POLITICS A governor whose biggest claim to fame is perhaps his decision to delay an Aeroflot flight because he was running late will run for president against Vladimir Putin. (The Moscow Times) State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said he would not take up his seat, ending eight years at the helm of the lower house of parliament. Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov and presidential chief of staff Sergei Naryshkin are the most likely candidates for the speaker’s post. (Kommersant, The Moscow Times) A Russian humanitarian aid convoy for Kosovo Serbs was blocked on the border. EULEX refused to let a Russian Emergencies Ministry motorcade cross the border without police escort and offered an alternative route. Russia says European police officers exceeded their authorities. The problem will be addressed at the Russia-EU summit in Brussels. (Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta) European Union leaders will discuss election fraud and anti-Kremlin protests with President Dmitry Medvedev at a Brussels summit Thursday, however, the two sides are unlikely to move forward quickly on easing visa restrictions, diplomats said. (The Moscow Times) South Ossetia is on the verge of civil confrontation again. The republic’s parliament failed to approve the resignations of the prosecutor general and the Supreme Court head, despite the opposition’s agreements with the Kremlin. (Kommersant) Deputy Head of Russia’s Central Election Commission, Leonid Ivlev, said all irregularities at the December 4 parliamentary elections in Russia will be thoroughly checked. (Rossiiskaya Gazeta) ECONOMY & BUSINESS Russia will face the \"largest impact\" from the global slowdown in the first half of next year, bringing annual economic growth to 2.3 percent in 2012, Renaissance Capital said. (The Moscow Times) Russia’s second largest mobile communications operator MegaFon was the first from the “big three” to cut the price for roaming calls in Europe. SOCIETY Dashing fears that a second major rally over the State Duma elections would be banned, City Hall on Wednesday authorized a protest for Dec. 24 in downtown Moscow. (The Moscow Times, Kommersant) Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will address the nation in a live televised call-in for the tenth time. A Moscow Region court used a new law for bribe takers for the first time, fining an official 75 times the amount he received as a bribe. The official, Muradkhan Islamov, will have to pay 21 million rubles ($658,812).