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News summary for March 11

March 12, 2013, 9:08 UTC+3
All the headlines from the day's news
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MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree relieving Nikolai Vinnichenko from the post of the presidential plenipotentiary representative in the North-Western Federal District, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

The president also signed a decree, under which Vladimir Bulavin was appointed as the presidential plenipotentiary representative in the North-Western Federal District. Bulavin has previously occupied the post of the first deputy secretary of the Russian Security Council.


MOSCOW – Russian-Armenian interaction in the framework of the integration processes on the CIS space, as well as regional problems will be discussed at the talks the presidents of Russia and Armenia, Vladimir Putin and Serzh Sargsyan, will hold on Tuesday, the Kremlin press service reported. It stressed that Sargsyan’s first foreign trip after winning the February 18 presidential election is to Russia.


MOSCOW – Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed an order on the country’s annual fees to the Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport and to the budget of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

From 2013, the fee to the Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport will make 200,000 euros, and Russia’s voluntary additional fee to the budget of the World Anti-Doping Agency will make 300,000 euros.

The payment of 300,000 to the World Anti-Doping Agency will be made at the expense of cut fee to the Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport.

Russia’s has been paying to the World Anti-Doping Agency a fee of 721,000 dollars.


MOSCOW – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has adopted the federal budget transfers of 2013 to regional budgets rendering for the support of economic and social development of the Arctic, Siberian and Far Eastern indigenous people.

The document, which envisages that 240 million roubles (USN 1 = RUB 30.76) will be assigned in general for the purpose, was posted on the Russian government’s official Internet portal of legal information on Monday.

Subsidies for the support of indigenous peoples will be transferred to 28 regions of Russia. In particular, the Kamchatka and the Khabarovsk territories will receive 24 million roubles each.


GORKI – The Russian agency for export loan insurance is planning to implement about 40 projects worth 3 billion U.S. dollars in the near future, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

“Over the past several months, the agency’s support for export operations has amounted to 500 million U.S. dollars. There are 15 export projects and our immediate plans include 40 more projects worth more than 3 billion U.S. dollars,” Medvedev said at a meeting on support for high-tech export, held on Monday, March11.

Speaking of further work, Medvedev noted that “this means prospects for our high-tech export and they should be determined not only by our financial possibilities.”


GORKI – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met Vietnamese parliament chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung on Monday to discuss prospects for the development of strategic partnership between the two countries.

The sides agreed to contribute to stepping up cooperation between the Russian and Vietnamese governments. In addition, the parliamentarians will do their best to realise the existing programmes.


GORKI – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will give a report on the government’s work at the State Duma, lower house of parliament, on April 17, the prime minister’s spokesperson, Natalya Timakova, said on Monday.


NOVO-OGAREVO – Last year the Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) prevented attempts to smuggle about 2.5 tonnes of heroin into Russia, FSKN chief Viktor Ivanov said at a working meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Monday, March 11.


NOVO OGAREVO – The Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) works effectively but there is still much to be done, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with FSKN chief Viktor Ivanov on Monday, March 11.


MOSCOW – Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the ministry has begun training within preparations for the Russian-Belarusian Zapad 2013 (West 2013) exercises.

“The key event of this week is to conduct training with central operating agencies and military districts,” Shoigu told Itar-Tass on Monday.

This event will be the first element to prepare the Zapad 2013 strategic command-and-staff exercises, the Russian defence minister said.


MOSCOW – Russia has all capacities to form and provide for the operating of a country’s permanent naval force in the Mediterranean Sea, Russian Defence Minister General Sergei Shoigu said at an enlarged meeting of the top brass of the Russian Armed Forces on Monday.

“Russia decided to form the command of a Russian naval force in the Mediterranean Sea region, where the Russian naval force will be deployed on the permanent basis,” the defence minister said.


MOSCOW – The Russian Navy will get 24 submarines and 54 surface ships before the end of 2020, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a video conference on Monday.

“As a result of the implementation of the state armament program, the Navy is to receive eight missile submarine cruisers and 16 multipurpose submarines, 54 surface ships of different class,” he said.


MOSCOW – A Russian rapid response naval force in the Mediterranean Sea will be formed mainly from the warships of the Russian Northern Fleet, a source in the Russian Defence Ministry told Itar-Tass on Monday.

“The numerical strength of the warships of the Northern Fleet will make 60-70% in a Russian rapid response naval force in the Mediterranean Sea. Other warships will be brought from the Black Sea Fleet. In the future this rapid response naval force will probably include the warships of the Pacific Fleet, but their participation is not considered yet,” he said.


