energy Commission a request to revise oil transportation tariffs for several main pipelines due to lack of means for ensuring the company's normal work.

The board of directors of the Ural chemical machine-building plant, Uralkhimmash, has scheduled an extraordinary shareholders' meeting for Nov. 2 to elect a new board of directors.

The Central Bank intends to protest a Moscow Arbitration Court judgement that declared the CB's order to call off a license from Promstroibank illegal.

The petrol crisis has hit St. Petersburg and is rapidly spreading to the south. The article gives facts and figures to illustrate the point.

Federal Security Service officers on Tuesday conducted a search in the offices of the East-Line aviation company, a leading domestic cargo transporter. The story describes its aims, results and conclusions.

The Siberian Aluminum Group, or Sibal, is continuing to master new spheres of business. Thus its Soyuzmetallresurs company has bought the Zhirekensk GOK and is now in control of a big part molybdenum concentrate production in Russia.

A draft bill on providing electronic financial services has been submitted to the State Duma. The article reports bankers' opinion of the bill.