A brief look at what is in the Russian papers today POLITICS Russian President Dmitry Medvedev held his first meeting with members of a public committee aimed at establishing a broad dialogue between the government and society. The public committee should become the government’s “permanent advisory body,” he said at the meeting, adding that committee members might join his future Cabinet. (Izvestia, Moscow News) Russia’s ruling United Russia party continues to lose electoral support even after the announcement of the Putin/Medvedev tandem during the upcoming general and presidential elections. (Kommersant, Moscow News) ECONOMY & BUSINESS Russia is actively seeking new forms of economic cooperation with Iran. Two Russian major players on the shipbuilding market said they were ready to build freighters and floating oil drilling platforms in Iran to help developing oil fields on the Caspian shelf. (Kommersant) Russia’s Finance Ministry is planning to impose a 13% tax on compensations given to top managers after they leave large companies. However, the new regulations could still be breached by payments though offshore companies or by undeclared cash payments, experts believe. (Kommersant) Apple has equipped its new iPhone 4S with a chipset that uses both GPS and Glonass navigation systems. As a result, iPhone 4S will not be subject to customs duties which will be imposed on imported GPS-only devices in Russia in 2012. (Kommersant, Vedomosti) Top managers of large Russian companies earn much more than their European colleagues, global management consulting firm Hay Group reports. (Vedomosti) The return of Vladimir Putin to the post of the Russian president could be risky for businesses operating in Russia, the Evraz group warned investors. The experts predict political instability, poor investment climate and a clampdown on reforms. (Vedomosti) Georgian wine makers and Russia’s food safety authorities have agreed to start quality control of well-known wine brands produced for export in Georgia. This could be the first step to the resumption of Georgian wine exports to Russia. (Izvestia) DEFENSE The North Caucasus District Military Court on Wednesday found a Russian military officer and his mother guilty of spying for Georgia. They were sentenced to ten and eight years in a high security prison, respectively. (Kommersant, Izvestia) Washington has invited Russia to take part in the tests of the U.S.-led European missile defense network as part of a new push to persuade Moscow that the system poses no threat to Russia. The U.S. authorities, however, continue to refuse to offer Russia legal guarantees that interceptor missiles in Europe will never be used to shoot down Russian ballistic missiles. (Vedomosti) Russian design bureau Compass has successfully tested a Glonass-based targeting module for artillery rounds. (Izvestia) SOCIETY Moscow authorities will focus their efforts on improving communal services and fighting corruption in the capital as part of the ongoing administrative reforms, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told the city’s lawmakers. (Moscow News) Russian oligarchs, dissatisfied with the skills of graduates coming to work in their companies, search for new ways to ensure that they get only the brightest young professionals. In addition to various types of targeted grants, stipends, and sponsorship of specific professional courses, they open their own high-education institutions. (Moscow News) CRIME Pilot error was to blame for the plane crash that devastated Yaroslavl\'s elite Lokomotiv ice hockey team last month, Russian investigators concluded in a preliminary report after a series of tests. (The Moscow Times, Rossiiskaya Gazeta) Russia’s Interior Ministry has ordered mandatory collection of DNA samples from all prison inmates sentenced for violent crimes. (Izvestia) For more details on all the news in Russia today, visit our website at http://en.rian.ru.