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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

Izvestia
Kommersant
Vedomosti
Noviye Izvestia
Komomolskaya Pravda
Argumenty i Fakty
Krasnaya Zvezda
Moskovsky Komsomolets


Izvestia
www.izvestia.ru

The Civil Forum, to be attended by 4,000 representatives from public organizations, will open in Moscow today. Its major result is expected to be a new public treaty.

A commission from the Inter-State Aviation Committee on Tuesday launched an investigation into reasons behind the crash of the Il-18 turbo-prop plane of the IRS-Aero aviation company. A terrorist act has not been ruled out.

The Cabinet is expected to revise its economic development forecast for next year. Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin, after a meeting of the financial G-20 in Ottawa has changed his optimistic view on the budget for 2002.

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday visited the Zapolyarnoye gas deposit in Novy Urengoi, where he held a meeting with local gas managers to discuss serious problems in the gas sector.

The Russian Museum in St. Petersburg has put up a new permanent display titled "Russian Art of the 20th Century." Museum Director Vladimir Gusev describes the contents of the display and discusses his plans to expand the museum.

In an interview Georgian Parliament Speaker Nino Burdzhanadze discusses Georgia-Russia relations.

Svetlana Goryacheva, head of the State Duma Committee on Women's, Family and Youth Affairs, spoke Tuesday about a system being drafted with the aim of making adoption procedures easier. A law concerning the creation of a databank of records of children up for adoption was passed by the State Duma and signed by the president this spring.

NATO Secretary-General George Robertson is expected today to arrive in Russia to meet with its leadership to discuss new forms of NATO-Russia cooperation, coordinated actions within the framework of the anti-terrorist operation and joint peacekeeping projects. The story details itinerary of his 3-day visit.

A working group in the State Council Presidium stated Tuesday that the model for boosting small- and medium-size businesses that was drafted recently will not work. The group will submit to the State Council a new variant in early December. The story examines drawbacks in the first draft.

The State Duma on Tuesday devoted its parliamentary hearings to a discussion of two alternative draft bills concerning the Constitutional Assembly. The story examines the two documents.

Russian jewelry producers Tuesday sent a letter to the Kremlin administration with a complaint about an alarming situation in this economic sector. The story reveals the essence of their complaint and focuses on their requests for the president.

The story examines a serious problem connected with exports of so-called "round" timber ? a strategic raw material for making pulp, paper and saw timber ? that remains unsolved at a government level.

Unified Energy Systems on Tuesday sent its proposals on forming energy companies to the Economic Development Ministry; the head of the Kremlin administration Alexander Voloshin, who is also chairman of the UES board of directors; and the representative of UES minority shareholders, David Hern.

The Inkombank Creditors Committee on Tuesday decided to sell a controlling stake (51.06 percent) of the Babayevsky confectioner's concern at an auction. The starting price is $23.86 million. Leading world foodstuff concerns are among its potential buyers.

In an interview, Deputy Chairman of UES management Andrei Rappoport ? who is expected to take up the post of head of the Federal Grid Company, one of the most profit-making affiliates of the UES reformed energy holding ? talks about his investment draft projects for the company and about his future plans.

Five financiers and economists answer the following questions: What will happen to oil prices next year? Will domestic oil companies cut or increase oil extraction?

The story examines a new system of taxation and the first results of tax reform in the domestic oil sector.

The presidential Main Control Board that last week inspected the performance of departments responsible for the domestic mineral wealth, found serious flaws in the departments. In an interview, Vladimir Litvinenko, Rector of the St. Petersburg Mining Institute, examines the reasons behind bad tendencies in the minerals and raw materials complex.

A story profiles Severnaya Neft, an independent oil company, which was founded in 1994 and by 1999 had already became a profit- enterprise.

Kommersant
www.kommersant.ru

The story analyzes the Central Bank's current policy on the financial market, concluding that the CB today is likely to concentrate on replenishing its gold currency reserves rather than on maintaining the stable rate of the national currency.

A political crisis has hit Kazakhstan: Prime Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev demanded that President Nursultan Nazarbayev sack several of his Cabinet ministers. The story gives details.

