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Press review: Russia's cooperation with US and requirements for HIV-positive foreigners

February 13, 2017, 13:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Top stories in the Russian press on Monday, February 13

1 pages in this article
© Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS

Izvestia: Moscow hopeful Trump administration will mean cooperation

Russia and the United States are natural partners in combatting global terrorism despite their significant differences, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Syromolotov said in an interview with Izvestia.

"Developing and strengthening this partnership would be mutually beneficial for our countries. We expect that we will develop a more meaningful dialogue in this area with the new Washington administration," Syromolotov said.

"We hope that the West’s approach to counter-terrorism might change with the new administration of the US President Donald Trump and they will finally realize that the fight against terrorism must be conducted without "double standards" or "hidden agendas". Cross-border cooperation should be built with participation of the legitimate government of the country where the counter-terrorist operation is conducted," the diplomat said.

At the same time, according to Syromolotov, "We will require considerable efforts to come to an agreement."

According to the diplomat, the world today needs a large-scale coalition against international terrorism, which in its work would rely on the Charter of the United Nations, international law and UN Security Council decisions.


Vedomosti: Rosneft mulls over selling four oil refineries

Rosneft might be considering selling four refineries, an official and an employee of the oil company told Vedomosti. The so-called Samara group of refineries: Kuibyshev, Novokuibyshevsk, Syzran together with the Saratov refinery might be among these assets. Rosneft might also be considering selling the Angarsk Petrochemical Company, according to an official familiar with Rosneft plans, as the property is currently operating at a loss.

Rosneft might not be ready to continue investing in the development of processing depth and considers different options for refineries that produce a lot of low quality fuel oil, Raiffeinsenbank analyst Andrey Polishchuk told the newspaper. According to him, the company could begin to pull out of businesses with a low reprocessing level.

According to Vedomosti, falling profit margins of oil refineries due to the tax maneuver and cheap oil are forcing Rosneft to delay their modernization. The Rosneft Samara group of refineries - legacy of Yukos - at current prices for oil and oil products is most likely working on the verge of profitability or even brings losses, Rosneft top managers told the newspaper. It is possible that after selling the Samara enterprises the company will use Bashneft refineries, the source added.

The Samara group of refineries might cost around $2 bln, according to an investment strategist at BCS Maxim Shein. The Angarsk Petrochemical Company might be sold for $700 mln. However, refining depth of these plants is low; buyers would still have to invest in their modernization, the experts warned.

At present Rosneft is dismissing the sale rumors. According to a company representative, "We do not see anything to comment, because the story seems made up for unknown purposes."

In total, Rosneft has 11 major oil refineries in Russia, the company’s production capacity taking into account mini-refineries reaches 108.5 mln tonnes per year.


Izvestia: Egypt working hard to resume flights with Russia

Chairman Valentina Matviyenko plans to visit Egypt this spring heading the delegation of the Russian Federation Council, Izvestia reported citing Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Ilyas Umakhanov. During the talks, the Egyptian side intends to raise the issue of resuming air communication between the two countries.

"This is the first visit of such level in more than 10 years - that is why we are paying special attention to it. Meetings and talks during the upcoming trip will be an additional step in developing parliamentary cooperation, will strengthen bilateral relations," Umakhanov told the newspaper. He noted that in addition to the issues of bilateral cooperation and empowerment of regional ties, the meeting attendees would focus on international issues, security, and the fight against terrorism.

The Egyptian side intends to raise the issue of resuming air communication between the two countries during the talks, the newspaper said citing a representative of the Egyptian Parliament. Member of the Political Bureau of the Egyptian Tagammu Party Sharif Fayad told Izvestia, that the Egyptian authorities "have taken a range of measures to ensure security in the country’s airports after the terrorist attacks against the Russian passenger plane over Sinai. "I do not see any obstacles to the resumption of flights between the two countries," he told the newspaper.

Talks on resuming air communication with Egypt started at the end of 2015. Air traffic was suspended in November 2015 after the terrorist attack on board Kogalymavia aircraft that was flying from Sharm El Sheikh to St. Petersburg.


Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Historical leap in the wrong direction

Presidential adviser Sergey Glazyev is talking about the unfortunate outcome of Russia's reforms started in the 20th century and explained why Moscow should follow the example of Beijing in an interview with Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

According to him, Russia’s transition to the market economy did not make Russia the great economic superpower unlike China, which at the end of the last century also announced reforms. "In all performance indicators our economy is increasingly lagging behind not only world leaders, but also the global average. When we began transition to the market economy at the same time as China, we produced twice as much as China, today we produce five times less," Glazyev said.

"China uses mechanisms of market competition for growth of volume, efficiency and technical level of production, and we use it for redistributing social wealth from the national income from the production sphere to the sphere of parasitic consumption," Glazyev said. According to him, the passive policy of economic agencies shows that officials are content with the situation.

According to experts polled by Nezavisimaya Gazeta, China might not be the best example to follow. IFC Markets analyst Dmitry Lukashov fears that "China's economy, which has preserved signs of a planned economy, might face collapse in the next three years." One of the reasons - a huge accumulated debt of companies and local authorities.

At the same time, some experts believe that China still sets a worthy example - if Russia could reach growth rates comparable to Chinese (even 6% per year), it would be a great achievement. "But to do that we should not freeze the economy like the government does in pursuit of a record-low inflation, but to develop demand through available capital," Director of the Institute of Actual Economy Nikita Isaev told the newspaper.

"The competition is really too small, we need structural reforms," First Vice-President of Opora Rossii Pavel Sigal said. According to the expert, "China has made a bid for production and investment, took down administrative barriers and began fighting against corruption. We had a breakthrough due to revenue from raw materials, but with the decline of oil prices we have not found a substitute. Currently, agriculture is developing due to sanctions, but so far there are no other drivers."


Kommersant: Requirements for HIV-positive foreigners entering Russia might change

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets has instructed the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) to consider changing the requirements for entry and residence in Russia of foreign nationals infected with HIV, Kommersant wrote referring to the formal instruction at the disposal of the newspaper.

Currently, entry and residence of HIV-positive foreigners in the Russian territory is possible if their close relatives are Russian citizens. Golodets has requested "to study the possibility of revising the conditions of entry, exit and residence of foreign nationals with HIV, as well as providing them with medical care in Russia." According to the newspaper, the services will have to study the international experience and evaluate the efficiency of existing restrictions.

"The statutory provision on deportation has been operational since 1995. In 20 years, approaches to treating the disease have dramatically changed, the outlook has changed," Member of the government Council on guardianship in the social sphere Pyotr Rodionov told Kommersant. According to him, efforts to limit the spread of HIV by restrictions today often gives the opposite effect.

In early February, Golodets said that in 2016 nearly 103,500 new cases of HIV infection were reported in Russia. As of early 2017, almost 871,000 Russians are HIV-positive.


TASS is not responsible for the material quoted in the press reviews

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