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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Press Review

Izvestia
Kommersant
Vedomosti
Vedomosti. Companies and Markets
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Komsomolskaya Pravda
Moskovsky Komsomolets
Argumenty i Fakty


Izvestia
www.izvestia.ru

The collision of Bashkirian Airlines Tu-154 with a DHL Boeing-757 cargo plane late Monday night resulted in 71 deaths. 52 passengers on the flight from Moscow to Barcelona were children, whose parents are officials and executives in Bashkortostan. A story describes the catastrophe and speculates on several reasons for the tragedy. (1,3, Kommersant 1,4, Gazeta 1, Vremya Novostey 1,2, MK 1, Komsomolskaya Pravda 1-5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta 1,2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta 1,7)

On Tuesday a Russian delegation including Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov participated in a presentation in Paris, which promoted the Russian capital candidacy to host the World Expo in 2010. (1,2, Kommersant 2, Gazeta 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta 1,7)

On Tuesday Pentagon officials tried to justify the actions of the American pilots who bombed a wedding gathering in Afghanistan by saying that the tragedy was "a mere incident." The U.S. Defense Ministry said that bombers were attacking an enemy target, and that only one bomb could have fallen in a wrong place. A military expert in Washington told Izvestia that the pilots of a B-52 bomber will be acquitted, whatever mistakes the have made. (1, Kommersant 5, Vremya Novostey 4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta 6)

An Izvestia correspondent visiting Afghanistan describes his conversations with locals regarding the Afghan experience in the past decades and their attitudes towards mujaheddins, Americans and Russians. (1,6)

A press conference was held yesterday concerning the case of disqualified Russian skiers Larisa Lazutina and Olga Danilova. The International Olympic Committee has accused the two skiers of doping. It was said that Russian sports officials did not provide adequate support to sportswomen in their standoff with the IOC. (2)

At a press conference Tuesday, Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref announced that his Ministry will submit a medium-term forecast for economic development by July 16. Gref's ministry was earlier accused of incompetence, because it changed economic growth predictions on the basis of political conjuncture. (2, Kommersant 10)

On Tuesday evening Yury Sukhanov, who was elected president of Slavneft in May, finally took control over the oil company after a long and controversial struggle with former Slavneft President Mikhail Gutseriyev. Izvestia attributed Sukhanov's victory to the involvement of top government officials' in the conflict. (2, Kommersant 11, Vremya Novostey 1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta 3)

On Wednesday Musorgsky's opera "Boris Godunov" will be performed by the Bolshoi Theater musicians with Alexander Vedernikov as the conductor outdoors near the Svyatogor Monastery where Pushkin was buried. (2)

ORT television has won a competition put together by the Promax International Association for the screen design of its news programs. Though none of the nominees was awarded gold, the Russian channel did manage to win the silver medal, while BBC and CNN shared the bronze. (3)

On Tuesday Vladimir Putin met with representatives of the Russian Agrarian Movement led by Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Gordeyev. The organization voiced its concern about Russia's future accession to the World Trade Organization, financial problems of agricultural businesses and the necessity to set up an efficient insurance system for the industry. (4, Kommersant 2, Vremya Novostey 1, Rossiiskaya Gazeta 1,3)

At a press conference on Tuesday, the United Russia party praised the great success of the centrist movement in Russia, adding that they hope to get 164 of the 225 single-mandate places at the next Duma. United Russia also predicted that they would win 30 percent of votes during the next election. (4, Kommersant 2, Gazeta 4)

On Tuesday a judge postponed the verdict in the trial of Yury Budanov, saying the case must be further considered and that the suspect must undergo a third psychiatric evaluation. (4, Kommersant 3, Gazeta1, 3, Vremya Novostey 3)

A NATO-created center opened Monday in Moscow. The chief aim of the center is to address the social problems now facing retired Russian military personnel, such as employment, housing and pensions. (4)

On Tuesday the British Embassy unveiled a new Russian-language journal about life in Great Britain to the Russian public. The title, "MOBI," is an acronym meaning "Small Islands - Big Ideas." (4)

The euro has now become more expensive to buy at Moscow currency exchanges than the U.S. dollar. The structure of inter-bank exchange has also changed in favor of euro, which now amounts to roughly 50 percent of the whole currency trade. (5, Gazeta 7)

Expert RA agency introduced its rating of corporate bonds, which are becoming more and more popular in the financial market. Today the daily turnover of such bonds exceeds $150 million, being much sought after by Western brokers. (5)

Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref announced that the starting price for a 6 percent package in LUKoil the state intends to sell is set at $660 million. (5)

Kommersant
www.kommersant.ru

The St. Petersburg Prosecutor's office have filed a lawsuit against top managers of Severnaya Verf (Northern Shipyard). The managers have been charged with misappropriation of funds. The case is related to construction of two destroyers for China, which Severnaya Verf was contracted to build earlier this year. (1,11)

