MOSCOW — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is certain that in his current capacity of prime minister he can effectively implement the economic and social strategy of Russia’s development.
“I work as the country’s prime minister,” Medvedev told the newspaper Neue Zurcher Zeitung in an interview during his visit to Davos. “That’s a very serious job. The solution of important tasks depends on the government’s performance,” he said in response to a remark that many liberal investors were disappointed by his decision against participation in the 2012 presidential election.
“I shall keep doing the same – implementing economic and social strategies. From the position in the government doing this is even more convenient, because this is precisely the government’s responsibility,” Medvedev said.
PYATIGORSK, North Caucasus — Russia’s Transport Ministry is planning a considerable ramification of the network of passenger air routes in the southern regions of Russia and is pondering an increase in the volumes of passenger transportation at intra-regional and inter-regional routes, as well as development of airport infrastructures, minister Maxim Sokolov said here Friday.
He said that although the overall performance of Russia’s civil aviation reached record-breaking figures in 2012 practically unseen over the almost ninety years of its history, the volumes of passenger transportation by aircraft inside and between regions remained insignificant.
While the total number of air passengers in this country reached almost 75 million last year, local transportation accounted for only 10% to 15% of that number.
MOSCOW — Russians applying for the national German visa have to undergo fingerprinting procedures starting from January 14, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
The ministry explained that the term “national” was applied to visas allowing continued 90-day presence in the country for studies, reunification of families, employment or the establishment of a legal entity for doing business.
“The German embassy on January 14 introduced amendments to the procedure of accepting applications for national visas,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “Starting from that date all Russians applying for a national visa will have to come to the consular department personally for electronic fingerprinting. The measure will be mandatory for all Russians except for children under 14 years of age.”
MOSCOW — Kazakhkstan and Russia are going to step up integration processes, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov told Itar-Tass in an exclusive interview on Friday.
“I am satisfied with the results of my visit to Russia and meetings with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. We discussed the whole range of bilateral cooperation,” he said.
“In accordance with the instructions from our leaders I have brought a draft of a new treaty on friendship and alliance in the 21st century,” Idrisov said. “The treaty will be signed by the leaders of our countries in Yekaterinburg in the autumn. The treaty is expected to raise the level of interaction between our countries along all lines of our cooperation.”
ROSTOV-ON-DON — The freighter Nikola L flying the flag of Moldova ran aground in the Don River, the press service of the Russian Emergencies Ministry's Southern regional centre told Itar-Tass on Saturday.
The vessel carrying manganese ore was on the way from Turkey to Rostov-on-Don and when passing though the channel at night touched ice with its side.
No oil leaked. Shipping on the river is not disrupted. The vessel is examined. Repair is underway to close cracks and pump water out, an emergency centre source said.
A crew of 13 people is aboard, 12 Ukrainian citizens and one Georgian citizen. The Nikola L has enough stores of food and fuel.
GORNO-ALTAISK — Three remote highland districts in the Altai Republic are left without electricity this Saturday because of electro-transmission line break, the press service of the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s regional department said.
Electricity is cut off to the Ongudai, Kosh-Agach and Ulagan districts of about 50,000 people.
MOSCOW — Left Front leader and Opposition Coordination Council member Sergei Udaltsov on Saturday submitted a petition to the Russian president's reception office for release of the people arrested over the May 6 Bolotnaya Square mass disorders case.
Udaltsov told reporters that the Coordination Council planned to collect 100,000 signatures for release of the arrested people and organize a march in support of those who, they believe, are political prisoners.
MOSCOW — The meeting of the Opposition Coordination Council to present the petition to the Russian president's reception office has ended in Moscow without incidents.
About 100 people, including only seven members of the council, gathered near the building at Ilyinka Street.
There are three demands in the petition – to release the people arrested over the Bolotnaya Square disorders case and investigate the actions of authorities, which, as the council believes, led to the clashes between demonstrators and police. Opposition activists also insist on investigation into the circumstances of the suicide of opposition activist Alexander Dolmatov, who was denied political asylum in the Netherlands.
MOSCOW — Russia’s Foreign Ministry has instructed the Russian Interests Section at the Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi to issue Russian visas to Georgian entrepreneurs.
