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News summary for December 24

December 25, 2012, 9:14 UTC+3
All the headlines from the day's news
Material has 1 page

NEW DELHI — Russia and India agreed to strengthen partnership in the military-technical field, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

After the talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday, Putin said, “We agreed to further strengthen partnership between Russia and India in the military-technical field, to promote new projects in order to create joint ventures and exchange technology.”

According to Putin, the contracts, which were signed earlier in the day, proved the strengthening of military-technical cooperation between Russia and India.

In particular, the parties signed a contract to supply 71 Mi-17B-5 helicopters to India at the amount of 1.3 billion U.S. dollars and a contract on supplies of technological units to assemble 42 Su-MKI aircraft at the amount of 1.6 billion U.S. dollars.


NEW DELHI — The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) has become an important factor of regional security, stability and cooperation in Eurasia, according to the joint statement signed in New Delhi during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official visit to India.

Russia reiterated its support to India’s intention to join the SCO as a full member and calls for adoption of join measures with other SCO member states to accelerate its admission to the Organisation, the document said.


NEW DELHI — Russia and India have agreed the commercial terms of building a third and fourth reactor at India’s nuclear power plant Kudankulam in the southern state of Tamilnadu, the head of the Rosatom corporation, Sergei Kiriyenko, said on the sidelines of President Vladimir Putin’s official visit to India.


NEW DELHI — The Russian Direct Investment Fund and the State Bank of India will sign a memorandum to invest in joint projects at the amount of one billion U.S. dollars from every party, RDIF head Kirill Dmitriyev told journalists on Monday.

“We are agreeing to invest in joint projects at the amount of one billion U.S. dollars from every side,” Dmitriyev said, adding that a new consortium would be created for this purpose.


NEW DELHI — Russia’s leading navigation information system producer NIS GLONASS signed an agreement on strategic cooperation with India’s Tata Consultancy Services on Monday, December 24, on the sidelines of the Russian-Indian summit.

The two companies will jointly develop and introduce GLONASS/GPS-based services in India.


NEW DELHI — Russia and India have agreed to step up information exchanges and coordinate their actions within the G-20 group, the two sides said in a joint communiqu· signed in New Delhi on results of the Russian president’s official visit to India.

The sides stressed the need to improve coordination of macroeconomic policies pursued by the G-20 members to ensure confident, stable and balanced growth of the world economy.


NEW DELHI — Russia and India will promote the mutual exchange of theatre performances, art groups, exhibitions of contemporary art, museum staff, writers, films and delegations of filmmakers to participate in international festivals. This is stated in the program of cultural exchanges between the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of India for 2013-2015, signed on Monday by Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and his Indian counterpart Chandresh Kumari Katoch during the official visit of RF President Vladimir Putin.


NEW DELHI — The NIS (NIS GLONASS) open joint-stock company, the leader of the Russian market of navigation systems and systemic integrator of major projects for the introduction of the GLONASS system in Russia, on Monday signed a trilateral agreement with the Indian companies BHARAT SANCHAR NIGAM (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) on cooperation in navigation activities on the summit’s sidelines. The sides agreed to join efforts to grant satellite navigation services on the basis of GLONASS/GPS in India, NIS said in its press release.


MOSCOW — State companies will invest in the development of information technologies more than 300 billion roubles (USD 1 = RUB 30.80) in the period up to 2015, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a meeting of the Presidium of the Council for Economic Modernisation and Innovative Development on Monday.

“Programs innovative development of infrastructure facilities with the state participation is another factor of the growing demand in high-tech novelties, the total investments for which exceeds 300 billion roubles in the period up to 2015,” he said.

In his words, the ICT market is expected to exceed 700 billion roubles this year.


MOSCOW — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev supported the idea of setting up a fund for patent facilitation of business. “Setting up such a fund can be considered, but it is necessary to realize how it will operate, what the cost of processing an application will be and how the fund will account for this work,” the premier told the meeting of the presidium of the Council for modernization of the economy and innovation development.


MOSCOW — Rosneft has signed an agreement on the drawing of two loans total worth of 16.8 billion U.S. dollars from a group of international banks to finance its purchase of the TNK-BP company’s 50-percent stake, Rosneft said in its statement made public on Monday.

