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News summary for January 12, 13

January 14, 2013, 9:05 UTC+3

All the headlines from the weekend's news

1 pages in this article

MOSCOW — Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will attend the Gaidar Forum 2013 “Russia and the World: Challenges of Integration” on January 16 to speak at a plenary discussion titled “Global Challenges of Integration”, the government press service said.

The discussions will focus on Russia’s integration into global trade, development of the international financial and monetarisation systems, energy cooperation, global competition and economic integration.


ST. PETERSBURG — A special working commission that will be set up shortly in St Petersburg will decide on the future destiny of the legendary Russian ship, the cruiser Aurora, which is broadly associated in popular consciousness here with the start of the October 1917 Bolshevik revolution.

The workgroup will be expected to scrutinize the technical condition of the cruiser and to submit proposals on its repairs, as well as future maintenance and status to the Defense Ministry.

At present, The Aurora has the official status of an affiliation of Russia’s Central Naval Museum, which is located in St Petersburg.


MOSCOW — Russian presidential children’s rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov has welcomed the idea of a ban on all adoptions of Russian children by foreigners.

“Children are taken abroad for money. It’s a disgrace for the country,” he told Itar-Tass.


MOSCOW — The chairman of the presidential council for the promotion of civil society and human rights, Mikhail Fedotov, believes that introducing the full ban on foreign adoptions of Russian children would be premature.

“First the legislators will have to cancel Article 124 of the Family Code, which establishes a certain hierarchy of adoption priorities,” Fedotov told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“The Family Code envisages four possibilities. Number one priority – the most preferable one – is adoption by relatives. Next, there is adoption by a Russian family. Adoption by a foreign family comes third. A child care institution is fourth,” Fedotov recalled.


ST. PETERSBURG — Those Russian non-governmental organizations which are involved in the rehabilitation of drug addicts and do it effectively may expect financial support from the government, the first deputy chief of the federal drug control service FSKN, Nikolai Tsvetkov, told a news briefing in St. Petersburg on Friday. Earlier he discussed the state program for the comprehensive rehabilitation of drug abusers with the non-governmental organizations of the Northwestern Federal District.

Tsvetkov said one of the purposes of the program being developed by the agencies concerned was to get an adequate idea of the NGOs involved in this sphere of activity and to see “who deserves and needs support from the government, including grants.”


KRASNOYARSK — The Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum due on February 14–16 will identify Russia’s economic and social development guidelines till 2018.


MOSCOW — Russia’s prosecutors managed to bring to justice over one million lawbreakers, Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika told a special conference on Friday, called on the eve of the Prosecutor Day holiday, being marked on January 12.

“We employed the entire range of instruments available to prosecutors to restore justice in relation to millions of people and to bring over one million wrongdoers to justice,” Chaika said.

“Last year alone prosecutors looked into over three million complaints. Each involved an individual human life,” Chaika said.


MOSCOW — The fifth strategic missile undersea cruiser Alexander Suvorov of the improved 955A project (code Borei-A) will be laid down at the Sevmash plant in Severodvinsk in July this year, and the six undersea cruiser of the same project of the Mikhail Kutuzov class in November, an informed source of the Russian defence industrial complex told Itar-Tass on Saturday.

The decision is taken to start the construction of the fifth Borei in late July. The event will be timed to coincide with Russian Navy Day to be marked on July 28.


MOSCOW — The LUKOIL Board of Directors has summarised the company’s preliminary performance results in 2012 and set priorities for 2013 and the near term.

Under the Russian classification, its hydrocarbon reserves increment, due to geological exploration, may reach 137.6 million tonnes of reference fuel in 2012. Five fields were discovered in Perm Region, the Republic of Tatarstan, Volgograd Region and the Republic of Uzbekistan. In addition, 18 new deposits were discovered within the previously discovered fields. The year 2012 saw the commencement of raw hydrocarbon production at seven new fields, the company said in a press release.

