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MOSCOW — The Dima Yakovlev law – Russia’s response to the US Magnitsky Act – comes into force on Tuesday. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed the law on December 28. The federal law introduces measures to persons involved in violation of basic human rights and freedoms, and rights and freedoms of citizens of the Russian Federation.
MOSCOW — The Russian Pension Fund announced that labour pensions will be indexed twice over the current year. “The first indexation will be on February 1 – the labour pensions will grow by the country’s inflation rate in 2012 /by about 6.5-7 percent/, the second time – on April 1 – by over three percent.”
MOSCOW — Stateless people and the refugees, who are staying in Russia, will receive the identity cards with the electronic chips, which contain their fingerprints, as of January 1, 2013. The amendments in the federal laws on refugees and the legal position of foreigners in Russia entered in force on January 1.
MOSCOW — The Russian presidential decree signed on August 21, 2012, under which the Russian Foreign Ministry has formed a situation crisis centre, entered into force on Tuesday. The new agency has the status of a separate department. “Since this is an absolutely new mechanism, its formation, development and equipping will take some time,” spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich said.
YEREVAN — The supreme hierarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church prayed for the wellbeing of the Syrian Armenians on the New Year night. “At this moment prior to the coming of the New Year that is filled with good expectations, let’s recall about our compatriots, who live in Syria, all exiled and mourning people in our prayers,” Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II said in his traditional televised address. “Let’s pray about our relatives, who are far away from us,” he said.
MOSCOW — Russia’s Foreign Ministry confirmed it is ready to continue active joint work aimed at improvement of relations with the Czech Republic and with Slovakia. The foreign ministry made the statement due to the 20th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic.
MOSCOW — Those who have filed earlier their applications, will be able to receive their universal electronic cards /UEC/ beginning from January 1, like it has been planned, Alexei Popov of the UEC company said. In some pilot regions, the company started issuing the cards in 2012 already. The card’s term is five years, and it is very probable that in five years’ time the card may be changed for an electronic passport. The option of electronic passports has been discussed very actively, and a decision may be due within first six months of the current year.
MOSCOW — The condition of people, who were injured in the crash of an airliner at the Vnukovo airport has stabilized, the press service of the Russian Health Ministry told Itar-Tass on Tuesday. “Two wounded people, namely a 26-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man, are being treated at the intensive therapy ward at the Pirogov city clinical hospital,” the press service said. The condition of the patient, who was brought to Sklifosovsky emergency aid clinic, is stable heavy, but with the positive dynamics, the press service said. All patients are undergoing the intensive therapy.
MOSCOW — The past year demonstrated new important trends in development of the civil society, having revealed its big potential and aspirations for participation in settlement of the country’s problems, the Russian Civil Chamber’s Secretary Evgeny Velikhov said commenting on results of year 2012.
MINSK — The year 2013 will be crucial for the Belarusian economy, President Alexander Lukashenko said. “We do not have choice: quality renovation and speedy modernisation of enterprises will strengthen our statehood and will provide growth of the peoples’ wellbeing,” he said in the New Year greeting.
KIEV — A torch march of the Ukrainian nationalists in memory of Stepan Bandera ended in downtown Kiev on Tuesday. The march was organized by the nationalistic party Svoboda, which succeeded to elect 36 deputies of the party for the first time at the latest elections in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament.
MINSK — Belarus has changed the export duty on oil and oil products for Russia, reducing this export duty from 396.5 dollars to 395.6 dollars per tonne as of January 1, 2013. According to the resolution of the Belarusian Council of Ministers, the unified export duty rate on light and dark oil products (except for petrol), which had been unified at the level of 66% of oil duty since October 2011, has made 261.1 dollars per tonne against 261.7 dollars per tonne in December 2012. The same export duty is set on benzene, toluene, xylene.
TOKYO — The DPRK’s leader Kim Jong-un in his New Year address urged his nation to develop space technologies and to strengthen the country’s power. The Supreme Leader of the Republic made his greeting verbally, which has not happened over 19 years, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said on Tuesday.
MOSCOW — Moscow’s New Year festive events have featured up to two million people, press service of the Moscow police said on Tuesday. “Over the past day, in Moscow’s various festive events devoted to the New Year participated up to two million people, including about 90,000 in the city’s central part,” the press service said. The security was provided by 2,860police and 2,400 military.
MOSCOW — Russia’s capital city introduces beginning from Tuesday the Euro-4 ecology standard – oil and diesel fuel of lower level are not to be available any longer. For several years already, Moscow filling stations are not selling fuel below the Euro-3 standard. The auto transport is responsible for over 90 percent of pollution in the city. The city’s department of nature management and environment reported that following introduction of Euro-3 five years earlier, the pollution in the city reduced.
MOSCOW — Russian ice hockey star forward Alexander Ovechkin and Russian tennis star Maria Kirilenko declared about their engagement, the forward of Dynamo Moscow and the Russian ice hockey national team stated about it in his Twitter blog on Tuesday.
MOSCOW — One person was killed and another four people were injured, as a car rammed in the ambulance in north-western Moscow, the Moscow law enforcement agencies told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
MOSCOW — The presidential order on measures to implement the state policy in protection of orphans and parentless children comes into force on Tuesday. Vladimir Putin signed the document on December 28.
