Russian Press at a Glance, Wednesday, May 15, 2013


* Russian National Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev may deliver a letter from President Vladimir Putin to US President Barack Obama as early as on May 20. The letter will be a response to Obama’s message to Putin in which the US president urged his Russian counterpart to put aside differences and join efforts to reach breakthrough agreements on strategic issues. (Kommersant)

* Russian counterintelligence officers briefly detained a US diplomat suspected of being an undercover CIA officer and trying to recruit a Russian agent. Ryan Christopher Fogle, a third secretary in the political department at the US Embassy in Moscow, was detained on May 13 as he attempted to recruit a senior FSB officer. (Kommersant, Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)


* Growing North American oil production will help the United States begin to meet its own energy demands, leading it to cut back on imports that will instead start flowing to emerging markets, according to a recent industry outlook report by the International Energy Agency. How it will affect OPEC producers? (Kommersant)

* Two Russian energy giants – Gazprom and Rosneft – will spend $10 billion on the development of a network of natural gas filling stations for cars around Russia as the government is planning to make a major push toward natural gas-driven vehicles in the country in the near future. (Kommersant)

* Russia’s Accounts Chamber has sent a draft proposal to the State Duma to introduce a tax on deals between Russian manufacturers and companies registered in offshore zones. The proposed “offshore tax” could boost the federal budget with an additional $48 billion a year. (Izvestia)

* Russia decreased the volume of natural gas deliveries to Europe and CIS countries through Ukrainian gas transport networks in January-April this year by 19 percent to 26.2 billion cubic meters. (Kommersant)

* The Russian budget lost 4 billion rubles ($127 mln) last year due to “grey” shipments of counterfeit tobacco produce from Belarus and Kazakhstan. Experts believe that Russia may soon be inundated by fake cigarettes due to the inefficiency of legislation regulating tobacco sales in neighboring members of the Customs Union. (Rossiiskaya Gazeta)

* US car maker Ford will soon start manufacturing its EcoSport compact crossovers at a plant in Russia’s Tatarstan republic. (Vedomosti)

* Prestigio, the own brand electronics product line operated by distributor Asbis, has become the number three tablet computer brand in Russia, pushing back Asus. (Vedomosti)


* The board of directors of Russia’s Oboronservis defense property services company, which has been tainted by a string of fraud scandals, has fired its general director Sergei Khursevich following allegations that he interfered with a contract to buy Italian-built Iveco military vehicles in order to avoid paying import duties. (Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)

* The Russian military lost three Rodnik-class spy satellites in January due to another glitch in the infamous Briz KM booster installed on Rockot carrier rockets. The Rockot launch program has been suspended indefinitely. (Izvestia)


* The mausoleum holding the remains of Russian Communist leader Vladimir Lenin in Moscow’s Red Square will reopen Wednesday after renovation work that fixed the “sinking” foundation and restored the original lighting. (Rossiiskaya Gazeta)

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