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Lavrov says he plays football once a week, goes rafting every yearSport March 29, 3:59
UK prime minister signs formal Brexit letter to Brussels — official photoWorld March 29, 1:26
Some 20 Topol-M, Yars mobile ICBM systems take part in massive Central Russian drillsMilitary & Defense March 28, 23:10
Russia clinches last-minute 3-3 draw with Belgium in friendly football match in SochiSport March 28, 21:40
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'Gentlefan' continues: 'Angels' greet Belgium football fans ahead of Sochi gameSport March 28, 21:12
Scottish parliament backs new referendum on independenceWorld March 28, 20:42
ST. PETERSBURG — Russian intends to develop the highly technological shipbuilding and work on the creation of the whole series of highly technological ships, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a ceremony to give name to the multifunctional supply icebreaker Vitus Bering here on Thursday.
The president noted that Russia already has “the nuclear icebreaking fleet, which is the largest in the world.” “We will be working on developing the whole series of such vessels,” the president said.
Putin noted that 90% of hull structure of the new ship was built at the Russian shipyards. “You should continue to work this way in the future,” the president noted.
SEVEROMORSK — There are plans for spending 4 trillion rubles by 2020 on purchasing new ships for the Russian Navy, President Vladimir Putin said at a video conference with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
“The fleet’s renewal is one of the highest priorities of our efforts to strengthen the armed forces. Under the state program for armaments extending till 2020 over 4 trillion rubles will be spent to create up-to-date balanced submarine and surface groups,” Putin said.
SEVERODVINSK — Russian Defence Minister General Sergei Shoigu reported from the command post of the submarine cruiser Yuri Dolgoruky in Severodvinsk through the video conference to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is staying onboard the heavy nuclear-powered missile-carrying cruiser Pyotr Veliky in Severomorsk that the Russian Navy has put into service the Yuri Dolgoruky submarine on Thursday.
SEVERODVINSK — Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said 15 strategic and multi-purpose nuclear submarines of the Borei and Yasen classes will be supplied to the Navy by 2020.
Shoigu made the statement after secure video-link with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier on Thursday.
SEVERODVINSK — Russian warships will hold military exercises in the Mediterranean Sea that will be the biggest in Russia’s history, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told journalists on Thursday after a closed-door video conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Russian warships are staying in the Mediterranean in accordance with a planned program. They are getting ready for inter-fleet naval exercises, the biggest in Russia’s history,” Shoigu said.
MOSCOW — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a resolution on the federal program The Development of Russia’s Court System in 2013-2020, the press service of the government reported on Thursday.
The program is geared to enhance the quality of the country’s judicial system and to ensure better court protection of the rights and legal interests of Russian citizens and organizations, according to the press service.
“The resolution specifies the program’s targets, objects and volumes of financing needed for its implementation,” the press service said.
The program provides for a number of measures, including the use of advanced information technologies.
GORKI — Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev urged heads of ministries and departments and regional governors not to allow unjustified public utility tariff hikes.
"The increase in the cost of services of public utilities is not always explained by natural causes. The state only regulates a portion of tariffs, as the prices of utility services are fixed on contractual basis," Medvedev said at a conference over prices of public utility services, "It is in this sector that major hikes occur."
MOSCOW — As many as 1,058,500 passengers used the services of Russian Railways Co (RZD) in 2012, a company spokesman told Itar-Tass.
Thus, according to the spokesman, the passenger traffic in 2012 was up by 6.6 percent on the previous year. “As many as 116.5 million passengers used the services of long-distance trains, and 941.9 million – commuter trains,” the spokesman said.
The passenger turnover in 2012 went up by 3.4 percent as compared with 2011 to reach 144.6 billion passenger-kilometers.
MOSCOW — Some 150,000 graduates from secondary and higher professional education institutions sought jobs via employment services in 2012. Only a third of them were placed in jobs, director of Russia’s Federal Labor Agency Yuri Gertsiy told journalists.
KHABAROVSK — The first millionth tonne of oil has been pumped by the Transneft Company via th Eastern Siberia -- Pacific Ocean (CSTO) pipeline transportation system from Taishet, Irkutsk Region, to the special-purpose oil port of Kozmino in Primorsky (maritime) Territory (PT), the press service of the Dalnefteprovod (Far Eastern oil pipeline transportation) limited liability company (a subsidiary of Transneft) announced on Thursday.
ST. PETESRBURG — The Russian gas giant Gazprom and the Russian largest independent gas producer NOVATEK signed an agreement to set up a joint venture for the production of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the Yamal Peninsula.
The agreement was signed in St. Petersburg on Thursday in the presence of Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and NOVATEK CEO Leonid Mikhelson.
MOSCOW — The State Duma lower house of Russia’s parliament is ready to study public policy initiatives that have collected 100 thousand signatures, but the mechanism for their consideration is yet to be developed, deputy speaker of the lower house, Secretary of the General Council of the United Russia party Sergei Neverov confirmed to Itar-Tass, commenting on the collection by the Novaya Gazeta newspaper of signatures for the Duma dissolution.
MOSCOW — The Russian Audit Chamber as a result of an inspection of the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Monitoring Service (Rosselkhoznadzor) and its institutions has arrived at the conclusion that Russia at the moment has no legal basis for the exercise of state control and supervision over the quality of grain and its processing products when they are imported by the country, when they are allocated to the state reserve and purchased for public needs.
