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News summary for January 21

January 22, 2013, 9:19 UTC+3
All the headlines from the day's news
1 pages in this article

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree that instructs the Federal Security Service (FSB) to create a system for detecting and preventing computer attacks on information resources and dealing with their consequences.

 

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova to work out proposals on the construction of perinatal centre where such centres are needed.

“I would like you to exert more active efforts in this area and to address this issue by our next meeting at the council on top-priority national projects and demographic policy,” he said at a meeting with the health minister.

“Such centres have proved to be very useful,” Putin noted. “We agreed that you would look at other Russian regions where there are no such centres and would draw your proposals on how, where and what should be done to promote this program, maybe not in such a big scale than in previous years (four federal and still more regional-level perinatal centres have been opened across Russia), to involve regional authorities.”

 

MOSCOW — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has issued the instruction to develop measures to reduce the cost of connection to broadband Internet in Russia, the RF government’s website reports on Monday.

The instruction was given on the results of a meeting of the Presidium of the Council for Economic Modernisation and Innovative Development of Russia under the RF President that was held on December 24, 2012.

In particular, Medvedev instructed the Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Finance of Russia by April 1, 2013 “to develop and present a set of measures, including legal, organisational and financial, providing for a significant reduction in the cost of connection of Russian households to the information and communications network Internet with the use of innovative technology of the broadband increased capacity access.”

 

MOSCOW — The Russian government has approved standards of the disclosure of information by companies in the sphere of water supply and water disposal. The corresponding decree was signed by RF Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the press service of the Russian Cabinet reported.

“The document is aimed at providing free access to the disclosed information by the organisations providing hot water, cold water supply and wastewater disposal, which will increase the transparency of their activities,” the government said. According to the resolution, “The standards provide for the mandatory publication of the most important from the point of view of consumers information about the quality of the provided products and services.”

In addition, the document regulates the procedure of the order of the disclosure of information at the request of consumers of the regulated products and services.

 

MOSCOW — Russia’s portfolio of orders for defence-related products exceeds 46 billion U.S. dollars, director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation Alexander Fomin said on Monday.

“In the past ten years, exports in general have been on the rise, having tripled since 2003. The portfolio of orders for defence-related products has also tripled. As of now, it is more than 46 billion U.S. dollars,” he said at a video conference at the Russian government.

As of the end of 2012, exports under the state defence order reached 4.4 billion U.S. dollars.

 

MOSCOW — Russia’s inflation in January may make 07.09 percent, the Ministry of Economic Development said in its weekly monitoring of the country’s social and economic development, published on Monday.

“Over the year, the inflation may make 6.9–7 percent,” the document reads.

Earlier, Deputy Minister of Economic development Andrei Klepach forecasted the inflation in January would be by 0.5 higher against the similar period of the past year.

Between January 1 and 14, the inflation made 0.4 percent.

 

MOSCOW — Ten Russian enterprises failed to fulfill their obligations under the state defence order in 2012, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said on Monday.

“There are a number of companies that failed to fulfill the state defence order in 2012 in terms of capital investments,” he said at a video conference dedicated to the problems of the state defence order. “The reasons behind these failures are mainly those linked with corporate procedures and problems with documents.” According to the minister, documents often are issued with errors, entailing failures to meet time constraints and transfer of funds to other projects. Such transfers amounted to five billion roubles, and 80 enterprises had to adjust their obligations under the state defence order, ten enterprises failed to fulfill their liabilities at all, he noted.

 

MOSCOW — The Russian Interior Ministry has placed 40 percent of orders for weapons and military hardware as part of the state defence order for 2013, Deputy Interior Minister Sergei Gerasimov said.

Speaking to the press after a meeting of the Military-Industrial Commission on Monday, January 21, Gerasimov said that 1.5 times more funding had been provided by the government for the purchase of modern equipment and weapons by the Interior Ministry in 2012 than in the previous year.

 

MOSCOW — Salaries of medical personnel and mid-level specialists in 2013 will increase by 7-8 percent. Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said.

“We think we will provide a about 7–8 percent growth this year,” she said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Monday, January 21.

“We would like the pay raise to be harmonised with the raising the health care tariff as its component to make sure it is not perceived as some artificial addition to the payment for medical care,” the minister said.

“The mandatory health insurance system is organised in such a way now that we will most certainly be able to do this,” she added.

Speaking of the results of last year, Skvortsova said salaries of physicians in 2912 had increased by 13 percent to 32,700 roubles, and those of mid-level medical personnel by 17 percent to 19,000 roubles.

 

MOSCOW — The Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation has noted improved quality of Russian military products sold to other countries.

“The situation is improving. We issue fewer licenses for replacing or repairing military products, and this is encouraging,” the Service’s Head Alexander Fomin said on Monday, January 21.

 

MOSCOW — The ruling United Russia party said it is determined to deal with the tobacco lobby in the Duma and file police inquiries with regard to all those who patronise the tobacco business.

 

MOSCOW — Russia exported 12 percent more weapons in 2012 than was initially intended, the head of the The Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Alexander Fomin, said on Monday, January 21.

“According to preliminary results (we will announce the final results in late January or early February), military export to other countries had amounted to 15.16 billion U.S. dollars, which represents 111.8 percent achievement of the set targets,” he said at a meeting of the Military-Industrial Commission.

Foreign exchange revenues had reached 15.13 billion U.S. dollars. Export in 2011 was 13.2 billion U.S. dollars, Fomin said.

 

MOSCOW — Russia will make its first space launch from Baikonur in Kazakhstan in February, the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on Monday, January 21.

 

MOSCOW — The active phase of naval exercises, involving over 20 ships and three submarines, including a nuclear submarine, in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea will be conducted under the command of deputy chief of Russia’s General Staff Colonel-General Alexander Postnikov, chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov said.

