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What the Papers Say, July 18, 2012

MT

Kommersant

1. Kirill Melnikov article headlined "No Place for Khudainatov" says that former president of Rosneft Eduard Khudainatov is leaving the company. New Rosneft head Igor Sechin is looking for more effective managers; pp 1, 9 (954 words).

2. Maxim Varyvdin and Oleg Rubnikovich interview "Political and Criminal Prosecutions Are Absolutely Parallel" with Deputy Interior Minister in charge of investigations Yury Alekseyev speaking on the police and the Investigative Committee reform; pp 1, 4 (2,340 words).

3. Ivan Safronov et al. report headlined "Compulsion to Supplies" says that Iran is likely to win a case in a Geneva court and fine Russia $4 billion over failure to supply S-300 missile systems; pp 1, 6 (917 words).

4. Svetlana Mentyukova and Yevgenia Pertseva article headlined "Economic Development Ministry to Encode Food" comments on the Russian government's plans to make all food manufacturers use a single identification code; pp 1, 9 (719 words).

5. Pyotr Netreba article headlined "Social Expenses Do Not Fit in Budget" comments on the Russian government's attempts to find funds for President Vladimir Putin's social expenses; p 2 (593 words).

6. Irina Granik article headlined "Powers and Punishment Promised to Regions" says that Putin has chaired a meeting of the State Council and announced plans to hand over some federal powers to regional authorities in 2013. The financing mechanism for the plans is still unclear; moreover, governors risk dismissal in case they fail to do their work the way Moscow wants them to; p 2 (871 words).

7. Maria-Luiza Tirmaste at al. report headlined "Vladimir Putin to Be Made to Face Gubernatorial Elections" says the Communists are getting ready for a hard talk with Putin at his meeting with the State Duma factions. Gubernatorial elections are among the issues to be raised by the opposition; p 3 (813 words).

8. Viktor Khamrayev et al. report headlined "There Are Other Parties as Well" analyses political trends in Russia, where newly created parties are merging. The opposition, however, believes that the parties will be used as spoilers during elections; p 3 (868 words).

9. Unattributed article polls politicians and experts who speak on new parties being set up in Russia; p 3 (423 words).

10. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Public Organizations Left Without Public Support" says a public opinion poll carried out by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center VTsIOM has shown that 60 percent of respondents are against cooperation with Russian NGOs that are involved in politics and receive foreign financing; p 5 (531 words).

11. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Bashar Assad gets pre-election pause" says the U.S.A. has warned its allies that it will not participate in the operation against Damascus until the presidential election in November; p 6 (438 words).

12. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Velvet Resolution" reports on Putin's meeting with UN envoy Kofi Annan, who has urged Russia to back his peace plan for Syria; p 6 (528 words).

13. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Female Partner Chosen for Mitt Romney" says that former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice may take part in the presidential election as the Republicans' would-be vice president; p 6 (516 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Ivan Rodin and Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Big Investigation Fist" says the Federal Drug Control Service is facing personnel cuts as part of the reform turning the Investigative Committee into the only body carrying out investigations in Russia; p 1 (685 words).

2. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Washington Threatens Yanukovych With Sanctions" says Republican congressmen want tough sanctions to be imposed on the current Ukrainian authorities over the imprisonment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Experts believe Washington and Brussels will wait until the Ukrainian parliamentary elections and impose sanctions only after that; pp 1, 6 (847 words).

3. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Prosecutor General's Office Prohibits Frightening Debtors" comments on the "shocking" information on the work of debt-collection agencies made public by the Prosecutor General's Office. Debt collectors beat debtors up, threaten them and their relatives, force them to borrow more money to pay their previous loans back; pp 1, 4 (758 words).

4. Savely Vezhin article headlined "Corruption Mandate" says that a bill of the Just Russia party allowing a State Duma faction to distribute its seats among party members regardless of the party ticket for which the electorate has voted will give rise to corruption; pp 1, 3 (693 words).

5. Viktoria Panfilova article headlined "Rakhmon Waits for Political Guarantees" says that another U.S. delegation is visiting Tajikistan amid growing tensions in Russian-Tajik relations; pp 1, 6 (776 words).

6. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "Secular Tuaregs Pressed by Islamists" says the world community is getting ready for an operation in Mali, whose northern part is occupied by Islamists; pp 1, 7 (724 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Alarm Signal for Francois Hollande" looks at socialist ideas, which French President Francois Hollande adheres to, and notes that they do not work well during the global crisis; p 2 (400 words).

8. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Emergency Army Operation in Krymsk" says that the Krasnodar region floods have once again shown the inability of local authorities to deal with large-scale disasters. Only the military can do the work the way it used to be done in the Soviet times; p 2 (686 words).

9. Article by Stephan Richter, editor-in-chief of The Globalist magazine, headlined "U.S.A. and Egyptian Democracy" says Washington has damaged its reputation by providing assistance to the Egyptian military; p 3 (759 words).

10. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "New Details of Bolotnaya Case" says that lawyers of the activists arrested over the May protest in Moscow have demanded that the activist be freed due to the absence of components of crime in their actions; p 3 (653 words).

11. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Moscow and Washington Get Engaged in Fight for Damascus" comments on the Russian and Western stances on the situation in Syria and notes that even Bashar Assad's resignation cannot save the country from a civil war; p 7 (635 words).

12. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "U.S.A. builds ABM base in Persian Gulf" says the U.S.A. is surrounding Iran with missile defense systems. Two of them are already operating in Israel and Turkey, another one is to be deployed in Qatar; p 7 (539 words).

13. Anton Kurilovich interview with Russian Orthodox priest Andrei Kurayev, who speaks about the Pussy Riot case and about recent anti-church sentiments; pp 1, 6 of the NG Religions supplement (2,000 words).

Vedomosti

1. Polina Khimshiashvili and Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "Fight for Damascus" looks at armed clashes with rebels in Damascus. The Syrian regime, however, has enough resources to restrain the armed opposition; p 2 (495 words).

2. Margarita Lyutova article headlined "Oil Men From Belarus" says that thanks to Russia's support, Belarus has increased oil products import and is now ready to bargain with Moscow over its energy assets; p 3 (413 words).

3. Yelena Mazneva article headlined "Gazprom Goes to Albania" says the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has got interested in buying the Albanian company Albpetrol; p 8 (617 words).

4. Bela Lyauv article headlined "Gatherer of Lands" says that Moscow region Governor Sergei Shoigu has asked Putin to return some plots of land recently handed over to Moscow back to the region; p 1 (599 words).

5. Article by opposition politician Vladimir Milov headlined "Public Politics: Putin's Exchanges and Compromises" slams President Vladimir Putin over his foreign policy, as he has handed over Russian territories to Norway and China; p 4 (379 words).

6. Anton Trifonov and Olga Plotonova article headlined "Sberbank Enters Top 20" says Sberbank has been listed 17th among the world's largest banks; p 1 (433 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Hastily" looks at the Kremlin's regional policy and notes that gubernatorial elections will not help return feedback from the electorate; pp 1, 4 (507 words).

8. Another editorial headlined "What Do State Companies Want?" says that state-controlled corporations are hampering the development of the Russian economy; p 4 (290 words).

9. Yekaterina Kravchenko report "Half a Year Until Recession" says that recession may begin in the U.S.A. at the beginning of 2013; p 1 (450 words).

10. Valery Kodachigov report "Deal With Two Unknown" looks at the sale of shares of Russia's Trikolor TV; p 11 (500 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Vladislav Kulikov article headlined "Do Not Tell Lies, You Will Have No Money" says the Federation Council is expected to approve amendments to the Criminal Code making defamation a criminal offense again; pp 1-2 (497 words).

2. Natalya Kozlova interview "Totally Lost" with First Deputy Head of the Russian Investigative Committee Vasily Piskarev speaking on the work of investigators engaged in searching for kidnapped children; pp 1, 6 (1,137 words).

3. Vladislav Vorobyev and Maxim Makarychev article headlined "Volcano in Center of Damascus" says Russia and China will not allow the U.S.A. to implement its "bold plans" regarding the military operation in Syria; pp 1, 8 (905 words).

