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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

Izvestia
Kommersant
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Moskovsky Komsomolets
Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Komomolskaya Pravda
Noviye Izvestia
Argumenty i Fakty


Izvestia
www.izvestia.ru

The author argues that large Russian metallurgy plants should merge in order to make them more competitive, especially after Russia enters the WTO. The merger of two ferrous giants - Magnitogorsk metallurgic combine and Cherepovets Severstal are discussed.

Richard Pearl, the US Defense Council chairman, made a presentation of the Russian translation of his book "Hardline" (Tvyordaya Liniya). The book provides an explanation as to why the 1972 ABM Treaty has become insignificant. In his interview to the daily, Richard Pearl explains his position on modern world security.

The thunderstorms and violent winds that attacked Moscow on Tuesday killed three people and injured over 50. Several railroads and railroad stations in the Moscow region went out of operation, due to problems with electricity. Also covered in Kommersant

The Ministry for Natural Resources held a meeting Tuesday on the illegal procurement of timber, at which several officials from other ministries were present. While the environmental organization Greenpeace argues that 20 percent of the total timber in the country is being obtained illegally, the Ministry quoted the figure at 4 percent.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Federal and National Immigration Affairs Minister Aleksander Blokhin spoke about a new policy on immigration. He said that the country's population is decreasing at the rate of some 700,000 people every year. Therefore Russia is prepared to invite all Russian-speaking citizens of CIS states and the Baltic countries to settle in Russia. The Minister estimated the figure of potential immigrants to Russia at 20 million people. Also covered in Kommersant

Emergencies Minister Sergey Shoigu flew to Lensk Monday to inspect the city's restoration after the May flood. Shoigu will visit construction sites of residential houses, the school and hospital, transportation infrastructure and electric power stations, as well as the river port.

The European Court in Strasbourg has declined two suits from French holders of Czarist bonds to the French government. The creditors have accused the state of being sympathetic to Russia.

Three Slavic states presidents — Russian, Belarussian and Ukrainian will meet today at the Slavic Bazaar fest in Vitebsk. The meeting is of great significance for Belarussian leader Lukashenko, because it helps his chances for reelection in September. Also covered in Kommersant

The Railways Ministry presented a bill to the government that cancels the existing provision about mandatory insurance of passengers. This might have been connected with the Anti-Monopoly Ministry's lawsuit against the Railways Insurance company which was filed last month.

On August 8th and 9th, the first round of official consultations between Russia and the US about the 1972 ABM Defense treaty revision will begin. Unofficial talks on the issue probably began last spring, according to the author. The group of Russian experts will be headed by Defense Ministry operational department head Yury Baluyevskii. He is believed to be a probable candidate for the post of Feneral Headquarters chief.

US Presidential adviser on national security Condollezza Rice arrives in Moscow Wednesday. She will meet with Security Council secretary Vladimir Rushailo, with DM Igor Ivanov and, possibly, with President Vladimir Putin. Also covered in Kommersant

The upcoming runoff in the Nizhnii Novgorod gubernatorial election is going to be an open fight between two major parties - Unity, supporting incumbent Sklyarov, and KPRF, backing Khodyrev. The latter has already declared his loyalty to the Primakov-Maslyukov's coalition.



US Finance Minister Paul O'Neill and Trade Minister Donald Evans arrive in Moscow Wednesday. On Friday, O'Neil will go to Nizhnii Novgorod, where the administration hopes to attract world-renowned American agricultural machinery producer, John Deere Corp. as a potential investor.

Federal Tax Police Service (FSNP) Director Mikhail Fradkov held a meeting with heads of other law enforcement bodies of the North-Western federal region yesterday. It was communicated that Fradkov will appoint seven deputies who will be responsible for each federal region. Alexander Nefyodov was appointed to the post of the FSNP deputy director for the North-Western region.

At a press conference on Tuesday an Aeroflot safety official announced that his company's safety council has decided to replace old Il-76 freighters by western DC-10s sometime in the near future. Also covered in Kommersant

Work on two construction sites of Gazprom's gas pipeline project "Blue Flow" has been suspended by order of the Independent Environmental service in the Northern Caucasus. Ecologists say that construction started without state environmental officials present.