MOSCOW — Russia and the United States cut mutually beginning from January 1, 2013 the rates of consular visa fees. “Beginning from January 1, 2013, Russian consular services abroad reduce from 180 to 160 dollars the consular fee for processing for the US citizens business, private, humanitarian and tourism visas,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated famous Russian writer Daniil Granin on his 94th birthday, the Kremlin official website reported on Tuesday. “As a real master, a classical writer of Russian literature, a war veteran, you gained the deserved public acclaim, wrote a unique collection of pieces of literary works, which enriched the Russian literature. Filled with the sincere love to Russia, your literary works raise important moral problems, attract with their profound knowledge of life and human characters, and therefore your literary creativity finds a vivid response in the hearts of people,” the Russian said in the birthday congratulatory message.
MOSCOW — The law on rotation in the state civil service entered into force in Russia on Tuesday. The United Russia Party believes that this law will help combat the corruption. “The officials, who hold the posts of the chief executives in territorial bodies of federal executive authorities, which perform controlling and supervising functions, are subject to compulsory rotation,” first deputy head of the United Russia faction in the State Duma Vyacheslav Timchenko told reporters.
MOSCOW — The new procedure to form the Federation Council, the upper house of Russian parliament, entered into force in Russia on Tuesday. The State Duma approved the law, the very Federation Council approved it and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law.
BEIRUT — Lebanese President Michel Suleiman will be awarded with the prize of the International Public Foundation for the Unity of the Orthodox Peoples. A festive awarding ceremony will be held at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow on January 21. Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill will head the awarding ceremony.
KIEV — The New Year for Ukraine should become a year of social justice, the country’s President Viktor Yanukovich said in his traditional television address to the nation. “The work of Verkhovna Rada of the new convocation opens opportunities for productive work of all political forces for the benefit of Ukraine,” he said. “The major principle of our policy should be the national unanimity, and the major objective – wellbeing of the Ukrainian people.”
KIEV — Settlement of protracted conflicts, control over armaments, fighting human traffic – among key priorities of Ukraine’s chairing of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe /OSCE/, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara said in connections with beginning of Ukraine’s chairing role in OSCE, which unites 57 countries.
LVOV — A car rammed in the holidaymakers on the New Year night at the main New Year tree on the Vechevaya Square in the Ukrainian city Ivano-Frankovsk on the New Year night. Eight people were injured in the road accident, the press service of the regional prosecutor’s office reported.
MOSCOW — Beijing’s authorities introduce a 72-hours visa-free transit regime for citizens of 45 countries, including Russia. The decision was made due to increase of foreign tourists visiting China’s capital city. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said “the right to stay in Beijing without visas for the period of three days will be granted to foreign transit passengers if they have visas of third countries and air tickets to the final destination.”
SAMARA — The joint venture GM-AVTOVAZ produced 62,981 jeeps Chevrolet Niva in 2012 that is nine percent more than the figure in 2011, the press service of the joint venture reported on Tuesday. In 2012 the car dealers transhipped 63,023 cars from the available stock that is 42 cars more than those cars produced, including 2,744 cars in the CIS states that is nine percent more than in 2011.
MOSCOW — Beginning from January 1, 2013, Russia starts using fuel of standard not lower than Euro-3. The EU introduced the standard back in 1999, thus having reduced emissions by 30-40 percent. In 2005, it was replaced with Euro-4, and nowadays the EU uses oil of Euro-5 standard. The implementation of the new standard was delayed in Russia several times.
MOSCOW — The police released all participants in the unauthorised rally in Moscow’s Triumphalnaya Square, who were detained on Monday, press service of the Moscow police said on Tuesday. “All the detained were released after the police finalised protocols on administrative disorders,” the source said. Earlier, police reported about 25 detained.
MOSCOW — The fire of a railway tank in the Moscow region is extinguished, the regional branch of EMERCOM said on Tuesday. The fire started at Dinamo platform at about 08:00 Moscow time. The fire caught a railway tank with oil of 68 cubic metres, and a boxcar, the source said. The train had 74 tanks, where ten were carrying oil.
BEIJING — The Russian oil supplies to China along a branch of the East Siberia-the Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline reached 30 million tonnes for the past two years, official of a subsidiary of the Chinese company PetroChina, which is an operator of the pipeline system, Wu Chenning said on Tuesday.
LONDON — About 60 people were killed and about 200 people were injured the hustle, which was triggered at the stadium in the largest Cote d’Ivoire city Abidjan, the British news agency Reuters reported on Tuesday. The tragedy occurred on the New Year night at the stadium, which was overfilled with people that came to watch the fireworks.
PYONGYANG — To put an end to confrontation between the North and South called the DPRK’s leader Kim Jong-un in his New Year address. He said that reunification of the fatherland is the "most important national issue that must be addressed without delay in accordance with the desire and the instructions of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il." The leader believes that the Republic of Korea should "abandon its hostile policy toward compatriots in the North and should follow the path of national reconciliation, unity and reunification."