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News summary for December 26

December 27, 2012, 9:07 UTC+3
All the headlines from the day's news
1 pages in this article

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday submitted for ratification to the State Duma the agreement between Russia and Italy on the railway transit of armaments, ammunition, military equipment and property and personnel over the Russian territory in connection with the participation of Italian armed forces in the operation in Afghanistan.

According to the document, the transit is carried out on the basis of general or one-time permission “issued by a Russian competent body”. It is automatically recalled if the agreement is terminated. The request for permission should state the cargos to be carried, the transit time, the route and contain some other information.

 

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin will consider a bill in retaliation to the Magnitsky Act within two weeks after the Federation Council approves it and submits to the Kremlin for signature, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

 

MOSCOW — The Federation Council upper house of the Russian parliament on Wednesday approved the new legislation retaliating for the U.S. "Magnitsky Act." The house voted unanimously for the document which envisions, among other measures, a ban on the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens. The bill will be submitted to the Russian president for signing.

 

MOSCOW — Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed an order to hike up the financing for the upgrading and construction of the compound of buildings and facilities of the Urology Research Institute.

In accordance with the approved amendments, the financing of the upgrading and construction of the compound of the buildings and facilities of the Urology Research Institute shall be augmented by 800 million roubles in 2014 resultant of Federal budget appropriations (up to 1,242,880,000 roubles). In line with this, the overall amount of budget investments in the given project (with due regard for invesments in the designing and reconstruction of facilities amounting to 218.6 million roubles in the 2009-2011 period) will grow from 1,620 million to 2,420 million roubles.

 

MOSCOW — Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a resolution "On the Introduction of Amendments to the Procedure for the Development, Implementation and Evaluation of the Efficiency of State Programmes of the Russian Federation", the government press service reports.

The document establishes a new format of the Plan for the implementation of the State programmes. The format makes it possible to ensure a closer dovetailing of strategic planning with budgetary one, as well as seals personal responsibility, and a strict control over the attainment of the goals of programmes.

 

MOSCOW — Russia’s Federation Council has approved an agreement to simplify visa rules between Russia and Japan.

According to Russia’s Foreign Ministry, Japan has already ratified the agreement.

The document aims to create favourable conditions for expanding mutual contacts between the two countries’ citizens and official representatives.

The agreement sets simplified rules for the issuance of single entry visas up to three months and multiple visas up to 36 months for a broad group of people, including entrepreneurs, scientists, academic staff, figures of culture, athletes, journalists and participants of the two countries’ regional exchange programs.

 

MOSCOW — The Federation Council upper house of Russia’s parliament on Wednesday ratified an agreement on the exchange of samples of seized drugs between the competent authorities of the CIS member states for improving the fight against drug trafficking.

The agreement regulates the order of the exchange and transfer of samples of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their derivatives, confiscated from illegal turnover for comparative studies for subsequent determining the place and method of making the “substance,” as well as finding out the possible ways and means of its transportation.

 

MOSCOW — Russia’s Federation Council has voted for a future law tightening punishment for those responsible for organizing illegal migration. The State Duma approved of the bill on December 21. Now it will be submitted to the Russian president for signature.

Under the yet-to-be adopted law the maximum fine for this type of crime is going up from 200,000 rubles to 300,000 rubles, and of the prison term, from two to five years, and to seven years if the crime has been committed by an organized group. The duration of corrective public works is be increased considerably.

 

MOSCOW — The Russian Federation Council on Wednesday passed a resolution on measures to improve the mechanism of child adoption by Russian nationals.

The lawmakers recommended the Russian government to work out a single mechanism of adoption of orphaned children by Russian parents, step up efforts to set up a state alimony fund and speed up the implementation of priority measures under the national strategy of action in the interests of children.

The Federation Council called for raising the efficiency of children’s homes and boarding schools in rendering assistance in the adoption of children, perfecting legislation on prevention of maltreatment of children as well as improving a policy designed to prevent social orphanage.

 

MOSCOW — The Federation Council upper house of Russia’s parliament on Wednesday ratified the agreement on the terms of purchase and sale of Beltransgaz shares and order of gas price formation for Belarus.

 

MOSCOW — Russia’s Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian Federal Assembly, on Wednesday approved a government-proposed bill facilitating visa procedures for representatives of major foreign companies that make investments in Russia.

The bill concerns investors in the projects of creating the Skolkovo innovative center and the International Financial Center in Moscow. These people will be able to get long-term visas without invitations from the territorial bodies of the Russian Federal Migration Service. The validity of these visas will be extended from the current one to five years.