“The Russian Foreign Ministry has received an address from Gennady Onishchenko to issue visas to members of the Georgian delegation, which is leaving for Russia for talks with Rospotrebnadzor. The Russian Interests Section at the Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi has been instructed to issue them visas,” the ministry reported on Saturday.
“As for members of the Georgian delegation and other issues related to the talks, corresponding comments may be given at Rospotrebnadzor,” the ministry said.
WARSAW — Year 2015 has been declared the cross-year of Russia and Poland, Russian State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin said.
After the talks with Polish Senate Marshal Bogdan Borusewicz on Saturday, Naryshkin said, “We are looking at a big project. Year 2015 will be declared the cross-year of Russia and Poland. This will be a mega-project.”
DAVOS — Ukraine hopes for signing an Association Agreement with the European Union and for cooperation with the Customs Union, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kokara told the media on Friday.
“The Association Agreement is to be signed at the summit in November,” Kokara said. At the same time he remarked EU officials “said clearly that Ukraine’s membership of the Customs Union contradicts free trade with the EU.”
“We share this opinion. But institutionally Ukraine may join any organization as an observer, as a country that maintains statuses in trading and economic relations,” Kokara said. “Lastly, we can consider Ukraine’s partial participation in the institutional agreements of the Customs Union.”
DAVOS — Ukraine should closely cooperate with the European Union and eventually become its member, but at the same time it should maintain relations with Russia that would be beneficial to both countries, the leader of the oppositional party Batkivshchina in the country’s parliament, Arseny Yatsenyuk, said upon arrival in Davos for the World Economic Forum.
“We, the Opposition, are certain that Ukraine should become a member of the European Union. In the long term, of course. We are perfectly aware of that,” he said. “Ukraine should be moving towards the EU. This concerns not only the economy, but politics as well. Ukraine needs a stable democracy. At the moment there is none.”
As far as Russia is concerned, Yatsenyuk said, “there should be real cooperation, equitable cooperation beneficial to both countries.”
Ukraine has been offered two ways – the Customs Union and the European Union.
KIEV — The Opposition in Ukraine’s parliament has suggested holding parliamentary hearings on March 20 to discuss the ecological aspects of shale gas production. The draft resolution was initiated by Irina Sekh, a Svoboda party legislator from the Lvov Region. It has been distributed among the parliament’s committees for consideration.
The politician is concerned about the government’s plans for extracting shale gas in the Ivano-Frankovsk and Lvov regions.
“The parliamentary hearings will help settle ecological issues of shale gas production in legislation and evaluate the influence and risks of that activity on the environment,” the legislator said.
KIEV — Ukraine’s government said it was not going to pay Gazprom’s account of seven billion U.S. dollars for violating the import gas obligations.
“We’ll receive such account, but we are not going to pay it,” a government official told Itar-Tass on Saturday.
In his words, earlier, Naftogaz Ukrainy warned Russia about reducing gas sales due to saving. “Earlier, we paid all accounts,” the official said.
According to energy expert Valentin Zemlyansky, “Gazprom’s account can be linked with stepping up the talks between Ukraine and Russia and the giant’s attempts to reinforce positions.”
In addition, the expert does not rule out that thus, the Russian holding sought to get own back for signing a production sharing agreement between the Ukrainian government and Shell in Davos this week.
MOSCOW — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev does not rule out he might continue his political career after his premiership is over.
“I have never said that life ends, say, in 2012,” he said in an interview with the CNN television channel. “I have a very interesting job now: I work as Prime Minister. It implies serious work. And as long as I feel fit enough I will do my job, I will do good for my country. Sooner or later I will have to take some other decisions, which I will surely square with people’s opinions and with my own views and wishes. So, I cannot rule out either a further political career or anything else.” But now, according to Medvedev, there is no point in any talk about this.
MOSCOW — Russia’s Dima Yakovlev Law banning adoptions of Russian children by Americans is not a political response to the U.S. Magnitsky Act but rather an attempt to draw attentions of Russians to the problem of orphans, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with the CNN television channel.
Medvedev admitted that the law was an “emotional” move prompted by the relevant resolutions of the U.S. Congress. But “neither in fact nor in law” it is linked with the Magnitsky Act, he stressed.
