Diplomat says UN may act as mediator at Astana talks between Damascus and oppositionRussian Politics & Diplomacy January 17, 21:31
Expert believes Brexit to bring UK closer to USWorld January 17, 20:29
Italian Foreign Ministry: It is necessary to assess conditions for returning to G8 formatWorld January 17, 20:04
Russia hopes ECHR will cancel its ruling on Dima Yakovlev Law — diplomatRussian Politics & Diplomacy January 17, 19:35
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OPEC to monitor oil production, export — Saudi Arabian Energy MinisterBusiness & Economy January 17, 18:57
Group of Sukhoi-24M bombers to return from Syria soon — Defense MinistryMilitary & Defense January 17, 18:50
Russian reconciliation center reports over 1,130 Syrian settlements join ceasefireWorld January 17, 18:47
Over 5,000 Syrians get medical aid from Russian doctorsWorld January 17, 18:37
MOSCOW — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a resolution to provide subsidies from the federal budget for air service to ensure affordable air service for passengers from the city of Kaliningrad to the rest European part of the country and back, the government press service said on Saturday.
The resolution is worked out by the Transport Ministry following the government directions in accordance with the federal law on the federal budget for 2013 and the planned 2014–2015 period.
Since 2011, in accordance with government resolution of December 18, 2010, such subsidies are provided from the federal budget for air transport organizations to reduce fares for residents in the Kaliningrad Region to fly to the rest European part and back.
MOSCOW — There has been no decision by the Defense Ministry’s new leadership to drop plans for building a third and a fourth Mistral amphibious ship in Russia, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov told Itar-Tass on Friday.
“The French side is going ahead with building the first two Mistrals quite successfully. Our industries participate. True, in this complex work some disruptions may occur, but generally it proceeds as expected,” he said.
MOSCOW — The Russian Defense Ministry has dismissed media reports it has allegedly refused to authorize the GLONASS satellite navigation system for service.
“These rumors are not true,” the Defense Ministry told Itar-Tass on Friday.
MOSCOW — Pensions in Russia will increase by 46.5 percent in the next three years, Pension Fund head Anton Drozdov said.
Labour pensions will be raised for two times – to the factual inflation level of 2012, that is about seven percent, from February 1 and with the Pension Fund revenues increase per pensioner, around 3.3 percent from April 1. Thus, pensions will increase by more than 10 percent, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper cited him as saying.
At the same time, the PF head noted that those were approximate figures, since it depended on the PF factual revenues in 2012 and the inflation rate to be estimated by the Rosstat statistics agency in January.
Social pensions will increase by 5.1 percent from April 1, and monthly benefits will be raised by 5.5 percent.
KAZAN — An IT university being build in the Innopolis science cluster in Tatarstan signed an agreement with the United States’ Carnegie Learning University on Friday. The ceremony was attended by Tatarstan’s President Rustam Minnikhanov. Carnegie University Director Gil Taran and the director of the IT-university Dmitry Kondratiev put their signatures to the memorandum.
“We have identified cooperation guidelines. In 2013 the university will enroll the first students and we shall start the instruction process,” Minnikhanov said.
The Innopolis, being built 40 kilometers away from Kazan, will have an IT-university for 5,000 students, a technopark for 10,000 IT specialists and 15,000jobs in the services. The science cluster will house 150,000 residents.
MOSCOW — U.N./LAS Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi can arrive in Russia for consultations on the Syrian issue before New Year holidays, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists on Saturday.
“He [Brahimi] called me yesterday. He wants to arrive and we will invite and accept him shortly,” Lavrov said.
ULAN BATOR — Mongolian government offers Russian companies to take part in the construction of new railway lines in Mongolia, Deputy Prime Minister Dendev Terbishdagva said Friday at the 16th session of the Russian-Mongolina Intergovernmental Commission for Cooperation in Trade, Economy, Science, and Technologies.
“We invite Russian companies to take part in the construction of new railways with a total length of 1,800 kilometers,” he said, adding the Russian businesses’ share in the railway projects may reach 49%.
TBILISI — Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili has described as “very interesting” the first meeting between his special envoy for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, and Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin in a suburb of Geneva on December 14.
In an interview published by Tbilisi’s daily Rezonasi, Ivanishvili said that “it took Russia sometime” to respond to Georgia’s first move to mend relations with Russia (the appointment of Abashidze as the prime minister’s special envoy), “but the first result has been achieved.”