Under the credit agreements, Rosneft borrows the loan worth 4.1 billion U.S. dollars for five years and the loan worth 12.7 billion U.S. dollars for two years.


MOSCOW — The LUKOIL petroleum company has declined a proposal from the American Exxon Mobil to buy out its share in the West Qurna project in Iraq, Andrei Kuzyayev, head of the Lukoil Overseas, the holding company's subsidiary which engages in the development of oilfields outside the Russian Federation, told the Russia 24 TV channel in a live broadcast on Monday.


ZARYA SETTLEMENT (Moscow region) — Russia’s fifth generation fighter plane will be put into operational service in the Russian Air Force beginning in 2015, Air Force Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant General Viktor Bondarev, told reporters on Monday.


ZARYA SETTLEMENT (Moscow region) — Over 20 military airfields will be built anew or modernized in the coming few years, Russian Air Force Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant General Viktor Bondarev, told reporters on Monday.


MOSCOW — Growth of Russia’s Gross Domestic Product may total 2.8% in December versus the same month a year ago, the Deputy Minister of Economics, Andrei Klepach, told reporters Monday.

“Growth on the year should total some 2.8% and this figure fits into the forecast for an annual growth of 3.5%,” he said.


MOSCOW — Russia’s capital outflow is preliminary estimated at five billion U.S. dollars in November 2012, Russian Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach told reporters on Monday.


MOSCOW — Russian Railways has one of the highest levels of freight turnover in the world, the company’s President Vladimir Yakunin said.

The company increased the amount of traffic it carried in 2012. “With the 2.8 percent growth of Russia’s industrial production in 2012, estimates are that loading will increase by 2.7 percent to about 1.2747 billion tons. Freight turnover in 2012 is expected to reach 2.777 trillion ton-km, which is 2.7 percent more than in 2011.


PYATIGORSK — Court sentences for terrorism have been issued to 200 people in North Caucasus since the beginning of the year, a spokesman for the branch of Russia’s Office of the Prosecutor General in the North Caucasus Federal District said Monday.


MOSCOW — A Gazprom delegation led by Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, paid a working visit to Uzbekistan on Monday, December 24.

As part of the visit, Alexander Medvedev and Shokir Faizullaev, Chairman of the Board of Uzbekneftegaz signed in the presence of Rustam Azimov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan a contract for the purchase of Uzbek gas by Gazprom and an Agreement for Gas Transmission via Uzbekistan over 2013 to 2015m, the company said.

The parties agreed to set up a joint working group for elaborating a new long-term Agreement of Strategic Cooperation between Gazprom and Uzbekneftegaz.


MOSCOW — The number of Russian tourists who travelled abroad in 2012 has gone up by more than 20 percent, Maya Lomidze, the executive director of the Russian Association of Tour Operators (ATOR), told a news conference on Monday.

She said that the number of foreign travelers was expected to reach almost 11 million people in2012.


MOSCOW — Russia has always honoured and will continue to honour contracts on arms supplies to Syria, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Monday, December 24.


MOSCOW — Russia has contributed 2 million dollars to the African Union Peace Fund, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Monday.

"Russia’s voluntary donation to the mechanism of the Pan-African Organization that finances regional peacekeeping operations and forms the African Forces of permanent readiness is a vital contribution to strengthening the anti-crisis potential of the countries of the African continent,” the Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized.


BISHKEK — President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev has laid downe three conditions to Gazprom for privatization of Kyrgyzgaz, he stated here on Monday at a press conference.

"First, our republic must be supplied with gas all the year round without interruptions," he said. "Second, it must be cheaper than we now buy from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. And third, Gazprom must invest in the Kyrgyzgaz infrastructure development 500 million dollars.”

Besides, the head of the state considers still another condition must be geological prospecting and exploration by the Russian major company in the territory of the republic, so that in the future "we possess gas of our own.”

Official Bishkek offers Gazprom to buy out the 75 percent state stake of the Kyrgyzgaz company for one dollar only, Kyrgyzgaz deputy Director General Kuralbek Naskeyev stated earlier these days. According to him, such an offer is connected with the fact that the Kyrgyz energy industry has debts, which, according to various estimates, amount to 20 – 38 million dollars.


BISHKEK — Russia’s Gazprom gas giant may purchase a controlling interest in Kyrgyzstan’s Kyrgyzgaz JSC already in the first quarter of the next year, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev said at a news conference on Monday.