In 2012, LUKOIL Group’s hydrocarbons production, including volumes produced by its subsidiaries and also the share in affiliated companies’ production, is expected at the level of 114.4 million tonnes of reference fuel. The estimated oil production rate in LUKOIL Group totals 89.9 million tonnes, including 84.2 million tonnes in Russia and 5.6 million tonnes overseas.


MURMANSK — Unit No. 1 at the Kola nuclear power plant was stopped by the automatic transformer protection system on Saturday, January 12.

The incident occurred at 03:43 Moscow time. No breach was registered in the safe operation of the power plant’s units. The level of radiation at the plant and around it remain unchanged at the natural background level, the plant’s press centre said.

Units 2, 3, and 4 are operating normally. The power plant’s overall capacity is 1,360MW.

The Kola nuclear power plant is a branch of Rosenergoatom Concern. It is located 200 kilometers south of Murmansk on Lake Imandra. It generates about 60 percent of electricity in the Murmansk region. Four of its units with VVER-type reactors are currently in operation. Each has a capacity of 440 MW. The plant also supplies electricity to Karelia.


MOSCOW — Russia will continue vigorous efforts towards the soonest possible political settlement in Syria, Russian president’s special representative for the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said.

He met with a delegation of a Syrian opposition organisation “Democratic Tribune” headed by Michel Kilo.

“The sides expressed a common opinion that a top priority objective is to put an immediate stop to any violence and launch a broad national dialogue in accordance with the Geneva Communique of the Action Group for Syria of June 30, 2012,” the Foreign Ministry said.


MOSCOW — Russia has reaffirmed its support for Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi.


MOSCOW — TNK-BP said it would invest approximately 90 billion roubles in the development of the Verkhnechonskoe field.

In 2012, the company increased its investment in the project to 18.5 billion roubles, which is 4 percent higher compared to 2011.

The Verkhnechonskoe field is a new hydrocarbons production centre in Eastern Siberia (with reserves exceeding 2.4 billion boe according to PRMS) and one of the major crude suppliers for the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline system.

TNK-BP has been implementing a comprehensive field development programme aimed at ensuring the most efficient use of the regional resources. According to the preliminary 2012 data, the production in the field grew 40 percent to exceed 7 million tonnes.


MOSCOW — TNK-Uvat’s 2012 oil production will amount to approximately 7 million tonnes, 19 percent more than in 2011, according to preliminary data announced by TNK-BP.

TNK-BP has been consistent in implementing a programme aimed at the organic growth of hydrocarbons production by 1-2 percent annually.


MOSCOW — Russian Railways has released consolidated financial statements according to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which include the figures for more than 150 subsidiaries and 170 associated companies.

In the first half of 2012, the group’s revenues increased by 5 percent to 745 billion roubles from 710 billion roubles in the first half of 2011.

The relative increase in revenues was largely due to a 4.3 percent increase in freight turnover and the 6 percent annual indexation of freight rates, thus helping to compensate for the effects of deconsolidating Freight One, which accounted for 7.6 percent or 54 billion roubles of the holding company’s revenues in the first half of 2011.

In the first half of 2012, the group successfully controlled operating costs. In the reporting period, costs increased by 2.7 percent from 641 billion roubles in 1H 2011 to 658 billion roubles in the first half of 2012, well below the 5 percent rise in revenues in the same period.


KIEV — The Ukrainian government will do its utmost for signing an association agreement with the European Union this year, Prime Minster Nikolai Azarov said in reply to a question from a user of the social network Facebook.

Azarov said he held a conference with government ministers and deputy prime ministers on Friday to review implementation of the action plan for relations with the EU.


MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated the country’s media on its professional holiday – the Day of Russian Press, the Kremlin press service said on Sunday.

He, in particular, emphasized that “in this century of information the media’s great role traditionally acquires special importance. Journalists’ professionalism, talent, objectivity, impartiality and sometimes civil courage decide how the society perceives what is going on and assesses promising plans as well as what has already been done.”


MOSCOW — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has congratulated journalists on their professional holiday – the Day of Russian Press, the government’s press service said on Sunday.