Grain yields are expected to be high this year, according to the Agricultural Ministry's forecasts - 20 millon tons of wheat are expected as compared to last year's 18 million tons. America would have been happy to resume grain export to Russia this year, but that is unlikely to occur.

Azeri premier Artur Rasi-zade turned in a note to the Iranian ambassador saying that the Iranian Navy threatened to force an Azeri research ship to leave its place of work. The ship was reported to have been conducting geological prospecting in the Azeri zone of the Caspian Sea.

The main conveyor at the Ilyanovsk car plant was stopped yesterday, due to problems with electric energy supply in the region.



Kommersant
www.kommersant.ru

The story reports details of the death of Chechen field commander Tsagaroyev. Investigators are still working in Grozny, because the military could not believe rumors that the militant was shot dead by a 15-year-old boy.

At his Finnish visit that has started Tuesday, premier Kasyanov listened to an opera performance in Savonlina. He is also planning to go fishing. The talks between Kasyanov and his Finnish counterpart are not expected to be easy, though, because the government heads will be addressing the low level of Finnish investment in Russia and Russian debts.

Former Bulgarian Czar Simeon II was elected the premier of the country by the Bulgarian parliament.

The air carrier Vladivostok-Avia, whose Tu-154M liner crushed near Irkutsk on July 3rd, will pay compensations to the relatives of the 136 passengers who were killed in the crash, rather than endure a court trial on their lawsuits. The victims' relatives want $20 thousand each, but the company thinks this is too much.

The Supreme Court of Spanish province Andalusia passed a judgement rejecting the Russian Prosecutor General's efforts to obtain confidential information about Vladimir Gusinsky's property in Spain.

The daily interviewed the newly appointed Norilsk Nickel General director. He was asked about his reasons to change a career in banking to industrial manager. Prokhorov said that his objective is to transform the plant into a large multinational corporation.

Transneft won its lawsuit against the Anti-Monopoly Ministry. From now on, the state oil pipeline transportation monopoly will have the right to set different conditions for oil transportation with different companies.

A boom of supermarket and hypermarket construction has started this year. Both Russian and foreign investors bring capital to numerous projects. The story analyses major chains in Moscow and gives statistics. Up to 70 hypermarkets are expected to open in the capital within two to three years. Interviews of two companies' top-managers — Sedmoi Kontinent and Spar retail — are published, in which their choices of strategies in retail trade is addressed.

Several Soviet-era motivation symbols including Honor boards and socialist competition were revived in Saratov four years ago. Labor Minister Pochinok was pleased to hear about this, when he spoke about labor motivation in the city.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta
www.ng.ru

VGTRK head Oleg Dobrodeyev may be appointed the head of the Commission on Pardons of the President of Russia, replacing writer Anatoly Pristavkin — rumors say. The Commission was established in 1992 and included important public and culture figures. Numbers of pardoned criminals were very high (many thousands) every year, which was hardly justified. Thus, the necessity to bring order into the process of pardoning has become obvious.

An official of the Emergency Situations Ministry has told the newspaper that two thirds of the Russian planes should be written off. He also gave the Ministry's forecast for the future in Russia, according to which we will get 430-440 technology-related catastrophes this year.

Tonight the annual competition Miss Moscow 2001 will take place in the Orlyonok hotel concert hall. Unlike previous competitions, it will take the form of a theater performance.

General director of Cosmotrans agency, that was created by Russian and Ukrainian governments four years ago, told the newspaper about the commercial prospects of the RS-20 ballistic missiles that may be used to bring various cargoes to space circle and high elliptical orbits. According to the SALT, 308 Rs-20 missiles should be destroyed.

Itera holding President Valery Ogurtsov believes that the natural gas market is not yet ripe for liberalization. Itera is the daughter company of Gazprom and is responsible for export operations to Ukraine and other CIS countries. In his interview, Mr. Ogurtsov said that the monopoly of Gazprom should be preserved and that Itera does not have access to the western markets.

The daily interviewed Belarussian Ambassador in Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania Mikhail Marinich, who is a candidate for presidency at the September election in Belarus. Commenting on the political situation in the republic, Marinich said that its international isolation is not a consequence of the country's union with Russia, but a result of Alexander Lukashenko's politics. He also said that Lukashenko must provide evidence that he was not privy with abductions of people in Belarus.