BISHKEK — The presence of foreign military at Bishkek’s Manas airport poses great problems to Kyrgyzstan, President Almazbek Atambayev told a news conference on Monday.

“There should be no military component at a civilian airport. This is a fundamental position of mine,” Atambayev said. “I cannot say much at this point. It is a state secret, but the presence of military at the capital city’s airport creates major problems for us. This is a firm position of mine and I decided to take it not under somebody’s pressures.”


BISHKEK — President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev believes that the republic’s defence enterprise Dastan has a future only in cooperation with Russia. He made this statement at a press conference, when asked about India’s interest in this company.


BISHKEK — The authorities of Kyrgyzstan have taken a political decision on the protection of foreign investors, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev said at a press conference here on Monday.


BISHKEK — Kyrgyzstan has no objections to Uzbekistan’s participation in the construction of the Kambar-Ata-1 hydropower plant on the Naryn River, Kyrgyzstani President Almazbek Atambayev told a news conference on Monday, replying to a question on the Uzbekistani authorities’ requirement to hold an international expert estimate for the HPP construction.


TBILISI — The new Georgian government plans to take up “a constructive and principled stance” in the process of normalizing relations with Russia, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said on Monday.

“The Georgian government will make every effort and will demonstrative a constructive approach in order to normalize relations with the Russian Federation, although it is well aware that this will not be an easy process,” the prime minister said at a news conference in Tbilisi.


TBILISI — Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili sees as “mainly positive” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statements on the issue of Georgia made during his big news conference last Thursday.

“Russian president’s statements connected with Georgia were in my opinion cautious and positive, mainly positive, which is commendable,” Ivanishvili noted.


TBILISI — Georgia’s Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said Monday he has no plans to run for presidency.

He told a news conference he is “unwilling to become a president, all the more so that the President’s functions will be limited considerably in line with the national Constitution after the next election /due to be held in October 2013 – Itar-Tass/.”


TBILISI — Georgia “does not consider the possibility of returning to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), but it will develop and deepen relations with all member countries of the Commonwealth,” Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said at a news conference on Monday.

He explained that “the Georgian government has repeatedly stated that the strategic course of the country is to integrate into Euro-Atlantic structures”. “We are by no means planning to change this strategy, but at the same time we will be improving and deepening relations with all CIS member countries,” he stressed.


TBILISI — Georgia “will certainly take part” in the 2014 Olympic Games in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili told reporters on Monday.


KIEV — In decrees signed on Monday, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has sacked several ministers, the press service of the Ukrainian leader reports.

In particular, the president sacked Foreign Minister Konstantin Grishchenko, Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuri Boiko, Defence Minister Dmitry Salamatin and Environment Minister Eduard Stavitsky.

Besides, Yanukovich has relieved of their duties Finance Minister Yuri Kolobov, Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko and head of the State Tax Service Alexander Klimenko. The officials were sacked because of the resignation of the Cabinet.


KIEV — A new government led by Nikolai Azarov has been formed in Ukraine. President Viktor Yanukovich on Monday signed a decree on the line-up of the country’s new cabinet of ministers. Sergei Arbuzov, the former National Bank chief, was appointed the first vice-premier. Yuri Boiko who used to be the energy minister in the former government, and Alexander Vilkul, the former head of the Dnepropetrovsk regional administration, were appointed vice-premiers. President Viktor Yanukovich has appointed Leonid Kozhar as Ukraine’s foreign minister.

President Yanukovich also appointed several newcomers.

The post of the minister of industry that was instituted on Monday remains vacant so far.


KIEV — The major task of the Ukrainian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade for 2013 is to guarantee jointly with other ministries and agencies the republic’s economic growth at three to 3.5 percent, which is considered by the state budget, Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said on Monday.


KIEV — Ukraine’s relations with the Customs Union and the European Union need to be studied thoroughly, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said.


CHISINAU — Moldovan Foreign Minister Iurie Leanca tendered resignation on Monday, December 24.

The minister had earlier promised to resign if Moldova did not get a visa-free travel regime with the European Union by the end of 2012. Leanca said back then that in this case he would tender resignation in December.


CHISINAU — Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat turned down Foreign Minister Iurie Leanca’s letter of resignation submitted on Monday, December 24.








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