MOSCOW, June 19 (Reuters) - The following are some of the leading stories in Russia’s newspapers on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
- Russia may consider importing oil from South Korea to stop rising petrol prices in its Far Eastern regions, the daily says.
- At least ten former top managers at TNK-BP, which was acquired by state-owned oil company Rosneft, are complaining that the state firm refused to pay around $9 million in compensation to employees laid off after the acquisition.
- First Deputy Prime Minister of Moscow’s regional government Ildar Gabdrakhmanov says in an interview that he was surprised to learn that regional authorities own only 0.5 percent out of 4.6 million hectares of land around the capital, which he calls an obstacle to attracting investment. Gabdrakhmanov was invited to join the Moscow regional government in 2011 after spending almost 12 years in parliament.
- Russia’s government is ready to sell more than 50 percent of its shares in national telecommunications operator Rostelecom to the company’s domestic competitors - MTS, MegaFon, and Vimpelcom - to avoid selling the stake to a foreign investor, the daily says.
- The price of a pack of cigarettes will rise by 50 percent in 2014 as a result of a government decision to raise excise duties to fight smoking.
- Russia’s parliamentarians may recommend former finance minister Alexei Kudrin and former health minister Tatyana Golikova as candidates to replace Sergei Stepashin who heads of Russia’s Audit Chamber.
- Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has sent Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova to Rostov-on-Don where almost 170 children were hospitalised with suspected cases of meningitis. The virus is believed to have been brought from China and has killed at least one child, the daily says.
- Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev confirmed on Tuesday that a pulp and paper mill on Lake Baikal will be finally shut down and that the government is planning to spend 40 billion roubles ($1.25 billion) to help stimulate the region’s economy after the factory’s closure.
- A G8 summit in Northern Ireland has marked the beginning of an “ice age” in personal relations between leaders of Russia and the United States, the popular daily says, commenting on the failure of two leaders to reach agreement over peace in Syria.