Moskovsky Komsomolets
www.mk.ru

Large-scale illegal production of chicken products from rotten meat was uncovered this week by the Moscow Department on economic crimes (UBEP). The works were located in the basement of a residential house in Menzhinsky street. The entrepreneur and his workers were detained.

An avalanche of falsified letters from the Prosecutor General's office, written in support of several businessmen have come to city courts. The letters were typed on original prosecutor's office blanks. A criminal case was initiated on manufacturing false documents charges.

Pakistan passenger liner, going from Karachi to Manchester was forced to land in Sheremetyevo airport by Russian MiG 29 fighter Tuesday afternoon.

Report about high crime rate among students of Zhukovsky's Aviation Academy VATU. Director of VATU, cosmonaut Vladimir Kovalyonok is responsible for general negligence and misappropriation of funds in the famous military school.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta
www.rg.ru

Prosecutor General's filed a lawsuit on gems smuggling at the Presnensky Court in Moscow. The Interior Ministry Investigation Committee has established that Alexey Vlasov, Olimpia Amros CEO, has smuggled 14 consignments of diamonds abroad, worth 2 million 750 thousand US dollars. Vlasov is also charged with illegal deals with diamonds, worth $2.5 million and with forging official documents.

Officials of the Health Care Ministry describe the new order, by which tax reductions can be made for the money spent on health care. The maximum of 25 thousand rubles was established for this deduction by the law.

Director of the Institute on the national pattern of economics Vitaly Naishul commented on the debates about globalization of the economy that are active in the Russian society. He was critical on the position of the Russian Orthodox Church in this respect, accusing the church in pro-Communist thinking.

The series of suicides by teenagers in a small city of the Nizhnii Novgorod region are being investigated as one case. Five boys and one girl, aged between 12 and 15 committed suicides in different ways on July15. Kstovo militia officers blame computer games, which all victims were fond of, in their tragic decisions.

The Government issues a new resolution: "Main directions of the reforms in the electric power system of the Russian Federation."

The Government issues a new resolution: resolution on the rules of restructuring corporate debts to the federal budget for fines and penalties and for delayed return of federal credits.

The Health Ministry had issued an order regulating selecting and directing of patients to health resorts and sanatoriums.

Komomolskaya Pravda
www.kp.ru

The newspaper publishes a story about campaigning in the Irkutsk region, where incumbent Governor Govorin fronted a proposal to conduct 2010 Winter Olympics in the city. His opponents are calling potential voters at 3 a.m. urging them to vote for Govorov. Various PR companies from Moscow work for the majority of regional candidates.

The story examines thefts in airports and includes statistics, according to which 2,640 complaints about stolen baggage were filed by Russian carriers and six thousand complaints — by foreign companies in Moscow Sheremetyevo. (Moskva supplement)

Noviye Izvestia

The author researches who and why arranges visits of aging opera stars to Russia. He concludes that a tour of opera diva who gives one recital in Moscow and one in St. Petersburg cannot bring profits to producers who arrange them (the honoraria of Placido Domingo for his Moscow recital is quoted at $350,000). Thus, concerts are arranged for advertising of their sponsors.

Argumenty i Fakty
www.aif.ru

President Yeltsin had planned to spend this week in a Volga sanatorium "Volzhskii Utyos", but suddenly decided against this. Instead, Yeltsin's family is going to spend a vacation in France, where they were invited by President Chirac. Most likely, Boris and Naina Yeltsins will go in early August, accompanied by their daughter Tatiana Diachenko.

At his meeting with journalists, an FSB officer and director of the Institute for Economic Security issues Ovchenko spoke about economic and political reforms project that is allegedly being developed in the Kremlin. He said that the role of FSB would greatly increase and that the outcome of "Yeltsin's" privatization would be reconsidered. Major state services, such as the Customs and the Central Bank would be passed under control of FSB to prevent capital fled. He also communicated that premier Kasyanov is to be dismissed by the end of the year.

The daily interviewed Oleg Gordiyevskii, a double agent who defected to Britain in early 80-s, who commented on the present-day intelligence. He said that Russia now holds little interest to Western special services. Answering the question on the best-kept KGB secret, Gordiyevsky said that there are underground transportation systems and whole cities that KGB built.