Peace talks on Syria begin in AstanaWorld January 23, 10:48
Syrian opposition: Russia can significantly influence parties to Syrian conflictWorld January 23, 9:57
Japan to continue talks with Russia on joint economic activity on Kuril IslandsWorld January 23, 8:58
Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry: Format of Astana talks on Syria still under discussionWorld January 23, 8:18
ARAF to check information from new ARD film on doping in Russian sportSport January 22, 22:47
All countries observe oil output cuts agreement — Russian energy ministerBusiness & Economy January 22, 16:59
Rogozin calls "dangerous incident" UK botched missile launchRussian Politics & Diplomacy January 22, 16:32
Medvedev calls United Russia ruling party, president's main resourceRussian Politics & Diplomacy January 22, 16:27
Mutko calls silly information Infantino asks him not to run for RFU headSport January 22, 16:24
MOSCOW — President Putin has submitted a bill to the State Duma on Wednesday which bans fictitious registration of visitors.
The bill is accompanied by an explanatory note which says that offices are annually registered in Russia to register hundreds of thousands of citizens as residents, who, in fact, do not intend to settle in the place where they are registered, while their actual place of residence remains unknown.
The bill suggested by the president envisages that the registration of Russian citizens in places where they are staying temporarily or permanently should have a notification character which is to confirm the fact of a citizen's arrival or departure to and from the specified place.
The bill envisages that the registration of a citizen is considered fictitious if this citizen is registered on the basis of false data or documents or without the landlord's intention to let his place to that citizen to live there.
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted a bill, which is aimed at a tougher struggle against fixed matches, in the State Duma.
The bill envisages higher fines for bribing athletes, referees and the chief executives of the teams “to exert illegal influence on the result...or making or talking the foresaid people into exerting such influence or engaging in a conspiracy with them for the same goals.” “If now these offences are fined up to 200,000 roubles or the salary or other incomes of the convict for the period of up to 18 months, it is planned to set these fines from 300,000 to 500,000 roubles per month or the salary or other incomes for the period from one to three years,” the bill runs.
The bill imposed a ban on the illegal influence on the results of official sport events of different levels. The bribing of athletes, referees, coaches, chief executives of the sport teams, other participants or organizers of competitions, as well as making or talking them into exerting such influence or engaging in a conspiracy with them. Meanwhile, “the bribes in the form of money, securities and other property” is considered as an impact to obtain the predetermined result of the match.
MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin will make a working trip to the Northwestern Federal District on Thursday, January 10. In St.Petersburg, the head of state will attend the christening ceremony for the Vitus Bering ice-breaker auxiliary vessel of oil platforms.
GORKI — Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev demanded that the negative impact on the environment be reduced further and that work be stepped up to restore nature preserves in the country.
“It is necessary to continue work to reduce the negative impact on the environment further and to preserve and restore unique natural complexes and increase environmental control and monitoring, and strengthen law and order,” Medvedev said at a meeting on environmental problems, held on Wednesday, January 9.
The year 2013 has been designated Year of the Environment in Russia.
GORKI — The Russian government plans to spend about 100 billion roubles on environmental security until 2020, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Sergei Donskoi said on Wednesday, January 9.
The federal budget will provide up to 80 percent of this amount and the rest will come from regions and private investors. The purpose of the programme is to clean up contaminated areas.
According to the minister, “77 projects have been approved up to date” but their number can increase to include areas that were used to be occupied by Defence Ministry facilities.
GORKI — Samotlorneftegas has paid the full price of 4.66 billion roubles for the license to develop the Lodochnoye deposit, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Sergei Donskoi said on Wednesday, January 9.
There were four bidders: Samotlorneftegas, Surgutneftegas, Rosneft and Status.
Samotlorneftegaz is TNK-BP’s top producing asset and the company’s biggest subsidiary. It is developing the central and southwestern sectors of the Samotlor field, producing 65 percent of its current recoverable reserves.
MOSCOW — The Russian government has allowed Vnesheconombank (VEB) to invest pension savings in bonds.
Standing out among the assets in which the bank may invest pension savings are bonds of Russian business entities with long-term credit ratings with regard to Russian or foreign currency liabilities awarded by at least one international rating agency at a level no lower than the sovereign rating of the Russian Federation, according to the resolution posted on the government’s official website.
The document also says that a rating should be awarded by at least one international rating agency.
MOSCOW — Russian military pilots will hold a series of the exercises with foreign armies in 2013, Air Force spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Deryabin told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
“In 2012 the joint drills with the armed forces of Russia’s partner countries and with the peacekeeping forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, aside from special exercises of the Air Forces, will take place,” he said. “In particular, the joint drills of the air forces of Russia, France, India and Mongolia are planned.”
“The Air Force crews together with other branches of the Russian Armed Forces will hold over 300 different exercises, including over 30 live shooting drills,” Deryabin said.
MOSCOW — Russia’s Reserve Fund accumulated 1,885.68 billion roubles as of January 1, 2013, which equals to 62.08 billion U.S. dollars, the Finance Ministry said in its regular report published on Wednesday.
By the period under review, 27.42 billion U.S. dollars, 21.45 billion euros and 3.88 billion British pounds are the balance of Reserve Fund’s money placed on the accounts of several banks, the document wrote.
The total amount of the Russian Sovereign Wealth Fund amounted to 2,690.63 billion roubles (88.59 billion U.S. dollars) as of January 1, the ministry reported.