 

MOSCOW — The creation of a space holding on the basis of Rocket and Space Corporation Energia was suspended, the corporation’s president, Vitaly Lopota, told a news conference on Wednesday.

 

MOSCOW — Russia’s Rocket and Space Corporation Energia will take part in the implementation of 15 space missions in 2013, the corporation’s president, Vitaly Lopota, told reporters on Wednesday.

“This year we fulfilled 12 missions and in 2013 we will have by three missions more,” he said.

 

MOSCOW — Russia’s Audit Chamber has welcomed the Russian government’s initiative of banning all private lotteries as of 2014. The Audit Chamber has found out that the lotteries make no contributions to funding socially important events or facilities. All proceeds are distributed among the organizers’ affiliates and eventually misused.

 

MOSCOW — The first two Mistral class warships for the Russian navy will be commissioned in 2014-2015, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov told reporters on Wednesday.

 

MOSCOW — The industrial assembly of Italy’s Iveco armoured vehicles will be made at KAMAZ enterprises, Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov said.

 

MOSCOW — Flight tests of Russia’s new manned spacecraft capable of flying to the Moon will start in 2017, the president of Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Vitaly Lopota, told reporters on Wednesday.

 

MOSCOW — The Russian Defense Ministry will begin to purchase several upgraded small arms from domestic producers starting from 2014, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov told reporters on Wednesday.

In part, the Defense Ministry plans to acquire upgraded rifles, such as “the 7.62mm Dragunov sniper rifle, 9mm sniper special rifle, and 12.7 mm sniper rifle,” Borisov said.

He said, “in 2014 we also plan to purchase state-of-the-art optronic sights for sniper rifles - pancratic optical sights, sights with opto-electronic transformers and sights with thermal imaging devices.”

 

MOSCOW — Russia’s Rocket and Space Corporation Energia and EADS Astrium signed charter documents to set up a joint venture on satellite production, the corporation’s president, Vitaly Lopota, told reporters on Wednesday.

 

MOSCOW — Flight tests of Russia’s new manned spacecraft capable of flying to the Moon will start in 2017, the president of Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Vitaly Lopota, told reporters on Wednesday.

 

MOSCOW — The total number of Russians with incomes below the minimum subsistence level decreased by 14.9 percent to stand at 17.2 million people in the first nine months of the year, the Federal State Statistics Service said in its regular report made public on Wednesday, adding that the indicator amounted to 12.1 percent of the country’s total population.

In July-September 2012, the minimum subsistence per capita rate amounted to 6,643 roubles (USD = RUB 30.62) on average across the country, which was 5.7 percent more than in the same period of the preceding year, the document wrote.

In the period under review, an average cost of the consumer basket for Russians was estimated at 6,165 roubles, the statistics reported adding, that Russia’s average cost of the minimal food basket amounted to 2,436 roubles per month, the cost of non-food goods was estimated at 1,036 roubles and services and compulsory payments – – 2,693 roubles.

 

MOSCOW — Russia’s consumer prices continued growing in a week from December 18 to December 24 and edged up by 0.1 percent over this period, the Federal State Statistics Service said in a regular report made public on Wednesday, adding that the indicator has grown by 6.4 percent since the beginning of the year and by 0.4 percent since the beginning of this month. The weekly inflation is at the level 0.1 percent eighth week in a row.

 

MOSCOW — Russia’s retail gasoline prices increased by 0.5 percent in November 2012, and went up by seven percent in the first eleven months of the year, the Federal State Statistics Service said in its regular report published on Wednesday.

In the period under review, the growth of retail gasoline prices was registered in 60 Russian regions, the statistics said.

 

MOSCOW — Russia's pro-socialist Rodina /Fatherland/ party is setting up a national economic front that will promote the ideas of economic pragmatism and will act in the interests of defense of Russian manufacturers, the chairman of the party presidium, Sergei Shishkaryov told a news briefing Wednesday.

 

MOSCOW — U.N./LAS Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi will visit Moscow on December 29, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

 

MOSCOW — A delegation of the Syrian government is expected to visit Moscow Thursday, December 27, a diplomatic source told Itar-Tass.

 

MOSCOW — Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr will make a working visit to Moscow on December 27-28, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Wednesday.

 

ARKHANGELSK — The launch ceremony of the second serial strategic nuclear-powered submarine of Project 955 strategic (Borei class) - Vladimir Monomakh will be held at the Sevmash military shipyard in Severodvinsk on December 30, the plant’s press service told Itar-Tass.

