MOSCOW, May 31 (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.
- Russia and China plan to set up a joint venture to produce a new long-range jet based on designs for Russia’s Ilyushin-96.
- Russian Internet firms Yandex, Mail.Ru and Vkontakte may be included in a list of strategic assets, meaning they must obtain official permission before selling stakes to foreign investors, the daily reported.
- TNK-BP’s former CEO Mikhail Fridman dismissed suggestions that his resignation from BP’s Russian joint venture on Monday was linked to the appointment of former deputy prime minister Igor Sechin as CEO of state-controlled oil major Rosneft.
- Russian fishing companies worry that a tender to privatize state-run Arkhangelsk Trawl Fleet, AFT, will be rigged to go to Russian Sea Group, 30 percent of which is controlled by one of Vladimir Putin’s allies, oil trader Gennady Timchenko.
- Russia may start recruiting foreign experts at a salary of around 2 million roubles ($61,000) a year to help it prepare for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
- Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has order the military stop buying traditional Russian felt valenki boots, forcing the army to consider sheep-wool boots against the winter cold.
- It is becoming more and more difficult for Russia to defend Syria’s leader, the daily says, commenting on new calls for sanctions to force Bashar al-Assad to resign.
- Russia’s banks have started downsizing faced with financial sector troubles, the daily says.
- Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Thursday that raising pension age for women to 60 years from the current 55 years could be part of planned end-of-year reforms.
- More than 70 percent of Russians cannot afford traveling during the summer holidays, according to the latest survey by state pollster VTsIOM.
$1 = 32.7805 Russian roubles Reporting By Tatiana Ustinova