MOSCOW – State Duma’s committee on constitutional legislation and state construction on Monday recommended to the lower house of Russian parliament to adopt in the second reading amendments imposing fines for profane words in mass media.

The fines have remained unchanged as compared to those in the bill adopted in the first reading: individuals will have to pay 2,000-3,000 roubles (U.S. $1=RUB 30.76), officials, from 5,000 to 20,000 rubles, and legal entities from 20,000 to 200,000 rubles for using profanity-laden language in the media.


MOSCOW – Russia’s state foreign debt decreased by 0.24 percent in the first month of the year to stand at 50.645 billion U.S. dollars as of February 1, 2013, the Russian Finance Ministry underlined in its report made public on Monday. In terms of the European single currency, the country’s external debt went down by 2.1 percent to 37.537 billion euros.

As of January 1, 2013, the country’s foreign debt amounted to 50.769 billion U.S. dollars, or 38.331 billion euros, the ministry reaffirmed.

Upon the results of 2012, the Russian state foreign debt denominated in dollars increased by 41.8 percent, and denominated in euros – grew by 38.6 percent.

As of February 1, 2013, Russia’s Eurobond debt was estimated at 34.91 billion U.S. dollars, the ministry underlined in the document.


ASTANA – The net profit of Kazakh oil transport monopolist KazTransOil in 2012 amounted to 33.5 billion tenge (about 223.3 million dollars) against 25.9 billion tenge (172 million dollars) in 2011, the company’s financial report says.

The company’s profit per one share in 2012 grew by 24.6 percent and amounted to 96 tenge (0.6 dollar), the report notes.

Kabyldin also said that the volume of transportation and oil products of the company in 2012 amounted to 65.7 million tons, which is 2.8 percent higher than the planned index, and the company’s freight turnover in 2012 amounted to 42.1 billion of ton-kilometers.


ASTANA – Kazakhstan this year will export no less than 12 million tonnes of crude oil to China, the general director of the oil pipeline monopoly KazTransOil, Kairgeldy Kabyldin, told a news conference on Monday.

The Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline will begin to be upgraded this year. Its current throughput is 14 million tonnes.

“In cooperation with our Chinese counterparts we consider the possibility of increasing the pipeline’s capacity to 20 million tonnes. The work will begin this year,” Kabyldin said.

According to Kazakhstan’s oil and gas ministry, the country hopes to produce 82 million tonnes of oil and gas condensate, in contrast to last year’s 79.2 million tonnes. Last year’s export reached 68.616 million tonnes. The Atyrau-Samara pipeline carried 15.4 million tonnes, and the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, 27.9 million tonnes.


PRETORIA – The South African Republic and Belarus agreed to develop agricultural cooperation. The relevant memorandum on mutual understanding was signed at a meeting between South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat Pettersson and head of the Belarusian presidential administration Viktor Sheiman here on Monday.


TASHKENT – Russia’s LUKOIL company produced 4.257 billion cubic metres of natural gas in Uzbekistan in 2012, the company said in a report made public on Monday. Of them, 992 million cubic metres accounted for the Gissar field.

According to the report, the company raised its gas production at the Hauzak field by 24.2 percent (635 million cubic metres) in 2012.

Under LUKOIL’s forecasts, the company planned to produce 4.1 billion cubic metres of gas in Uzbekistan in 2012, as well as 4.4 billion cubic metres of gas in the current year. The company’s plans for the 2014 envisage gas output at 5.2 billion cubic metres and 8.2 billion cubic metres in the republic in 2015.


TASHKENT – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has adopted the granting of 93-million dollar additional loan for Uzbekistan, the bank’s representative mission said on Monday.

The funds worth 93 million U.S. dollars will be issued by the International Development Association (IDA) for the fulfilment of the project entitled “Improvement of Uzbekistan’s Healthcare System.”

“The document envisages modernisation of the republican public health system in order to guarantee more extensible approach for the population, specifically those living in rural territories, to the modern and regular medical service.


ASHGABAT – Turkmenistani President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the “tremendous potential of partnership” between their countries and “new interesting joint projects” in a telephone conversation on Monday, March 11.

Berdimuhammedov and Putin noted, “with profound satisfaction”, the growing economic cooperation between Turkmenistan and Russia and called for intensifying it in various areas, including fuel and energy sector, trade and economy, transport, urban development, and agriculture.

The Turkmen leaders invited Putin to visit Turkmenistan at any convenient time, the presidential press service said.



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