TVS TV channel reported the dismissal of the editor-in-chief of the Nyarana Vynder newspaper in the city of Naryan Mar. The paper, controlled by the regional administration, was active in bringing to light criminal lawsuits against Nenetsky Governor Butov. (1)

Primorye Governor Alexander Darkin dismissed his own first deputy Alexander Linetsky on account of Linetsky's inability to accomplish two major tasks: To do away with Vladivostok Mayor Yury Kopylov and to make Vladivostok, not Khabarovsk, the capital of the Far-Eastern federal district, a long-cherished idea of Darkin. (3)

On Tuesday the Moscow city government passed a bill making the city responsible for the safety of Muscovites in the event of a nuclear disaster. There are some 2000 enterprises in Moscow that use radioactive materials, while the disposal of nuclear waste remains a serious problem. (3, Gazeta 3)

The case of Alfred Kokh, a former minister and the President of Montes Auri investment fund was closed Tuesday in a Vyborg court. Kokh was found to be illegally elected to the Federation Council as a representative of the Leningrad region. The hearings were actually suspended after Kokh left his post on his own accord on April 23. (3)

Tursuntay Salimov was detained in Bishkek on Tuesday. Salimov is a suspect in the murder of Chinese diplomat Wan Jianping, the Chinese embassy's first secretary, who was shot dead on Saturday together with his driver Omar Nurmukhamed. According to the investigation, the driver, who was of Chinese Uighur nationality, was the real target of the assassination. Nurmukhamed had large business interests in Bishkek, in which the Chinese diplomat allegedly also had some interest. (7)

On July 1, Severstal, Magnitogorsk and Novolipetsk metallurgic combines raised their prices from four to 15 percent, which threatens profitability of the car-making, shipbuilding and pipe-making industries. The plants deny any cartel agreement, but the Anti-monopoly Ministry has already started an investigation. (9)

An international conference arranged by the EU Tacis program and devoted to small and medium-sized business in Russia was held Tuesday in the Marriott-Tverskaya. It appears that Tacis experts may know much more about Russian small business than the government. According to Tacis, the estimated share of the working population involved in small business is 40 percent, while the Ministry of Industry claims that it stands at 12 percent. (9, Nezavisimaya Gazeta 3)

The head of the World Bank's social programs section Mansura Rashid held a presentation on Tuesday devoted to the labor market in Russia. According to the World Bank's findings, Russia is a country with transitional economy, because its labor productivity is low, and the main employer is still the state. Rashid also said that the Labor Ministry and the Finance Ministry have not been efficient in providing new labor relations in Russia. (10, Vremya Novostey 2)

Licenses on 12 plots land in the Perm region that are to be prospected for diamonds will be put on tender in one month. So far, Russian oligarch living in Israel Lev Leavayev and Perm businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev voiced their interests in geological prospecting. This may create competition with Alrosa, which controls all Yakutia diamonds. (10)

On Tuesday the press services of Rosenergoatom and of RAO UES announced simultaneously that the two company heads, Oleg Sarayev and Anatoly Chubais, have signed an agreement that changes the energy export system. After a long fight, the nuclear power industry finally got its share in energy exports. (11)

Vedomosti
www.vedomosti.ru

Shocks were sent through financial markets Tuesday on news that French media giant Vivendi Universal, the world's third largest media company, tried to inflate 2001 net profits by 1.5 billion euros. The news undermined the recent growth of the single European currency when it became apparent that European companies are also not immune to accountancy problems. (A1)

The Taxes Ministry's new interpretation of the Tax Code may cause problems for Russian companies that received credits in foreign currencies. In the near future, the Supreme Arbitration Court will consider an appeal made by the Baltic Leasing company regarding this problem. (A1)

According to Audit Chamber head Sergey Stepashin, dividends from state-owned packages of stock could amount to not less than 12 billion rubles for 2002. However, the Audit Chamber stated that only 600 out of 4400 such enterprises paid dividends in 2001. (Brief, A1)

Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref announced yesterday that within half a year a mechanism will be created to insure Russian exporters against compensation claims on charges of state subsidizing. (Brief, A1)

Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in Kiev on Monday concerning the transit of Russian natural gas through Ukraine. In contrast to previous expectations, Russia did not stipulate the privatization of Ukrainian pipelines, and Ukraine has reduced its claim for independent export by a half. According to the agreement, Ukraine will export one billion cubic meters of gas in 2003. (A3)

It has become common for industries to begin reforms after a visit from President. In August, representatives from the coal-mining industry hope to meet with Vladimir Putin and seek the president's support in their struggle against competition from Kazakhstan. (A3)



Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

Ford Motor Co. has announced the price of its Russian-assembled Ford Focus. The basic model will cost $10,900, which is $2000 to $3000 less than a similar cars produced by other manufacturers. (B1)

In contrast to the majority of foreign indexes, Russian stock exchange indexes made significant growth during the first half of 2002. One analyst predicts that this trend will continue in the second half of the year. A story gives figures. (B1)