“This creates prerequisites for uncontrolled import to Russia of deliberately low-quality products,” believe the Chamber auditors.
YEKATERINBURG — The Russian-German Chamber of Commerce (AHK) will take part in the exhibition Innoprom-2013 that is to be held in Yekaterinburg this summer. The information department of the Sverdlovsk Region’s governor told Itar-Tass on Thursday that AHK Executive Director Michael Harms in a letter to the regional governor, Yevgeny Kuivashev, confirmed his participation in the exhibition.
ST PETERSBURG — Russia’s gas giant Gazprom and largest independent gas producer Novatek plan to double liquefied natural gas production on the Yamal Peninsula, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said after the agreement with Novatek was signed on Thursday.
Under the agreement the companies will set up a joint venture on the LNG production on the Yamal Peninsula until the end of the year.
MOSCOW — The German visa service centre will open in Moscow on January 11, German Ambassador to Russia Ulrich Brandenburg said.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Brandenburg said the issuance of entry documents would start from January 14.
ASTANA — The Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan has declared it was wrong to give up cooperation with Russia in the field of space research, commenting on media reports about a note sent by Russia to Astana in response to a statement made by the head of the Kazakh National Space Agency, Talgat Musabayev, who declared it was necessary to sign a new agreement with Russia on lease of Baikonur cosmodrome. Incidentally, Talgat Musabayev referred to the president of Kazakhstan, who had instructed Musabayev "to attend to this problem."
ASTANA — Kazakhstan’s transition to the Latin alphabet is motivated exceptionally by the need of the development of the Kazakh language, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the head of state, told the meeting with the creative intelligentsia of the country on Wednesday.
The Kazakhstani head noted that the switch of the Kazakh language to the Latin alphabet would spur on the development of national culture.
KURSK — Russia’s Kursk nuclear plant generated 29 billion and 46.6 million kilowatt hours of electricity in 2012, a maximal performance in its entire history, spokeswoman for the Kursk plant Elena Shchepotyeva told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
The plant has been breaking electricity production records for the third year in a row thanks to continuous upgrading of its facilities and energy-saving technologies, she said. Thus, in 2012 the plant operated at 82.67 percent of its designed capacity.
Since its commissioning in 1976, the Kursk nuclear plant has generated more than 749 billion kilowatt hours of electricity.
Currently, all the plant’s four units are being in operation. The radiation background level at the plant and in its vicinity is within natural levels.
MOSCOW — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Ukraine on January 13-14. The Russian foreign minister and his Ukrainian counterpart Leonid Kozhara will hold a 7th meeting of the sub-commission for international cooperation in the bilateral intestate commission in the Ukrainian city Chernovtsy, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Thursday.
MOSCOW — Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov will report to an investigator at the main office of the Investigative Committee on Friday, to answer his questions within the Oboronservis case, his lawyer Genrikh Padva told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
In December 2012, Serdyukov refused to be questioned because of his lawyer's illness and the SK met his request to postpone the questioning.
MOSCOW — Moscow has notified Tbilisi that the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) is ready to join the search for a group of mountain climbers trapped under the snow avalanche, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.
VILNIUS — Lithuania should search for constructive ways in relationship with Russia, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said.
The minister said he believes that Lithuanian-Russian relations “could develop better”. “It is necessary to build them more constructively and this should be done carefully and without any haste,” the diplomat stressed.
KIEV — The problem of the modernization of Ukraine’s gas transportation system will be solved in 2013, according to speaker of the Ukrainian parliament Vladimir Rybak.
KIEV — The issue of Ukraine’s joining the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is outside the present-day agenda, according to speaker of the Ukrainian parliament Vladimir Rybak.
“Ukraine has not applied for membership in the Customs Union. However, Ukrainian experts are working on the issue concerning this association. They will provide their recommendations and opinions to the lawmakers,” he said.
KIEV — Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov ordered the Cabinet to step up European integration efforts, with the view of preparing for the signing of the association agreement with the European Union, the government's press service reported on Thursday.
Azarov ordered the government to hold an expanded meeting in February "to discuss the topical issues of cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union and the implementation of the state policy in the field of European integration."
KIEV — Ukraine increased energy export by 51.5 percent in 2012, as compared with 2011 to bring it to 9.745 billion kW-hours, according to the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry.
There was no energy export to Russia in 2012, while Russia bought 55.5 million kW-hours of Ukrainian energy in 2011.
Ukraine expanded energy exports by 52.5 percent in 2011, as compared with 2010 to bring them to 6.433 billion kW-hours.
KIEV — Parliamentarians from Ukraine’s opposition factions have blocked the work of the country’s parliament.
Parliamentary speaker Vladimir Rybak announced a break.
Batkivshchina, boxing champion Vitali Klitschko’s Udar and Freedom demand that issues concerning Ukraine’s EU integration, amnesty of political prisoners and decriminalization of the articles under which ex-prime minister Yulia Timoshenko and former interior minister Yuri Lutsenko were charged should be put on the session’s agenda.
“If these issues are not included into the agenda, the Verkhovna Rada will not work,” Batkivshchina leader Arseny Yatsenyuk said.
MINSK — China will offer a gratis financial aid worth 100 million yuans (approximately 16 million U.S. dollars) to the Belarusian government under a technical economic cooperation agreement signed here on Wednesday by Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Tozik and China;s ambassador in Minsk Gong Jianwei.
It is planned to use money to implement in Belarus a socially important projects agreed by the parties, the press service of the Belarusian government said.