MOSCOW — Russia terminated the Adoption Agreement with the United States on January 1, 2013, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
"On January 1, the Russian Foreign Ministry officially notified the U.S. embassy in Moscow that Russia is terminating rather than ‘freezing’ the aforesaid Agreement in connection with the coming in force on the same date of a federal law on measures of influencing persons linked to violation of basic human rights and liberties and the rights and individual freedoms of citizens of Russia,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"Any other interpretations or attempts to distort the essence of our position are unacceptable. We have terminated the aforesaid Agreement,” the Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized.
MOSCOW — An absolute majority of the population of the North Caucasus view themselves as part of the Russian Federation. The choice is firm and consistent, despite problems, including those with the federal center, according to a complex study of the situation in the region, conducted by the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences /RAN/. The two-year study was presented in the newly-published monograph titled: Republics of the North Caucasus: Ethnopolitical Situation and Relations with the Federal Center, the first academic paper on this theme in the past several years.
MOSCOW — Russia’s average cost of the minimal food basket was estimated at 2,608.9 roubles (USD 1 = RUB 30.42) per month by the end of December 2012, the Russian State Statistics Service said in its regular report.
According to the document, the indicator went up by 1.5 percent over the month under review, but has increased by 7.8 percent since the beginning of the year.
ARKHANGELSK — The Zvezdochka Shipyard in Severodvinsk, northern Russia, has conducted maintenance of 269 ships for the Russian Navy, the shipyard’s press service told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
The works were conducted at ships’ bases – the Northern Fleet, the Caspian Flotilla and the Novorossiysk naval base within the framework of three state contracts with the Ministry of Defence concluded at the end of 2010.
ARKHANGELSK — The head 4th generation nuclear submarine Yuri Dolgoruky of Project 955 "Borei" will be handed over to the Russian Navy on January 10, the press service of the Sevmash shipyard which built the submarine, told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
MOSCOW — Nearly 450 people have died in fires in Russia during the New Year holidays – which is less than a year earlier, Director of the oversight department of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM) Yuri Deshevykh said on Wednesday.
He said that since the beginning of the year, more than 4.2 thousand fires have occurred in which 448 people have died.
MOSCOW — Rescuers of the Ministry for Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) have rescued over 4,000 people since the New Year began, Chief of the EMERCOM National Center for managing crisis situations Vladimir Stepanov said on Wednesday.
Thanks to measures taken by EMERCOM it was possible to ensure a more effective response to emergency situations and accidents, he said. All in all more than 300 emergencies and accidents were registered; there were more than 4,000 fires caused by technogenic factors and more than 4,400 people were rescued, Stepanov said.
KAZAN — The Tatneft company is making preparations for resuming development of oil fields in Libya, the company’s press service told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
In the words of Tatneft Director General Shafagat Takhautdinov, the development of hydrocarbons in Libya most probable will resume already this spring.
MOSCOW — Moscow and Damascus discussed a programme to overcome the crisis in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.
The programme was in the focus of Wednesday’s meeting between Russian presidential special envoy for the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Syrian Ambassador in Moscow Riayd Haddad. The meeting was held on the Syrian diplomat’s initiative, the ministry said.
GENEVA — The tripartite meeting on Syria will take place in Geneva on Friday, January 11, with the participation of the Russian and U.S. diplomats, and U.N./LAS Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, director of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva Corrine Momal-Vanian told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
BEIJING — Russia and China are pleased with the development of bilateral cooperation, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev told Russian mass media after the end of the 8th round of Russian-Chinese consultations on strategic security in Beijing on Wednesday, January 9.
During the consultations special attention was paid to security in the Asia Pacific Region.
DUSHANBE — The lower house of the Tajikistani parliament on Wednesday ratified the agreement on the country's accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Tajikistan was admitted to the WTO on December 10 last year, 12 years since the beginning of the negotiating process.
DUSHANBE — Tajikistani inflation rate in 2012 was the lowest over the past three years and stood at 6.4 percent, the National Bank of the country said in its report.
“As a whole, the situation with inflation in the republic was rather stable in 2012. Its growth slowed down by 2.9 on average as compared to the previous years,” a bank representative said. In 2010, the republic’s inflation rate amounted to 9.8 percent and was at 9.3 percent in 2011, he added.
KIEV — Ukraine promises no decline in the transit of Russian gas through its territory in 2013.
The volumes of gas transit “will be no lower than those in 2012,” Energy and Mining Minister Eduard Stavitsky told reporters on Wednesday.
According to Ukraine’s gas company Ukrtransgaz, in January-November gas transit through the country’s territory reduced by 20.7 percent to 75.304 billion cubic meters.
In compliance with Ukraine’s state budget for this year the gas transit will total 110 billion cubic meters.
KIEV — The Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers, Leonid Kozhara and Sergei Lavrov, discussed on Wednesday by phone the preparation for the seventh meeting of the international cooperation subcommittee of the Russian-Ukrainian interstate commission due in the city of Chernovtsy on January 14, the press service of the Ukrainian government reports. According to its information, the parties “touched upon other topical items on the bilateral agenda.”
TBILISI — David Usupashvili, the Georgian parliament speaker, is going to sign an amnesty bill if President Mikhail Saakashvili fails to sign the document by January 11, Eka Beseliya, the head of the parliamentary committee for human rights, told journalists in Tbilisi on Wednesday.