 

MOSCOW — Police have detained two Tajik nationals in the Moscow region’s Mytishchi district seizing from them 10 kilograms of heroin and 14 kilograms of hashish.

According to the press service of the Russian Interior Ministry’s main criminal investigation department, the seized drugs are worth at least 50 million roubles on the “black market”.

 

MOSCOW — The abolition of visa requirements between Russia and Georgia will become an important step towards an improvement in ties between the two countries, Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II said at talks with Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill in his Moscow residence.

“The relations that exist between our countries could be better. The visa regime with Russia, for example, must be abolished,” the Georgian patriarch said.

Patriarch Ilia also said that “the Abkhazian issue” was “the underlying” one for mending ties between the two countries. “These two issues are the cause of all difficulties that exist in relations between our states,” he stressed.

 

MOSCOW — Russia will take “strong countermeasures” against attempts to seize its property in the United States, the Foreign Ministry said after a meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Ambassador in Moscow Michael McFaul on Monday, January 21.

On January 16, Washington’s court handed down a verdict in the lawsuit filed by Agudas Chasidei Chabad, which requires the Russian government to pay a fine of 50,000 U.S. dollars daily to the Lubavitch movement until the so-called Schneerson Collection is returned to it.

 

MOSCOW — Russian Railways spent 21 billion roubles on implementing its investment project “Construction and Reconstruction of Artificial Structures” in 2012.

Work was completed on 106 objects commissioned last year, including 55 small and medium-sized artificial structures, 12 footbridges and 39 roadbed objects. Fixed assets with a total value of 15.9 billion roubles were commissioned.

 

MOSCOW — TNK-BP informs that the cumulative gas production of ROSPAN INTERNATIONAL (a TNK-BP Group company) amounted to 30 billion cubic metres. According to the preliminary estimates, the company produced 3.5 billion cubic metres of gas in 2012, the company said on Monday, January 21.

 

TOKYO — The tanker Diamond Aspire delivered the first batch of oil, which was pumped through the second stage of the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline system, to Japan on Monday. The vessel flying the flag of Singapore carried 100,000 tons of oil. Now it is being unloaded in the port of Kashima in the Prefecture of Ibaraki in the north-east of Honshu Island, informed sources told ITAR-TASS.

 

TEHRAN — Iran and Russia have common positions on and approaches towards fighting international terrorism and drug contraband, Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad- Najjar said.

On Monday, the Iranian minister held talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Kolokoltsev, who arrived in Tehran on Sunday, January 20.

For his part, the Russian minister said, “At present, law enforcement agencies of both countries closely cooperate in different fields. Our experience proves that we can jointly fight such crimes as trde in human beings and drug contraband.”

Kolokoltsev called for creating “a legal union”. “It is necessary to sign an agreement on a legal union shortly. It will facilitate the expansion of partnership between Russia and Iran. We are ready to prepare corresponding documents to this effect,” the Russian minister stressed.

 

YEREVAN — The official election campaign started on Monday in Armenia, where the presidential election is scheduled for February 18. This will be the sixth presidential election in the country.

On January 14, the Central Election Commission registered eight candidates. The incumbent president of the country, who chairs the ruling Republican Party, is the frontrunner. Serzh Sargsyan has been President of Armenia since 2008 and has the right to run once again.

Ex-prime minister of the republic and leader of the Freedom opposition party, Hrant Bagratyan, also participates in the election campaign. Former foreign minister Raffi Hovannisian, who heads the opposition Heritage Party is also among the contenders for the presidential post. Former dissident Paruir Hairikyan as well as political analyst Arman Melikyan (former charge d’affaires in Kazakhstan) also seek the Armenian presidency.

 

KIEV — Opposition in the Ukrainian parliament demands to summon parliament for an extraordinary session on January 29 to look into the arrest and imprisonment of ex-prime minister Yulia Timoshenko.

The leader of the Batkivshina faction, Aresny Yetsenyuk, has sent a letter with the demand to Speaker Vladimir Rybak. The document says that deputies initiate the extraordinary session in order to set up an investigation commission to look into constitutional violations in the arrest and imprisonment of Yulia Timoshenko and Yuri Lutsenko.

 

KIEV — Car production in Ukraine in 2012 dropped by 28.5 percent from 2011 to 69,700 vehicles, the State Statistics Service reported on Monday, January 21.

Truck production decreased by 7.1 percent to 2,936 vehicles and bus production went down by14.4 percent to 3,206 vehicles.

Among the reasons for the decline, experts name the absence of support for the automobile industry from the government, insufficient lending and the introduction from September 1, 2012 of a car recycling tax in Russia, which is the main market for vehicles.

 

STRASBOURG — Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili said on Monday he was not going to quit politics and was ready to resume contacts with Russia.

“Our political force (The United National Movement – Itar-Tass) is not quitting, it is to stay in Georgia for a long time,” he told journalists after a meeting with President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Jean-Claude Mignon. He said Russia was destined to have contacts with his party. “And maybe, even with me,” her added.

He also said he was “open for all contacts,” including with the Russian leaders. “Nonetheless I will stick to the general orientation towards the West,” he stressed.

 

STRASBOURG — Georgia has no alternative to admission to NATO and the European Union, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Monday, January 21.

Saakashvili criticised recent remarks by Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili on NATO and said that Georgia had made a firm decision to become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance.

 

CHISINAU — Ukraine’s chairmanship of the OSCE should help overcome stagnation in the Transdniestrian settlement, OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara said.

Speaking at a news briefing on Monday, Kozhara said: “I’m sure that the upcoming meeting of the participants in the talks and the mediators in Lvov in February will be successful as the Odessa meeting when a year ago under Ukraine’s mediation Chisinau and Tiraspol succeeded in reaching practical agreements.”

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