“We have established a channel of communication – officials capable of conducting a dialogue,” Ivanishvili said.
VLADIVOSTOK — Most regions would prefer direct gubernatorial elections, State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin said.
In an interview with Rossiya Channel One’s Vesti V Subbotu with Sergei Brilyov, Naryshkin said, “Over 20 years we used different variants – direct and non-direct gubernatorial elections, the appointment by legislative assemblies upon the recommendation of the president. Then we returned to direct elections.”
At the same time, the speaker said the variant of elections depended on many factors, including on historical and geographical ones and national security as well.
ASHGABAD — Turkmenistan on Saturday passed a media law the first since the country gained independence on October 27, 1991. It was one of the first initiatives supported by deputies of the Turkmen parliament.
The law is supposed to regulate relations arising in the activities of various media outlets. The Turkmen deputies stressed the need to set the order for collection, preparation and dissemination of information; the establishment of the rights, commitments and responsibilities of people and organizations that prepare and spread news materials.
The law classifies the media as a special mechanism of regulation of social and cultural relations between the state and society. Therefore, media activities should comply with universally acknowledged legal, moral and ethical norms and rules.
Thirty-nine printed media outlets have been registered in Turkmenistan this year.
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay an official visit to India, where he will hold negotiations on all trends of Russian-Indian cooperation on December 24.
In particular, the countries are to sign an interdepartmental memorandum on cooperation in science, technologies and innovations, a memorandum between the Russian Fund of Direct Investments and the State Bank of India over the promotion of direct investments, a program of cultural exchanges for 2013–2015, a protocol on consultations between the Foreign Ministries of the countries, several major contracts in military-technical cooperation and commercial agreements.
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed the hope that his country will build several nuclear power plants in India in the near future.
“We expect that the implementation of our arrangements on the construction of new nuclear power plants in India will begin in the nearest future,” he wrote in his article published by India’s daily The Hindu on the eve of his official visit to New Delhi.
Putin described “the construction of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant with the use of the most reliable and up-to-date technologies and standards as a major breakthrough project.”
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that Moscow and New Delhi have relations of really privileged character and sets the task for doubling bilateral trade with India by 2015.
In his article published in India’s daily The Hindu on the eve of his visit to New Delhi Putin emphasized that deepening of friendship and cooperation with India is among the top priorities of Russia’s foreign policy.
THE SETTLEMENT ZARYA (Moscow region) — The state trials of five 5th generation fighters (advanced airborne complex of the frontline aviation) will begin at a base of the flight experimental centre in Akhtubinsk in March 2013, Chief Commander of the Russian Air Force Lieut. Gen. Viktor Bondarev told reporters on Sunday. The Long-Range Aviation of the Russian Air Force marks its 98th anniversary on December 23.
The trials of the advanced fighters will end within 2–2.5 years, the chief commander of the Russian Air Force said. In 2015 or the beginning of 2016 the construction of the fighters T-50 will become serial, the fighters will be put into service of the aviation formations.
The commander also noted that that the design works to develop a strategic missile-carrying bomber of new generation (advanced airborne complex of long-range aviation) will end by 2017–2018.
KAZAN — President of Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov has proposed to create a website under the children’s rights ombudsman for those who want to adopt children, the presidential press service told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
“It is necessary to create a transparent system for adopting children,” he said. “This is a very important deed for the society and it should be public and humane,” he said.
He emphasized that the public at large, parliamentarians, municipalities, mass media and first of all, Tatarstan’s ombudsman service, should be actively engaged in resolving the future of orphan children.
SUKHUM — A 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit Abkhazia and Georgia on Sunday.
No victims or destructions were reported in Abkhazia and Georgia.
According to the latest verified data, the epicenter was located approximately 30 kilometers northwest of the Black Sea city of Poti in western Georgia, the emergencies department said.
SOCHI — An earthquake that hit the North Caucasus on Sunday did not affect facilities that are being built in the run up to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, an official in the state corporation Olympstroy told Itar-Tass.
All sports and other infrastructure are built to resist a 9-magnitude quake.
MOSCOW — Russia-U.S. adoptions agreement will remain effective if representatives of the Russian authorities get access to adopted Russian children in U.S. families, State Duma deputy speaker Sergei Zheleznyak said in a video placed on his Facebook page on Sunday.
“We should be guaranteed an unhampered access to adopted children, opportunities to protect their rights in court and to deprive unscrupulous parents of their adoption rights,” he said.