4. Ariadna Rokossovskaya article headlined "To Be or Not to Be Lord" comments on the House of Lords reform discussed in the British parliament; p 8 (570 words).

5. Andrei Shitov article headlined "Debates About Stereotypes" analyzes some stereotypes and delusions in Russian-U.S. relations; p 8 (878 words).

6. Kira Latukhina report "At Crossroads" says that Putin has discussed with Kofi Annan the situation in Syria; p 2 (400 words).

Izvestia

1. Svetlana Subbotina and Yulia Tsoi article headlined "State Duma to Revive Obligatory Civil Defense Courses" says a new bill is to oblige all Russians to undergo special training on how to behave during natural and man-made disasters; pp 1, 4 (622 words).

2. Vladimir Barinov and Yekaterina Karacheva article headlined "Interior Ministry's Main Guard Resigns" says that Police Lt-Gen Vadim Savichev, head of a department of the Interior Ministry, has resigned; pp 1, 3 (558 words).

3. Anastasia Novikova article headlined "A Just Russia Turns Toward Angry City Dwellers" says the Just Russia party is choosing its political course, while an increasing number of party activists are calling for participation in street protests; p 2 (480 words).

4. Natalya Galimova and Olga Tropkina article headlined "Dmitry Gudkov May Struggle for Ryazan Region Governor Post" says the Communists and A Just Russia are holding talks on a single candidate for the Ryazan region gubernatorial election. State Duma Deputy Dmitry Gudkov may become the opposition's candidate; p 2 (556 words).

5. Konstantin Volkov article headlined "Withdrawal of UN Observers From Syria Not to Change Anything" comments on the Russian stance on Syria; p 7 (404 words).

6. Article by public figure Irina Khakamada headlined "Elites: Mobilization or Split?" says the ruling elite is wrong by thinking that repression can protect them from people's protest mood; p 10 (545 words).

7. Maxim Sokolov article headlined "Six RosPil Proposals" says Alexei Navalny's anti-corruption proposals are populist because he does not think of ways to implement them; p 10 (840 words).

8. Svetlana Dogadkina report "'Headhunters Demand That Interior Ministry Close Vkontakte" says that activists fighting against pedophilia want access to the Vkontakte social network to be restricted; p 5 (550 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Yeva Merkacheva article headlined "Unwillingness to Fight Against Pedophiles" reports on a Web-based resource used by pedophiles in Russia to seduce young boys; pp 1, 5 (3,011 words).

2. Yulia Chernukhina article headlined "Volunteers Being Ousted From Krymsk" comments on the conflict between local authorities and volunteers working in the town of Krymsk, hit hard by a recent flood. Officials deny the information and claim they simply want to make the work of volunteers more effective; pp 1-2 (901 words).

3. Nikita Kartsev article headlined "Aeroexpress to Krymsk" comments on a recent blackout on the Paveletsky railway line in Moscow that connects the city with Domodedovo Airport. Thousands of people got stuck in trains, but the authorities neither informed them about the blackout, nor helped with alternative transportation; pp 1-2 (606 words).

4. Melor Sturua article headlined "Moscow-Damascus" urges Moscow to revise its policy toward Syria as the Soviet legacy in foreign policy is causing problems to Russia; p 3 (877 words).

5. Mikhail Zubov interview with Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko summing up the results of the Federation Council's work; p 4 (3,754 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Georgy Yans article headlined "In Accordance With Established Order. ... Established by Whom and for Whom?" reports on violations of the law in privatizing Moscow region land belonging to the presidential administrative department, pp 7-8 (1,839 words).

2. Yulia Latynina article headlined "Guarantor. Expiry Date Approaches" says the devastating flood in Krymsk has shown that people no longer trust the authorities; p 16 (728 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Igor Kryuchkov report "Putin Stands Up for Annan's Plan" says that Kofi Annan hopes that Russia and the U.S.A. will find a compromise on Syria at the UN Security Council; p 4 (800 words).

2. Denis Voroshilov report "His greed story" looks at a scandal involving Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney; p 4 (700 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Margarita Alekhina interview with Alexei Arbatov; head of the International Security Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who speaks about the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO); pp 1, 5 (900 words).

July 18, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC