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News summary for January 19, 20

January 21, 2013, 9:11 UTC+3
All the headlines from the weekend's news
Material has 1 page

MOSCOW — Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a resolution that approved the value of the insurance year of 2013, the government press service said on Saturday, January 19.

The document sets the value of the insurance year of 2013 at 16,239 roubles 60 kopecks. The value is approved by the government annually.

The value of the insurance year is a sum total of monetary means determined as a product of the minimum wage set by a federal law as of the beginning of a new fiscal year and the rate of the insurance premium payable to the Pension Fund set in accordance with Article 12(2) of the Federal Law “On Insurance Contributions to the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation and the Federal Fund of Mandatory Health Insurance” increased 12 times.


MOSCOW — The Russian state information system of migration registration will include foreign nationals' personal biometric data received by the Federal Migration Service, its regional authorities and organizations in accordance with the Russian legislation.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed the corresponding decree, the government press service reports.

It will also include the database about work of foreigners in Russia, information on obligatory state fingerprinting registration and photos in cases stipulated by the Russian law.


MOSCOW —The programme to subsidize air transportation will come into effect in the Volga Federal District on April 1, 2013.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed the corresponding resolution.

The lower air transportation fares will be introduced from April 1 to November 30, 2013.

Subsidies will be provided for regional flights within the Volga Federal District, that is not to Moscow airports.

Presidential envoy to the region Mikhail Babich said earlier that the objective was to create the possibility for mobile movement to major economic centres of the country, including in the Volga Federal District.


MOSCOW — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree relieving Alexei Savatyugin of the position of Russian deputy finance minister. The document is published on the government website.

Savatyugin held the post since January 2010.


MOSCOW — The Russian government urged regional governors to adopt regional programmes aimed at improving the life of elderly people ion 2014-2018.

The move is follow-up on the meeting held in December 2012 that focused on how to make the life of elderly people better.

Regional programmes are drawn up on the basis of recommendations issued by the Ministry of Labour. Their purpose is to further improve social and health services for the elderly, especially in rural areas, as well as to promote a healthy way of life, develop social tourism, teach elderly people how to use computers and make computers available to them.


MOSCOW — Russia is going to initiate a special report at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on human rights violations in Georgia during the Mikhail Saakashvili presidency, Russia’s chief delegate to the PACE, head of the State Duma’s international affairs committee, Alexei Pushkov, said on Friday.

“We are going to study this issue within the framework of the January session of the assembly in cooperation with the Georgian delegation. If we see that there is a basis, we shall put forward the corresponding proposal at the end of the session,” he said. In any case, Pushkov said with certainty, the motion for drafting a report must be ready before the April session.


IZHEVSK — The first launch of the light space rocket Angara from the Plesetsk space sight is due in the autumn of this year, the director of the federal agency for special construction projects, Grigory Naginsky, told the media on Friday.

“The first light rocket Angara is to blast off there (Plesetsk) later this year. Its launch is scheduled for October or November. Some day in the third quarter of the year,” he said.

Earlier reports said that the first launch of the new generation Angara rocket from Plesetsk would take place in the second half of 2013.


MOSCOW — All factions of the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, have supported the government’s bill for testing students for drug abuse.

The bill underwent the first reading on Friday.


MOSCOW — Testing school students for drug abuse with special modern equipment will be possible only on the condition of written consent, Deputy Education and Science Minister Alexander Klimov told the legislators, as he presented the government’s bill on the issue on Friday.

“Social and psychological testing will be held in the form of interviews and quizzes. Then, all those who have given written consent will be tested by medics with the use of modern technologies,” the official said.

Financial estimates indicate that there is enough money to fund the proposed law.“Sixty territories of Russia have confirmed that they have enough funds,” Klimov said.

The bill contains provisions for keeping the medical results of such testing secret.


MOSCOW — The Russian railways company RZD will keep selling its stakes in affiliates and dependent companies in case such deals have the approval of the Russian government.

“The overall incomes from the sales of stakes in affiliates and dependent companies this year are expected in an amount of 34 billion rubles,” a source in the company said, adding that last year the sale of stakes in affiliates helped raise about 76 billion rubles.


MOSCOW — Russian Navy’s has begun major manoeuvres in the Black and Mediterranean Seas, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday, January 19.

It said this is the largest such war games in the past decade.

“The main purpose of the manoeuvres is to test the readiness of military control bodies of the inter-fleet group to fulfil missions in offshore maritime zones,” the ministry said.

“In the course of the manoeuvres, which will continue until January 29, the Russian sailors will conduct more than 60 different combat exercises in the Black and Mediterranean Seas, including missile and artillery shooting,” it said.


SOCHI — Implementation of the Russian government’s plans to build facilities on the Black Sea for the construction, maintenance and repairs of ships will exert an encouraging effect on the development of the areas adjoining the sea, Sergei Shishkaryov, a member of the Expert Council reporting to the cabinet of ministers said Friday.

He said it in a comment on the results of a conference on deployment of the Black Sea Fleet that was held here earlier in the day.


KIEV — Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said the exchange rate of the national currency, hryvna, would remain stable in 2013.

The national economy has become strong enough over the past several years and there is no need to use the National Bank’s reserves to keep the national currency stable, the press service of the ruling Party of Regions, of which Azarov is the leader, quoted him as saying on Saturday, January 19.

However does not rule out borrowing on foreign markets in January and February of this year. “We will not spend foreign exchange reserves to support the exchange value [of the hryvna]. We have enough other possibilities to ensure its stability. There will be no fall of the national currency,” the prime minister said.


MOSCOW — ТNK-ВР said it would allocate 50 million roubles as social investment in the Irkutsk region in 2013, which is 25 percent more than in 2012.

A supplementary agreement on social and economic cooperation between the company and the region's government envisages the allocation of funds for such key areas of focus as the support of health care, sports, educational and cultural programmes, the company said in a press release.

TNK-BP is a key investor and a major taxpayer in the Irkutsk region. In 2012, over 7.8 million roubles were allocated to the regional budget, which is 61 percent more than a year before. Payments to all-level budgets increased twice and amounted to 19.2 million roubles.


TBILISI — A resumption of railway service between Georgia and Russia will be “complicated” and may take three to four years, Georgian Minister for Reintegration Paata Zakareishvili said.

“Work is underway to realise the idea of restoring railway service. This question has to be solved first of all through talks between Georgia and Russia, taking into account the interests of the Abkhazian side. This will be a purely economic project,” the minister said in an interview with the 9-Arkhi television channel on Saturday, January 19.


DUSHANBE — Tajik security services have seized a shipment of 30 kilograms of heroin intended for Russia, a spokesman for the State National Security Committee, Nozirdzhon Buriyev, told Itar-Tass on Saturday, January 19.

Since the start of the year, Tajik security services have seized 180 kilograms of narcotics.


MOSCOW — The Russian opposition’s Coordinating Council is concerned about its low effectiveness. The meeting on Sunday began with a delay and with a minimum required representation /of 30 members/.

The meeting’s participants suggested solving the problems by means of regulations. For example, they discussed whether it may be possible to make decisions by votes from simple majority, as opposed to qualified majority, or by using trusted votes. But these suggestions did not find necessary support, and the procedures issues were not agreed.

An initiative from Coordinator of the Left Front, Sergei Udaltsov, was not supported either. He insisted on a possible transfer of a mandate to candidatures following former members of the Council on the list.

The Coordinating Council’s Budget Committee presented a report, which read that 18 of 44 members of the Council had not been making monthly payments of 5,000 roubles for three months running.


MOSCOW — Coordinating Council of the Russian opposition has scheduled another protest rally for spring.

Members of the meeting on Sunday failed to agree on its date or format.

After a long discussion, the Council asked a working group to draft a resolution on “organisation of a mass protest rally in spring of 2013.” The rally’s key slogan will be liberation of those, whom the opposition calls as “political prisoners.”


MOSCOW — Uncontrollable consumption of antibiotics leads up to drug dependence – a situation in which antibiotics will be inefficacious in a further treatment of the disease, but many people simply do not even suspect that they get over-dosed with antibiotics when eating meat, Russia’s chief state sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko told the Echo of Moscow radio.

“Antibiotics are used today in the production of some 170 million tons of meat across the world today,” Onishchenko said. “In some technologies, antibiotics are administered to animals to raise productivity.”

The result of it is that even the people who do not take antibiotics have to consume them along with meat.


TBILISI — Catholic Patriarch of All Georgia Iliya II is starting a visit to Russia on Sunday. In his Saturday prayer held at the Tbilisi Cathedral of St. Trinity, the Catholicos said, “I am going to Moscow to attend a discussion of issues that are extremely vital for Georgia.”

The Georgian patriarch’s visit will last until January 26. He will meet Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill. The Catholicos-Patriarch is expected to meet Russian leaders.


TSAKHADZOR, Armenia — "Armenia has become the first country in the world to include chess in a school curriculum,” Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the president of the International Chess Federation, said a meeting of the FIDE presidential council held at a highland Armenian resort. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan who’s the president of the Armenian Chess Federation is taking part in the meeting.

The Armenian Chess Federation can serve as a model to other chess organizations, Ilyumzhinov went on to say. He said that “Chess at school” was the main topic for discussion in Tsakhadzor. The program is being brilliantly applied in Armenia.




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