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British prime minister calls Manchester blast "appalling terrorist attack"World May 23, 5:52
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VIENTIANE — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev offered to hold an international conference on inter-confessional dialogue in Russia. Speaking at a plenary meeting of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) on Tuesday in the Laotian capital, the Russian prime minister noted that ASEM is “a special organization, which should seek the ways for a harmonic establishment of the dialogue between the civilizations together with European countries.”
Dmitry Medvedev has urged for emergency help to seamen in counteracting piracy near Somalia. “A key problem is the fight against piracy along Somalia’s coasts and in other parts of the world,” Medvedev said . “Steps we have been taking include escorting ships delivering humanitarian aid under the World Food Program and emergency assistance to the anti-piracy coalition, including refueling of ships.”
AMMAN (Jordan) — Russia calls for the return of UN observers to Syria and increasing their number, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated after talks with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Jauda. “If it is the matter of saving people’s lives, both the government and opposition should stop the bloodshed,” said the minister. “To this end it is necessary to return the UN observers (to Syria) and increase their number, and then start negotiations.”
MOSCOW — Moscow calls for the rejection of double standards in the assessment of the terrorist attacks in Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich stated on Tuesday. “We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and expect from others the same uncompromising condemnation of this world evil,” Lukashevich said. “Double standards, the division of terrorists into the ‘bad’ and ‘good,’ attempts to justify such barbarous actions by saying that they are ostensibly targeted against military facilities, are inadmissible.”
AMMAN — Russia does not supply weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Amman on Tuesday. “Russia is surprised that the Western media mislead the international community, saying that we deliver WMD to Syria,” Lavrov said, answering a question of a BBC reporter. According to him, the weapons that are supplied to Syria from Russia are delivered under the previously reached agreements and are linked exclusively with missile defence elements.
NOVO-OGAREVO — At present “everything is fine” with the health of Russian President Vladimir Putin, his press secretary Dmitry Peskov once again confirmed to reporters on Tuesday.
MOSCOW— Moscow condemns terrorist attacks in Bahrain and calls on all political forces of the country to try to peacefully settle the existing disputes, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Tuesday. “According to media reports, tensions have been observed in Bahrain in recent days. In the kingdom’s capital Manama there were rallies of the opposition activists,” the ministry said. “In some cases they clashed with security forces. On November 5, a total of five improvised explosive devices were set off in different areas of the city, the explosions killed two people and seriously injured one.”
KIEV — Ukraine’s Supreme Rada (parliament) has recommended to the Central Elections Commission (CEC) to hold run-off elections in five single-mandate precincts. Ukraine’s parliament passed the draft resolution to this effect on Tuesday. It was backed by 268 votes with the minimum required vote being 226. The Supreme Rada recommended that the CEC should determine the need for extra budget spending for the run-off elections and that the government should urgently supply these funds.
WARSAW— The Polish energy group Polskie G·rnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG, literally: Polish Petroleum and Gas Mining) has reached an agreement with Russia’s natural gas monopoly Gazprom on the reduction of prices for the supplied natural gas to the country. Representatives of the companies signed in Warsaw an addendum to the so-called Yamal agreement, which amends the financial terms of the contract, PGNiG reported on Tuesday.
KIEV — Ukraine has started gas import from Europe in the reversing work of its gas transportation network, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said during Tuesday’s visit to a civil aircraft building state-run enterprise. “We launched the purchases of the kind. But they are not of global scale. Now, the most important task is to work out the technical possibilities, examine the efficiency of systems and analyse the amounts and quality of gas, which we could receive,” he said.
NOVO OGARYOVO— Russian President Vladimir Putin fired Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and appointed Sergei Shoigu the new defense minister. Shoigu has worked as Moscow region governor until now. Putin announced the reshuffle at a meeting with Shoigu on Tuesday. "Taking into account the situation around the Defense Ministry, and in order to create conditions for an objective probe into all the issues, I decided to relieve Defense Minister Serdyukov of his duties," Putin said.
MOSCOW — Investigators do not rule out that former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov may be questioned in the Oboronservis case. "If there are grounds, he /Serdyukov/, too, may be questioned in the criminal case over large thefts at Oboronservis bodies," Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass.
MOSCOW – Ban on the circulation of the ‘Innocence of Moslems’ movie that was imposed by a ruling of a district court in Moscow has officially taken legal effect in Russia, the court’s Press Secretary Alyona Berezina told Itar-Tass. She indicated that the court’s ruling has taken legal effect, as no appeals or petitions have been filed against it within the time bracket designated by law.This means the ‘Innocence of Moslems’ will be included in the federal list of extremist materials prohibited for circulation on the territory of Russia. A copy of the court’s decree will be submitted to the Ministry of Justice for inclusion on the movie in the list.
VLADIVOSTOK — The law enforcement agencies detained the general director of the Nikolayevsk-on-Amur seaport, which is the shipowner of the bulk carrier Amurskaya, which went missing in the Sea of Okhotsk on October 28, spokesperson of the Far Eastern transport investigation department of the Russian Investigation Committee Natalia Salkina said on Tuesday.