“The so-called Dima Yakovlev Law is in fact a law which expresses the concerns of Russia’s parliament, the Russian State Duma and the Federation Council, by the fate of our children,” Medvedev said and added that it is a direct responsibility of the state to take care of parentless children.
ROSTOV-ON-DON — An oil pipeline leak has been reported from Russia’s southern Rostov region, the press centre of the regional emergencies department told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
“An inspection of the Volga oil pipeline revealed a leakage at the 879th kilometer of the 1,220-millimeter pipe. Approximately 49 cubic meters of crude oil spilled over an area of about 1.5 hectare,” the press centre said.
Oil pumping via the pipe was suspended. Repair works are underway.
MOSCOW — Press secretary to the Russian president Dmitry Peskov on Sunday refuted media allegations about the replacement of the head of Russia’s North Caucasian republic of Dagestan.
There were no such documents, he said, commenting on media allegations that the president has signed a “order” to appoint Ramzan Abdulatipov acting head of Dagestan.
KIEV — Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich promised to do everything to assure that the country continues to have the atmosphere of tolerance, mutual understanding and accord.
“The tragedy of the Holocaust is a lesson for people, a warning about distribution of xenophobia, or prejudices about our peoples or cultures,” the president said in his address to the nation on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “While remembering the innocent victims, we should be fighting any attempts to revive totalitarian ideologies, and ethnic prejudices.”
SOCHI — The first stage of a new alternate road opened for traffic in Sochi at midnight on Saturday. So far, the traffic is possible only in the direction of Adler, a source at the Direction for Road Construction (“Chernomorye”) told Itar-Tass.
"The road, dubbing Kurortny Prospect, will become the chief transportation artery in Sochi in 2013. This federal road will have four lanes (two in each direction) and seven adjacent transport junctions which will connect it to the streets and roads of the Central and Khosta regions of Sochi. We would like to thank the people of Sochi for their active support for the construction of this high-tech federal Olympic facility of transport infrastructure,” Roman Starovoit, the head of the Federal Road Agency, said.
The first stage of the dubbing road includes three tunnels and four bridge overpasses.
All the three stages of the alternate road will begin operation in the fourth quarter of 2013.
ST. PETERSBURG — A sea cruise from St Petersburg to Sochi is a new project of the St. Peter Line company, a well-known operator of cruise ships, the company’s press service told Itar-Tass.
St. Peter Line is pushing the project to the market. A cruise to the capital of Winter Olympic Games will take place on January 9-31, 2014. The Princess Anastasiya ferry will sail on this romantic voyage. About thirty percent of cabins on the ferry have already been booked.
The Princess Anastasiya will call at 11 European ports, including Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Le Havre, Bilbao, etc.
VLADIVOSTOK — The campus of the Far East Federal University hosts an exhibition presenting the Far East, Baikal and Transbaikalia’s development programme. It will offer investment projects in the region to participants and guests of the 21st session of the Asia-Pacific parliamentary forum, which is due in Vladivostok on January 28.
KEMEROVO — Over 28.11 percent of voters have used their right to elect Kemerovo’s mayor on Sunday, press service of the city’s administration said referring to the regional election commission.
The early election was announced after the previous mayor of Kemerovo, Vladimir Mikhailov, had resigned in the summer of 2012 after 16 years in office.
MOSCOW — A candle-lighting ceremony at the the Jewish Museum and the Tolerance Centre in Moscow remembered the Holocaust victims.
Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar called on the participants in the ceremony “never to forget the horrors of the Holocaust, no matter how painful it may be.”
VLADIVOSTOK — A magnitude 5.8 earthquake rocked north Sakhalin in Russia’s Far East, the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk seismological station reported on Sunday.
The epicenter of the quake was located at a depth of 30 kilometers some 20 kilometers southwest of the town of Okha. Earth tremors were registered at 18:05 local time (11:05 a.m. Moscow time).
According to the Sakhalin region emergencies department, earth tremors of up to three points on the Richter scale were felt in Okha and the settlements of Turgor, Moskalvo, and Vostochnoye. According to preliminary reports, the earthquake caused no damages.