A brief look at what is in the Russian papers today
British Foreign Minister William Hague showed that despite recent controversies in Russian-British relations, Moscow and London are still willing to improve ties. The two states agreed to boost their economic and international cooperation.
The European Union may suggest that Russia give up its support for the unrecognized Moldovan republic of Transdnestr in the near future. A Moldovan Foreign Ministry source told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that the issue is being negotiated with both Chisinau and Tiraspol. The 27-nation body may also grant EU membership to a unified Moldova. The issue is likely to be raised at a meeting between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicholas Sarkozy to take place on October 17-18.
Leading Russian economic officials fail to give an unambiguous assessment of economic situation in Russia, and despite positive macroeconomic indices, the economic situation in the country remains a source of growing concern.
The Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is ready to accept new members. So far, only members of the Eurasian Economic Community (Eurasec), namely the ex-Soviet republics of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, are set to join. Ukraine and Armenia, who have observer status, are also seen as potential candidates. Syria also voiced its intention to join Eurasec and the Customs Union and has already received the necessary package of documents.
BANKING & FINANCE
Russia’s Central Bank has widened the ruble's floating exchange rate corridor, First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said. The move is seen as a cautious step toward a free-floating currency and focusing the bank squarely on inflation.
During his visit to Israel, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Viktor Khristenko signed a deal to assemble Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at a helicopter plant in Kazan. The plant would use technology from Israel Aerospace Industries.
(Vedomosti, Vremya Novostei)
The crew of the Dmitry Donskoi nuclear-powered submarine revealed the details of the successful launch of the troubled Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). The submarine’s captain, Mikhail Volozhinsky, said the successful test of the missile, which has officially suffered six failures in 12 tests, was a result of the well-coordinated work of the vessel’s crew and Bulava manufacturers.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev held a video conference with heads of Russian regions to discuss how areas affected by wildfires are being rebuilt. After the conference, the president ordered a probe into possible misuse of funds designated to help wildfire victims.
(Vremya Novostei, Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika criticized law-enforcement agencies for their inaction in tackling corruption. The number of corruption-related cases dropped 11% in the first half of 2010, year-on-year, and the number of officials convicted for corruption also declined. A total of 142,036 corruption-related violations were detected in the reported period, down 31,654 from 2009.
(Vedomosti, The Moscow Times, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
The second All-Russian census officially kicked off on Thursday in Russia’s Far East. Its estimated cost stands at about 17 billion rubles. First results are expected in April 2011. The final results are to be officially published in late 2013.
(Vedomosti, Vremya Novostei, The Moscow Times, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
About a month after the World Chechen Congress was held near Poland’s capital Warsaw, an event with the same name took place in the Chechen capital of Grozny. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who was elected chairman, called on foreign delegates to “talk sense into those who continue attempts to divide the Chechen people while hiding in Europe.”
(Vremya Novostei, Kommersant)
Californian biotech company Geron conducted the first ever successful operation to inject embryo stem cells into a person with cerebrospinal injury. Long-term lab tests showed that rats paralyzed as a result of spinal cord damage may regain control over their limbs after such treatment.
MOSCOW, Oct 14 (Reuters) - The following are some of the leading stories in Russia's newspapers on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
- Vladimir Potanin, co-owner of metals giant Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.MM: Quote, Profile, Research), wants to get $2.5-3 billion for a 80 percent stake in his utility unit OGK-3 -- the amount he paid for a 40 percent stake in 2007, the daily says.
- Russia is launching production of drones based on Israeli technology at a military plant in Kazan, the daily says in connection with a deal signed between Russia's arms maker Oboronprom and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
- Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL), Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) subsidiary, is asking Russia to double its spending on the Exxon Mobil-led Sakhalin-1 project to $100 billion. If Russia agrees it will become the most expensive project in the Russian oil sector, the daily says.
- The size of the average bribe in Russia has grown by 25 percent this year and reached 30,500 roubles ($1,012), according to official statistics.
- Russia is launching a census on Thursday which will last for the next two weeks. The results will be published in a year, the daily says.
- The average monthly salary in Russia in the first half of 2010 was 20,000 roubles ($663.80), the daily reports.
- Russia, Germany and France are likely to discuss on Oct 17-18 the possibility of reconciling Moldova with its rebel Transdniestr region by inviting the ex-Soviet republic to join the EU, the daily says.