Russia 110419 Basic Political Developments

PRESS DIGEST - Russia - April 19

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PRESS DIGEST - Russia - April 19
Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:49am GMT

MOSCOW April 19 (Reuters) - The following are some of the leading stories in Russia's newspapers on Tuesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


- Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov says in an interview that his Metalloinvest steel and mining group and Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.MM) will "sooner or later" become a joint holding company to lead in the global production of nickel, palladium, platinum and iron ore.

- After three years of investigation into alleged charges of tax evasion by businessman Vladimir Nekrasov and his partner Sergei Shnaider, prosecutors have decided to drop all accusations and close the case for lack of evidence.

As a result of the investigation Nekrasov, the former owner of Arbat-Prestige cosmetics retailer, lost his business worth $1.5 billion, the daily says.


- The Finance Ministry will use an oil price of between $120 and $122 per barrel while calculating Russia's 2012-2014 budget. This could ensure more budget spending on social needs during 2012 presidential campaign, the daily says.

- Nekrasov, former owner of Arbat-Prestige, has no plans to claim compensation for his lost business, the daily says. Arbat-Prestige was one of the leaders in Russian cosmetics with a network of 90 retailers across Russia.


- Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev supports the approval of a law which will allow testing of schoolchildren for drug addiction.

- Russia's Navy will take part in international military training operations in the Baltic sea in June together with NATO representatives from 13 states, the daily reports.


- Russia's ruling United Russia party will decline any discussions regarding a possible candidate for the next presidential election but will take into consideration the opinion of party leader, Vladimir Putin, the daily says citing party senior official Boris Gryzlov.


- Head of Russia's jails Alexander Reimer arrived on Monday to the Siberian prison camp where former YUKOS chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky spent most of his term.

Reimer will take part in an investigation into one of the biggest protests carried out in a Russian prisons in which inmates set fire to cells and other premises last Sunday.

Russian Press at a Glance, Tuesday, April 19, 2011
08:32 19/04/2011


Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov became the first politician to announce that he will stand in next year's presidential election. (Vedomosti)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will have the final word in support of a 2012 presidential election candidate from the United Russia ruling party, the chairman of the party’s Supreme Council, Boris Gryzlov, said. (Izvestia)


Standard & Poor's has threatened to downgrade the United States' AAA credit rating, causing chaos on the Russian stock exchange and prompting investors to buy U.S. debt instruments and dollars. (Kommersant, Vedomosti)

Dutch electronics giant Philips has unveiled plans to make its loss-making television business into a joint venture with the Chinese company TPV Technology. The joint venture will be split 70/30 in favor of the Hong Kong-based business. (Kommersant)

A sharp devaluation of the national currency in Belarus is inevitable, says Sberbank chairman German Gref and other prominent Russian banking experts. (Vedomosti)

Ukrainian investigators demanded that ex-president Viktor Yushchenko pass a test on the presence of dioxin in his blood or his alleged poisoning case will be closed. (Izvestia)


Russia’s state budget could be adjusted if the price of oil exceeds $122 per barrel. (Vedomosti)

Owner of Russia’s Metalloinvest Alisher Usmanov comments on the conflict among Norilsk Nickel shareholders. (Kommersant)

A Russian Arbitration Appeals Tribunal has ruled that Russia's state-run oil giant Rosneft must provide information on its 2009 board meetings to minority shareholder and famous blogger Alexei Navalny taking into account the company's confidentiality regime. (Kommersant, Vedomosti)

Russia’s Sberbank and Credit Suisse are planning to set up a direct investment fund valued at $1 billion to invest in the Russian economy. (Vedomosti)

Wendy's, the world’s third largest fast food chain, is planning to start its business in Russia this year, with the first restaurants opening in Moscow. (Vedomosti)


Quick construction of the third Steregushchy class stealth corvette, the Boiky, proves that the Russian shipbuilding industry is successfully recovering from almost two decades of deep crisis. (Izvestia)

Russia will gradually introduce reforms in the conscription system that would allow draftees to serve their one-year terms in military units that are relatively close to their homes. (Rossiiskaya Gazeta)


Criminal charges have been dropped against Vladimir Nekrasov, the former owner of Russian cosmetics retailer Arbat Prestige. Nekrasov, who lost an estimated $1.5 billion after his company went bankrupt, said he was not going to file a case against prosecutors. (Kommersant, Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta) 


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has given the government two months to consider the possibility of replacing jail terms for drug abusers with drug treatment. He also gave his backing to legislation now being drafted by the country's Health Ministry that would see schoolchildren and students tested for drugs. (Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Izvestia)

A Moscow court on Monday declared that the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, a leading nationalist group, was extremist and banned its activities. (The Moscow Times, Moscow News)

Moscow authorities aim to raise the average monthly income of the capital’s residents to 100,000 rubles (about $3,300) by 2020. (Vedomosti)


Valery Karpin has stepped down as manager of Spartak Moscow. Spartak have gained only 4 points from five games this season and are second from last in the Premier League. The club also recently crashed to a 10-3 aggregate defeat to Porto in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. (Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Izvestia)

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