Yakutia's president, Mikhail Nikolayev, will withdraw his candidacy from the presidential elections, scheduled for Dec. 23, after the latest Supreme Court's decision. The story describes the election campaign in the republic.

Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko on Tuesday contacted regional governors to see what measures they will take to provide their populations with electricity and heating this winter. As it has turned out, it will be costlier than ever to provide such services ? almost 30 billion rubles from the federal budget.

World oil prices on Tuesday increased slightly. The story gives figures. Also, the Norwegian energy and oil extraction minister has called on Russia to cut its oil exports by 200,000 barrels.

Sberbank head Andrei Kazmin and Communications Minister Leonid Reiman at a news conference Tuesday presented a new program mapped out jointly by the bank and the ministry.

Allyans Group head Musa Bazhayev and Shell Global Solutions representative Duncan White on Tuesday signed protocol on cooperation in renovating and developing the Khabarovsk and Kherson oil refineries.

The Magnitogorsk Metals Combine has initiated a Kuzbassugol shareholders extraordinary meeting for Dec. 20, which, the story concludes, means the beginning of a large-scale shareholders war in the coal enterprise that may result in its bankruptcy.

Severstal on Tuesday announced its intention to increase the volume of its sea transport. The story explains the reason behind the company's decision.

Renaissance Bank on Tuesday cleared off the Central Bank's stabilization credit. Now Avtobank alone remains a CB debtor. The story looks at CB former debtors that have managed to clear off their stabilization credits.

Gokhran on Nov. 28 plans to sell 388 large diamonds to the tune of $8 million at a second open auction, the Gokhran Auction Commission reported.

Have the new chemical substances used by Moscow city cleaners this winter to remove ice from the roads improved the situation in the city? The story gives facts to answer this question.

Human-rights activists Tuesday in the Andrei Sakharov Museum and Public Center in Moscow continued their campaign in support of their own plan to stop the war in Chechnya.

The Ukrainian authorities have canceled propiska on the territory of the republic. The story comments on the measure.

Vedomosti
www.vedomosti.ru

While domestic economists warn about difficult times for Russia, international organizations look optimistically at its future. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development on Tuesday made public its optimistic forecast.

The dollar reached more than 30 rubles at Moscow currency shops for the first time Tuesday. Experts say that the dollar-ruble rate will be 30.5 ruble/$ by the end of the year. This will allow oil companies and the domestic economy to compensate losses due to lowering oil prices.

The U.S. Justice Department announced Monday that criminal proceedings had been instituted in New York against a Russian, Andrei Kudashev, on charges of laundering money and swindling. The story says the United States thinks Kudashev is on the run from the law. In Russia he heads Mosoblgaz and does not hide himself from anyone.

According to the State Statistics Committee, the total wage arrears in October increased by 1.5 percent and as of Nov. 1 amounted to 34.67 billion rubles.

Political analyst Vitaly Portnikov comments on NATO Secretary-General George Robertson's visit, which begins today. He is expected to discuss the possibility of Russia's accession to NATO.

Sibur has been unable to dispel market's doubts that the company is in a position to find 2 billion rubles to buy out its own bonds ahead of time. Six experts share their viewpoints on the issue.

The Central Bank was the main culprit in the dollar rate overcoming the psychologically significant 30-ruble mark Tuesday. A constitutional task of the bank is to maintain a stable ruble-exchange rate. The story analyses the CB's current policy.

Mikhail Delyagin, director of the Globalization Problems Institute, discusses the basis of Russia's anti-monopoly policy, which is very important today.

If the leaders of four centrist factions in the State Duma back the plan of Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin to save the budget from decreasing oil prices, they will be able to distribute, as they prefer, about 7 billion rubles on investment programs. Opposition factions that do not take part in the budget bargain called this "bribery at the state level."

In an interview, Kontinental head Nikolai Markov talks about the program aimed at boosting the new timber-processing holding in Ust Ilim.

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

Bewildered Muscovites saw beer- and cigarette-advertising boards with the word "Illegal" written on them along city streets Tuesday. This act, unprecedented for the market, is a result of an ongoing conflict between two advertising agencies.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has found a new source of financing city mortgage programs ? he has proposed to use money from the Federal Pension Fund, which today holds 30 billion rubles. Though Luzhkov has already discussed the scheme with Pension Fund head Mikhail Zurabov, there is no legal ground for it.

Sberbank announced Tuesday its willingness to double credits to the population. The bank announced the launch of a new program for consumer crediting called "Narodny Telefon" (People's Telephone).

Two more large oil exporters ? Norway and Mexico ? supported Tuesday the ultimatum that OPEC had given Russia. Their representatives stated that they were willing to cut their oil exports by 6.5 percent, as was proposed by OPEC, only if Russian oil companies follow their example.

Businessman Yury Gorozhaninov has become vice president of KamAZ and general director of the KamAZ Commercial-Financial company.

GAZ head Nikolai Pugin in Nizhny Novgorod on Tuesday stated that his enterprise is in talks with FIAT, Renault, Peugeot and Ford on jointly designing and assembling a new auto. The story reveals Pugin's plans.

Beginning today, the Russian Federal Property Fund has been accepting applications to participate in an auction to sell a state package of stock in the Eastern Oil Company. Its starting price is $225 million.

The Lithuanian government has announced the conditions of the first stage of privatization of the Lietuvos Dujos gas company. The winner of the trade will get the right to manage the Lithuanian company.

The Finance Ministry for the first time independently decided to give up one of its functions ? the ministry no longer wants to issue licenses and control roughly 300 insurance companies dealing with medical insurance. In the ministry's opinion, they are not in the insurance business.

Noviye Izvestia

An official in the Interior Ministry's criminal police service says there are more than 100 criminal communities operating in Russia today. A brief looks into the claims.

Authorities in Belarus have banned a theatrical production based on a play by Belarussian poet Yanka Kupala, whose works have been deemed "offensive." The story examines how the theater administration explained the ban.

A feature examines the Elektrotekhnika enterprise, where all 840 employees are blind. Yekaterina Yevdokimova, head of the marketing service explains how authorities are cutting social benefits for such workers.

Komomolskaya Pravda
www.kp.ru

The publishers of the Russian Political Encyclopedia have unveiled a new reference tool dedicated to the history of Russian Freemasonry. In an interview, Andrei Serkov, an export on the Free Masons, talks about their history from the 18th century until the present day.

The House on the Embankment, initially designed for government families, celebrates its 70th birthday this year. In an interview, a former tenant, Tamara Ter-Yegizaryan, 93, reminisces about her prominent neighbors, who gradually disappeared after midnight visits from Stalin's secret police.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Vladimir Loginov talks about the successful campaign to restore trademark rights to famous Russian vodka brands Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya.

President Vladimir Putin during his recent visit to Dushanbe met with 13-year-old Ahmad , son of the late Afghan leader Ahmad Massoud. In an interview, the boy talks about that meeting and his life in Tajikistan.



Argumenty i Fakty
www.aif.ru

In an interview, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin assesses the current state of Russian-Ukrainian relations, focusing on Russia's national interests in this state and on Russian companies' participation in privatizing Ukrainian enterprises.

A story looks at the make-up of President Vladimir Putin's two top power teams, the men who occupy key government posts and the behind-the-scenes soldiers who shape his economic policy.

Krasnaya Zvezda

In an interview, Lieutenant General Nikolai Garidov talks about his unit's operations in the Chechnya.

Moskovsky Komsomolets
www.mk.ru

A draft code governing the behavior of state employees was submitted to the State Duma. Several lawmakers share their views on the document.

General Gennady Troshev, commander of the North Caucasian Military District and several politicians shares his impressions about recent meetings between Russian and Chechen officials.

Nikolai Kharitonov, leader of the Agro-Industrial Group in the State Duma, Tuesday accused the government of bribing Duma deputies to vote their way on the 2002 budget.

Despite a drastic fall of world oil prices, the government is likely to delay revising the 2002 budget, according to Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko. The story looks into his statement.

Moscow's regional government will from Jan. 1 double reality taxes on dachas, apartments and other structures in the region. The story comments on this decision.

Does Russia need the WTO? What will it gain from membership? State Duma Deputy Konstantin Remchukov answers these and other economic questions.

The Eighth Week of High Fashion was expected to open in Moscow today . The story features its program and participants.