“The fulfillment of fundamental democratic rights and freedoms of citizens, peace and harmony in our country to no small degree depends on the work of the media,” Medvedev emphasized.


TBILISI — Georgian Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili signed the Law “On Amnesty” in the presence of journalists on Saturday, January 12.

“January 11 was the last day when Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili could sign the Law ‘On Amnesty adopted by the parliament. Since the president did not sign this document, I exercised my constitutional right and signed the law,” Usupashvili said.

According to the law, passed by the parliament on December 21, 2012, about 3,000 prisoners convicted for minor and unpremeditated crimes, economic and other such offences will be released in the next two months, including about 200 people who have been recognised by the parliament as political prisoners. They will be released on January 13.


MOSCOW — Around 9,000 people took part in Moscow’s protest against the law banning adoptions of Russian children by U.S. families, the press service of the city’s main interior department told Itar-Tass on Sunday.


MOSCOW — Police have detained nine anti-adoption law protesters in Moscow for violation of the rules on large-scale rallies and actions,” the press service said.


ST. PETERSBURG — About 1,000 people took part in a rally in St. Petersburg on Sunday against the law banning the adoption of Russian children by US families, city police reports.

Protesters demanded to revoke the legislative ban on the adoption of Russian orphans by American families that came as a response to the Magnitsky law passed in the United States.


MOSCOW — The ban on the adoption of Russian children by US citizens has become a real motivation for the development of and support for measures to root out orphanhood in the country, State Duma deputy Yelena Afanasyeva has said commenting on the anti-adoption law march in Moscow on Sunday.

Afanasyeva was among the initiators of the law passed in retaliation to the Magnitsky Act – US legislation that denies visas to Russians accused of human rights violations and freezes their assets in the United States.


MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin knows about the opposition rally held earlier on Sunday, but believes that every point of view has the right to exist, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the rally against the anti-adoption law.


NALCHIK — The head of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, Arsen Kanokov, has set the task of reforming the republic’s infrastructure to meet the needs of developing recreation and tourism zone.

"It’s important to preserve the existing international status of Nalchik airport. The tourist flows are expected to grow to one million people as the recreation zone develops. That will help to keep it profitable,” the press service of the president of Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria quotes Kanokov as saying.


SOCHI — A 3.8 point earthquake occurred in the Black Sea close to the resort of Sochi, the city’s seismic station told Itar-Tass on Sunday.

No victims and destruction were reported. Many residents of the resort practically felt no jolts.


TBILISI — Georgia has released 190 political prisoners convicted in 2005–2011 as a part of an amnesty law that entered into force on Sunday.

The parliament adopted the most large-scale bill in the country’s history last December. It was signed into law by parliamentary speaker David Usupashvili on Saturday.

Under the law within the upcoming two months around 3,000 prisoners convicted for minor offences, unintentional crimes, economic and other violations will be freed.


CHERNOVTSY, Ukraine — A meeting of the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers, Sergei Lavrov and Leonid Kozhara, on Sunday ended with the signing of final documents. The two top diplomats inked the final protocol of the seventh session of the sub-commission for international cooperation of the bilateral interstate commission and a plan of cooperation between the two foreign ministries in 2013.


CHERNOVTSY — Ukraine intends to pay priority attention to the Dniester region settlement during its OSCE presidency, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara said at a news conference after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.


CHERNOVTSY — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urges the Syrian opposition to follow the example of Bashar al-Assad and advance their ideas as to how to establish a dialogue.


CHERNOVTSY — Relations between Russia and Ukraine are characterized “by an intensive political dialogue at all levels, and first of all the summit level,” visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Leonid Kozhara.

“Economy is also a basis of cooperation,” he said. “We discussed today in particular prospects for an agreement on the zone of free trade,” he said. “Groups within the framework of the sub-committee for fight against new challenges and threats are working actively. Our ministries and secret services cooperate on the prevention of terrorist acts and in fight against drug trafficking and organized crime,” he said.





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