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PRESS DIGEST - Russia - Jan 29

MOSCOW, Jan 29 (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's Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest nickel and palladium miner, wants the government to scrap export duties in 2014 instead of 2016 and has promised in exchange to invest in environmental projects, including the move of its nickel production from the town of Norilsk to the Kola peninsula. Every year the company spends about 15 billion roubles ($431.36 million) in paying duties, the daily says.

- The Finance Ministry is considering ways of making foreign companies investing in Russian real estate pay taxes in Russia after selling their property. The initiative has come from the Moscow city authorities where investments in commercial real estate property grew by $2 billion to $7 billion last year, the daily says.

- The former wife of Rosneft president Igor Sechin, Marina, is reported to have a 51 percent stake in the Exect Group, which is involved in training personnel for the Sochi Olympic Games, and a 49 percent stake in Spanish construction company OHL, which has a 1.95 billion euros contract to build a railway in Siberia, the daily says.

- Russia's Olympic Committee has signed sponsorship agreements with eight companies which are expected to provide the Sochi Winter Olympics with services and goods worth $1.2 billion, the daily says.



- Ukraine's opposition is still demanding early elections despite Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov's resignation on Tuesday and the end of repressive laws that were passed in response to massive street protests.

- Russia's Customs Service will withdraw on Wednesday the additional requirements that pushed DHL Express and FedEx to suspend deliveries of goods from online retailers to private individuals, the daily says.

- The ministry of economic development has no plans to support zero export duties on nickel and copper, which are strongly supported by Norilsk Nickel.

- A Moscow court is asking prosecutors to find a former CEO of Vnesheconombank (VEB) subsidiary VEB-Invest, Alexei Shulepov, who is charged with stealing VEB's gold deposit with reserves worth over one trillion rubles. Shulepov was out on bail, but disappeared at the end of 2013, the daily reports.