On Tuesday, Alfa Bank CEO Mikhail Fridman commented on the outcome of his bank's struggle with MDM for control over Konversbank. Fridman said that Nuclear Power Ministry' funds, over which the two companies actually fought, have been transferred to accounts in Alfa Bank. However, the ministry did not confirm this information, saying that none of the banks in Russia hold more than 15 percent of the total of the nuclear industry's money. (B3)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta
www.ng.ru

In an unprecedented case Black Sea Fleet Commander Admiral Komoyedov, 51, is going to sue his superior Naval Chief of Staff Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov. On June 10, the Kuroyedov dismissed Komoyedov on the grounds of his health problems. However, Komoyedov says he was removed on account of poor personal relations with Kuroyedov and because he is a possible candidate for the office of Chief of Naval Headquarters, which Kuroyedov wants to prevent. (1,2)

In an interview, Sergey Yushenkov, Liberal Russia party's co-chairman, explains that his party is feel serious pressure from the Justice Ministry, which stipulated the party's official registration upon the dismissal of its other co-chairman - exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky. Meanwhile, the party has grown to some 20 thousand members in 56 Russian regions, far more members than is necessary for registration. (1,2)

This week, State Council experts began to develop concepts for youth politics and banking reform. A youth politics initiative for a period ending in 2010 will be thought up by a group led by State Council presidium member and Yamalo-Nentsky Governor Yury Neelov. (2)

It has come to light that Stavropol regional department for emergencies and civil defense was wholly unprepared to cope with last month's prodigious floods, because of a lack of staff and equipment. (4, ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA 4, Noviye Izvestia 4)

At a meeting with journalists, Dmitry Kozak, deputy head of presidential administration, called the postponement of a verdict in the trial of Colonel Yury Budanov "controversial." He also commented on the actions of the judge who passed a mild sentence to entrepreneur Anatoly Bykov. Both cases are now to be reconsidered and Bykov is to face another murder charge. (7)

An article looks at the life and work of Joseph Burg, the last Ukrainian writer who writes in the Yiddish language. Burg, who lives in Chernovtsy, a Jewish city before the WWII, has just celebrated his 90th birthday. (12)



Rossiiskaya Gazeta
www.rg.ru

At a press conference Tuesday First Deputy Minister of Education Victor Bolotov said that this year the single test for school graduates was taken by more than 400 thousand school children in 16 Russian regions. Only 0.1 percent of those who participated received full marks. Bolotov complained that though students from Orenburg Krai scored highest in math and physics, Moscow universities are still unwilling to enroll them. (3)

During an open-line conversation organized by Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Minister of Education Vladimir Filippov was asked about prospects of a single test aimed at replacing both the school graduation exams and the university entrance exams. Filippov was also questioned about the conditions for getting a second higher education in Russia. (3)

Rossiiskaya Gazeta has published a list, compiled by St. Petersburg State University Rector Ludmila Verbitskaya, of most frequently mispronounced words in the Russian language. Half of these words are taken from the English language, while others are common Russian words. The newspaper will publish the whole text of the dictionary after it is published. (1,160

Komsomolskaya Pravda
www.kp.ru

In an interview, Emergency Situations Minister Sergey Shoigu attributes the large number of flood victims in Barsukovkaya to the inappropriate actions of the local administration. Shoigu also said that in the past decade the number of water metering stations in southern Russia decreased almost by half. As a result, flood forecasting a very difficult job. (6)

A story examines a situation in Voronezh where aggressive youth gangs are thriving, which imagine that they live in a Japanese samurai community. Two young girls reported that one such group, dubbed Butoko-Ryu, killed their mother after they decided to leave the gang. (12, 13)

Moskovsky Komsomolets
www.mk.ru

In his interview to Komsomolka Hakassia Governor Alexey Lebed said that crime remains the chief problem of the Krasnoyarsk region. Lebed's brother, the recently deceased Alexander Lebed was a governor of the region when he was killed in a fatal helicopter accident earlier this year. Lebed also mentioned that he would like to succeed to his brother at the post, saying that he is the only candidate who can secure continuation of the course his brother started out on. (3)

Argumenty i Fakty
www.aif.ru

A list of gubernatorial candidates in Krasnoyarsk includes Leftist economist Sergey Glazyev and Alexey Lebed, who is backed by "aluminum king" Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska will also support two other candidates in the race. Another oligarch, Vladimir Potanin, has his own candidate in Taimyr Governor Khloponin. The paper predicts that either Lebed or Khloponin will win the election. (2)

In an article State Duma Deputy Alexander Shokhin describes his plan for the proposed amnesty of those who contributed to the problem of capital flight. Shokhin said that the practice of taking money out of Russia through so called "gray schemes," should be legalized. Shokin, however, noted that this can only happen when businessmen are no longer afraid to keep their money in Russia and proposed the introduction of more liberal currency legislation and comfortable conditions for businesses in Russia. (8)