 

ASTANA — Kazakhstan’s city of Shymkent will become a terminal base for cargoes of the French military contingent in compliance with a special protocol on making amendments and changes in the Kazakhstani-French agreement, “On Transit of Military Hardware and Personnel via the Territory of the Republic due the Participation of the Armed Forces of the French Republic In line of the Efforts Towards Stabilising and Restoring the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan”.

The draft law on the ratification of the protocol has been approved by the parliament of Kazakhstan.

 

KIEV — New Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara held the first session of the Ukraine-NATO Partnership Commssion on Wednesday, December 26, the Foreign Ministry press service reported.

The session also focused on the implementation of the national programme of Ukraine-NATO cooperation in 2012, the 2013 priorities and Kiev’s participation in peacekeeping operations under the NATO auspices, the press service said.

 

KIEV — Ukraine’s state and government-backed debt was estimated at 501.44 billion hryvni (62.734 billion U.S. dollars) as of November 30, 2012, the press service of the Ukrainian Finance Ministry said on Wednesday.

In November, the republic’s state and government-backed hryvni-denominated debt increased by 8.447 billion hryvni due to the issue of this year’s sovereign bonds total worth of 1.25 billion U.S. dollars with a 7.8-percent rate and with a ten-year period of circulation, the press service said.

 

KIEV — Ukraine plans to export about 22.9 million tonnes of grain in the 2012-2013 marketing year (in the period up to July 1, 2013), the press service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food said on Wednesday.

In the current marketing year, the forecast for the milling wheat export was earlier raised to 5.5 million tonnes, which “is a balanced approach to the creation of domestic grain reserves of the kind,” the press service reaffirmed.

Herein, “possible export amounts of 5.7-5.8 million tonnes cannot threat Ukraine’s food security,” the press service added.

In 2012, Ukraine’s farmers harvested about 46.2 million tonnes of grain, including 15.7 million tonnes of wheat, the ministry’s press service said.

 

KIEV — Ukraine reduced the imports of natural gas by 27.1% to 30.37 billion cubic meters /bcm/ from January through to November 2012 compared with the same period a year ago, the Ministry of Energy and Coalmining said Wednesday.

In November, the country purchased about 2.62 bcm of gas abroad, or 13.2% less than in the same month in 2011.

 

KIEV — Ukrainian coalmining sector increased the production of coal by 5.3% from January through to November 2012 compared with the same period a year ago, the Ministry of Energy and Coalmining said Wednesday.

More specifically, the output of coal went up to 78.74 mln tons.

Production of coal went up 4.3% in November 2012 than in November 2011.

 

BISHKEK — First deliveries of Russian grain have arrived in Kyrgyzstan as humanitarian aid, the government’s information policy department told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“Humanitarian aid has been provided within the Russian-Kyrgyz agreement on milling wheat berry supplies at the amount of 20,000 tonnes,” officials of the information policy department said.

According to the Kyrgyz government, at present, a total of 3,000 tonnes of humanitarian cargoes have been delivered to Kara-Balta (Chuiksk district). “The supplies are being made within the agreed-upon time limits,” the officials said.

In their views, Kyrgyzstan continues talks with Russia to buy another 80,000 tonnes of grain at preferential prices.

 

MINSK — It is still early for Belarus to denominate its national currency, the chair of the National Bank, Nadezhda Yermakova, told an online conference on Wednesday.

“It is impossible to denominate the national currency, when we have such a high inflation rate as that in 2012. We have no plans to lop off the zeros, as next year’s inflation is expected to reach 12 percent, and this is still a rather high rate,” she said.

 

MINSK — The Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank of Belarus, Nadezhda Yermakova is confident that it is rather realistic to maintain the republic’s average refinancing rate within 15-16 percent per annum, as it was planned for 2013.

“As for the targeted level of the refinancing rate for 2013, it is rather realistic, if the inflation processes continue slowing down, the situation on the currency market remains stable both abroad and in the republic’s macroeconomic sector,” Yermakova told on-line conference on Wednesday.

 

MINSK — Belarus hopes to consider the possibility of a new credit program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next spring, Chairperson of the Belarusian National Bank’s Board Nadezhda Yermakova told on-line conference on Wednesday.

 

MINSK — The fourth tranche of the credit granted by the Anti-Crisis Fund (ACF) of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) will be received in Belarus in the near future, Chairperson of the Belarusian National Bank’s Board Nadezhda Yermakova told on-line conference on Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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