Crimea may spend next year according to unapproved budget, Businessmen against smoking ban in summer patios, Russia to invest into innovative industries, Fewer Russians support death penalty, William Hague to resign as foreign secretary, Egypt calls for a cease-ﬁre in Gaza.
If Crimean authorities cannot manage to adopt the region’s budget for 2015, they will be allowed to spend funds using the unapproved document, RBC Daily writes, reminding that the general law allows regions with non-finalized budgets to spend no more than 1/12 of last year's budget per month. There is no other way, according to experts interviewed by the newspaper – officials simply will not be able to use documents which were adopted last year, when the peninsula was part of Ukraine. Natalya Zubarevich, Regional programs director for the Independent Institute of Social Policies, told the daily that it’s a rare occurrence that regions miss the deadline for budget adoption. Karen Vartapetov, Government Finance Deputy Director for S&P, said: "It was widespread back when the federal budget planning was overdue – regions had to postpone adoption of their budgets as well. There haven’t been such precedents since over a decade."
Representatives of the Russian dining industry claim that the recently-adopted anti-smoking law does not mean that open patios are to be smoke-free, and they’re ready to take this claim to the Prosecutor General’s office, Izvestia writes. OPORA Russia, the country’s pro-business NGO, is working on an official appeal with the Prosecutor General’s Office, saying that the consumer rights watchdog interpretation of the law, meaning that smoking is prohibited on patios, is incorrect. The newspaper talked with Alexander Zhukov, chairman of the Moscow branch of the NGO, who said that Moscow's prosecution has already supported their motion. At the same time, president of the Restaurateur and Hotelier Federation of Russia Igor Bukharov has received for the second time a statement from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which interpreted the law in a way which does not include summer verandas and patios into the sweeping ban. The article reminds that the consumer rights supervisor Rospotrebnadzor has published their own understanding of the law June 30 – according to the regulator’s interpretation, any smoking in dining establishments, including patios, is banned, as verandas with podiums, parasols or any decorative enclosures are considered business premises, ergo smoking there should be banned as well.
Russia will stimulate create of new manufacturing industries, Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes. The ratio of industrial companies which apply ecological innovations should be 50% of the market by 2020, said Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during the main plenary meeting of the International Industrial Expo Innoprom-2014. The daily notes that the Prime Minister believes the key to success in this regard is a wide-spread modernization and re-equipment of the manufacturing industry along with streamlining of taxation mechanism and switching to newly available technology. The daily writes that the strategy for Russia’s innovative development outlines a number of ambitious objectives, such as creation of precision manufacturing equipment, industrial robots and industrial 3D-printers used. The daily quotes Denis Manturov, Industry and Trade Minister, who said that the agency was planning to cooperate with businesses, giving certain industries a 'green corridor' for development. Experts interviewed by the daily believe that new manufacturing industries will bring new investors to Russia as well. For example, Igor Agamirzyan, general director and chairman of the Russian Venture Company, believes that industries uniting digital and physical worlds will be the driving factor for the economy for the next ten to fifteen years.
The number of Russians who support the death penalty has severely declined in the last two years, The Moscow Times writes. The daily reminds although a provision in Russia's Criminal Code allows capital punishment for especially grave crimes, a moratorium has been in place since 1996. In 2009, the Constitutional Court extended the moratorium and ruled that no court in the country has the right to sentence anyone to death. In late June, independent pollster Levada Center conducted a survey to gauge public perception of the death penalty in Russia. Fifty-two percent of respondents said they were in favor of the death penalty, compared to 61 percent in 2012. Going further back, in 2002, that number stood at 73 percent. There has likewise been a surge in the number of Russians who actively oppose capital punishment, from 24 percent in 2012 to 33 percent in 2014, the daily notes. The majority of those who voted in favor of the death penalty were between the ages of 18 and 25, and most of them men. In Moscow, 49 percent of respondents expressed support for capital punishment.
The Guardian reports that William Hague is to stand down as United Kingdom’s foreign secretary with immediate effect as David Cameron begins the most far reaching reshuffle of the parliament that was dubbed a new "night of the long knives". Philip Hammond, defense secretary known for his skeptical stance on united Europe, emerged as the leading candidate to replace Hague at the foreign office, the newspaper writes. The daily notes that Hammond, who said last year that he would vote to leave the EU if it remained in its presence form, would assume the mantle of the cabinet's most senior eurosceptic as foreign secretary. The prime minister praised the outgoing foreign secretary as "one of the leading lights of the Conservative party for a generation" as Hague announced his intention to stand down. The surprise announcement about Hague, who will remain as a member of the national security council and will play a leading role in reaching out to voters in the north of England in the run up to the election, followed a wider-than-expected cull of middle aged male ministers, the article notes.
The Egyptian government late Monday proposed a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in a step toward resolving the escalating crisis, The Washington Post report. In a week of fighting, 185 Palestinians died and Israelis were driven into bomb shelters. The daily notes that the proposal appeared timed to greet the arrival of US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is due in Cairo on Tuesday, according to the Israeli news media. A draft of the cease-fire initiative did not include a detailed plan but called for a halt to all hostilities by air, land and sea beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Israeli officials declined to comment Monday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss the Egyptian proposal. The White House, in response to questions about its role in cease-fire proposals, said the United States "has been deeply engaged in conversations with our partners throughout this difficult period, and we will continue doing everything we can to facilitate a return to the 2012 cease-fire."