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    Russian Press at a Glance, Wednesday, December 26, 2012

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    A brief look at what is in the Russian papers today




    * Two more opposition lawmakers in Russia could be stripped of parliamentary immunity paving the way for their criminal prosecution on fraud charges. Konstantin Shirshov of the Communist Party allegedly tried to sell a seat in the State Duma to an unnamed businessman for 7.5 million euro ($10 million) in 2011, while Oleg Mikheyev of the leftist A Just Russia, is suspected of real estate fraud and trying to embezzle 2.1 billion rubles ($69 million) from Promstroibank. (Kommersant, Vedomosti, Izvestia)


    * The Russian response to Magnitsky Act is unclear, punishes the innocent and creates ground for corruption says an expert report prepared by the human rights council under the Russian president. The report has been sent to the upper house of the Russian parliament, but the Federation Council will most likely pass the so called Dima Yakovlev bill on Wednesday. (Vedomosti)


    * The Kremlin has backed the creation of a new foundation for political technologies, which would streamline election campaign practices at various political levels. (Izvestia)




    * LUKoil, Russia’s privately owned oil company, has won an auction for the rights to the Imilor group of oil fields – the largest among the remaining unassigned land-based oil fields in the country. The company bid a record 50.8 billion rubles ($1.67 billion) in tight competition with Rosneft. (Kommersant, Vedomosti)


    * Russia’s state-controlled telecoms giant Rostelecom is planning to spend almost half of its investment funds allocated for next year (about $1 bln) on the development of broadband Internet networks. (Kommersant)


    * Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization has paved the way to a sharp increase in food imports to the country. The import of some food products have gone up 10-33% in the past three months. (Vedomosti)


    * The Russian customs officials welcome the opening of new “green corridors” on the border. Head of the Federal Customs Service, Andrey Belyaninov, talks about his service’s plans for next year in an interview. (Rossiiskaya Gazeta)


    * Top 10 events in the Russian economy in 2012 – losses and gains. (Moscow News)




    * Slovakia and the Czech Republic will simplify the issuance of multiple-entry visas for Russians. The processing will take several days rather than weeks and visas will be valid for two years. (Kommersant)


    * Claims by Syrian opposition about the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime are aimed at paving the way for foreign military intervention in the conflict-torn country. Russia must have a contingency plan for this scenario. (Rossiiskaya Gazeta)


    * The Pentagon is planning to send small teams of counter-terrorism experts to 35 African countries next year to train the local law enforcement and military personnel in counter-terrorism tactics. The goal is to ensure efficient support of any US anti-terrorism operations in the region if necessary. (Izvestia)




    * How Russia saved the ambitious European XFEL X-ray laser project from bankruptcy. The construction of a research facility in Hamburg will enable scientists to obtain valuable insights into molecules and nano materials down to the atomic level. (Rossiiskaya Gazeta)


    * Russia may join ExoMars project next year. Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin talks about the situation in Russia’s space industry and his agency’s plans for next year in an interview. (Izvestia)




    * The Moscow authorities have designated 215 sites on the territory of the Russian capital where residents could safely launch fireworks during Christmas and New Year’s festivities. (Rossiiskaya Gazeta)


    * The Moscow government is projecting a record number of child births in the capital. About 132,000 of babies will be born in Moscow by the end of 2012. (Rossiiskaya Gazeta)


    * The Moscow authorities are planning to build about a hundred underground shopping malls, parking lots and even movie theaters, which could be used as shelters for residents in case of emergencies or natural disasters. (Izvestia)


    * Top 10 films in the 2012 Russian box office, according to MN expert. (Moscow News)




    * Police have arrested Anatoly Shesteryuk, former director of the Federal Property Management Agency for Moscow and Vladimir Putin’s former classmate at the Leningrad State University, on suspicion of involvement in the embezzlement of state property worth more than 10 billion rubles (about $300 million). (Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)


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