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News summary for March 18

March 19, 2013, 8:31 UTC+3

All the headlines from the day's news

1 pages in this article

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday morning held a meeting with senior presidential administration officials, aides and advisers to discuss the economic situation in the euro zone, his press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters. Assessing the possible decision to impose a levy on deposits in Cyprus, Putin said the decision if approved was unfair, unprofessional and dangerous.


MOSCOW  Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Russia on March 22 to 24 at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin press service reports on Monday. It is expected “that the heads of state will discuss at talks key issues of bilateral cooperation, including economic, trade, energy, investment, technological and industrial cooperation, as well as inter-regional and humanitarian cooperation,” the press service said.


BRUSSELS – Human rights do not hamper relations between Russia and the European Union, Russian permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said. In an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on Monday ahead of the Russia-European Commission joint session in Moscow on March 2122, Chizhov said, “I believe that human rights do not hamper decision-making in any fields of Russian-EU relations. Luckily, the view saying the EU should follow the U.S. Congress’s wake and approve the Magnitsky Act analogue is shared by few European politicians.”


BRUSSELS – Russia will not push Ukraine into the Customs Union, which should be strengthened, Russian permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said. In an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on Monday ahead of the upcoming Russia-European Parliament session in Moscow on March 21-22, Chizhov said integration processes in Europe and Eurasia would be in the focus of the session.


BRUSSELS – The technical work on making up a list of Russia-EU steps towards introducing visa-free travel should be ended within the year, Russian permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said.


BRUSSELS – A Russian-EU new agreement on easing visa requirements will simplify the issuance of short-term and multi-entry visas, Russian permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said. In an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on Monday ahead of the Russia-European Parliament session in Moscow on March 21-22, Chizhov said due to the delay of the talks the document was not ready for signing. It can be read to be concluded later in the year, he added.


BRUSSELS – NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he is planning a visit to Moscow to continue the political dialogue with Russia. He said at a press conference on Monday, March 18, that Russia has confirmed its invitation and work is underway to discuss the date and the agenda of the visit.


MOSCOW – The revision of the United States’ missile defence plans in Europe will not change the situation in its dispute with Russia, State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov told Itar-Tass on Monday, March 18.


MOSCOW – The situation in Afghanistan and the drug threat from Afghanistan should be under strict control of the U.N. Security Council, the Foreign Ministry reported ahead of the U.N. Security Council Russia-chaired session on Afghanistan.


MOSCOW Leader of Just Russia party members in the State Duma Sergei Mironov opposes depriving Dmitry Gudkov of the right to speak in the Duma, but believes the deputy must publicly make apologies for his U.S. trip.


MOSCOW – The positions of Russia and Azerbaijan on the Caspian issue are close, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported. Russia and Azerbaijan seek to gain weighty results at the multilateral talks to work out a convention on the Caspian Sea legal status.


MOSCOW – Moscow lauds the launch of the National Dialogue Conference in Yemen and hopes that the political process will be stable and irreversible, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Monday.


NEW DELHI – Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said his country is interested to join BRICS, a grouping made of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.


MOSCOW – Jamaica has abolished visas for Russians, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday, March 18.


MINSK – Belarus and Russia have reached a considerable progress in the construction of the Union State, but “found it beyond their strength” to implement the whole range of their plans, Belarusian state-run mass media put on display President Alexander Lukashenko’s interview with Russia’s RT TV channel.


MOSCOW – The guarantee of stability and security is one of the top priority spheres of the integration interaction in the format of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and this approach is signed-in in the Concept of the CIS Further Development, Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee and CIS Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev told reporters before his departure to Baku for the international conference, which opens in the capital of Azerbaijan on Monday.


MINSK – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko believes that disagreements with the European Union are rooted in a strong independent policy pursued by the Belarusian authorities.


MOSCOW – The event in Riga on March 16 to honor former Waffen SS legionnaires is an insult to the memory of victims of Nazism, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, said on Monday.


KIEV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich instructed the government to draft a law, and submit to the parliament by June, that would require the creation of a special web portal where income declarations of government officials will be posted. Such a draft law is required by the national action plan for economic reform programme in 2013 titled “Wealthy Society, Competitive Economy and Efficient State.”


NOVO-OGAREVO – Russian President Vladimir Putin called for the struggle against the capital flight from Russia. Meanwhile, the president noted that the information for the investors will be more accurate and unbiased.


NOVO-OGAREVO – Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the Russian Fund of Direct Investments to work not only with portfolio investments, but also with the support to concrete enterprises. “There are several purely portfolio investments and actually very important investments to support concrete industries and even concrete important enterprises,” Putin said at a meeting with head of the Russian Fund of Direct Investments Kirill Dmitriyev on Monday.


GORKI – Ukraine’s joining the Customs Union within the “three plus one” format is impossible, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a session with his deputies on Monday. “It is evident that only the state that has passed and ratified all documents of the Customs Union and the Economic Union can become a member state of the Customs Union and the future Eurasian Economic Union,” he stressed.


LONDON – British EasyJet discount carrier inaugurated on Monday flights between London and Moscow. The first plane on the route took off at 10:25 am local time (14:25 Moscow time) from Gatwick heading for Moscow’s Domodedovo airport.


MOSCOW  The Supervisory Council (SC) of the Vneshekonombank (VEB) (bank for foreign economic activities) meets here on Monday to consider a programme for the issue of VEB's clasical and stock-exchange bonds with a total denomination of about 590,000 million roubles, and the basic parameters of deals for investment of pension accurals, a government press service official announced. The meeting will be held under the chairmanship of SC Head Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.


ATHENS – Russia’s Gazprom gas giant has offered the Republic of Cyprus financial assistance in restructuring the country’s banks in exchange for the right to gas production in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, Cypriot Sigma TV reported on Monday.


BRUSSELS – A levy on the bank deposits of over 100,000 euros in Cyprus may grow from 9.9% to 13%, an informed European source in Brussels told Itar-Tass on Monday. The talks over the budget salvation of Cyprus continue, and the final figures are not determined yet, he acknowledged.


GORKI – Vnesheconombank (VEB) has received 240 billion roubles’ worth of applications for bonds, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday, March 18. The bank’s Supervisory Board will also consider applications from 30 other companies for the placement of bonds worth 200 billion roubles, Medvedev, who is the chairman of the VEB Supervisory Board, said at its meeting.


MOSCOW – The U.S. gives up the fourth stage of global missile defence for retargeting the system to the Far East, said Viktor Kremenyuk, deputy director of the Institute for the USA and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


MINSK – President Alexander Lukashenko says Belarus will go through a new global economic crisis. “Belarus has enough in the till. If it necessary, we’ll use our reserves and we’ll survive,” Lukashenko told Russia Today on Monday.


KIEV – The average price of natural gas imported by Ukraine will be reduced by the start of the 2013-2014 heating season, Energy Minister Eduard Stavistky said on Monday, March 18.


MOSCOW – The tax burden in Russia will not increase in the period up to 2018, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov told a tax conference, which was organised by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in the format of the Russian Business Week.


DUSHANBE – The presidents of Tajikistan and Iran, Emomali Rakhmon and Mahmud Ahmadinejad will attend a ceremony devoted to the commissioning of the second stage of the Sangtuda-2 hydropower plant (HPP), which is being constructed at Tajikistan’s Vakhsh River with the participation of Iran’s capital, Tajikistani Deputy Minister of energy and Industry Pulod Mukhiddinov told local media on Monday.


MOSCOW – Russian Railways has won “Towards the Future!” awards for contributions to XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi.The award ceremony for winners of the Towards the Future! awards has been held in Sochi.


MOSCOW – Over 400 representatives of the Russian defence industry and officials from the Defence Ministry and federal governmental agencies will attend a military-industrial conference titled “Pressing Questions of the Development of the Russian Defence Industry,” to be held in Moscow on March 20. “On March 20, the conference ‘Pressing Questions of the Development of the Russian Defence Industry’ will be held under the auspices of the Military Industrial Commission. Six sections will work within the framework of the conference,” Military Industrial Commission Deputy Chairman Oleg Bochkarev said on Monday, March 18.


NOVO-OGAREVO – Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Russian senators to intensify the work with the regions to develop a concept of state family policy and on the problems of children. The Russian president has made a statement to this effect at a meeting with Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko on Monday.


MOSCOW RF Minister of Education and Science Dmitry Livanov, speaking in a live broadcast of the Pozner Programme on TV Channel 1 on Monday, said he considers it feasible to prepare a single manual of the history of Russia within a space of one year. "A year is enough to do the work," the Minister said.


MOSCOW – Only one-third of Russian schoolchildren could pass GTO physical fitness tests, Prof. Sergei Polyakov of the Research Institute of Preventive Pediatrics and Rehabilitative Care said.


VLADIKAVKAZ – A mountain peak in North Ossetia is named after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.


MOSCOW A group of military inspectors of the Russian Federation will make observation flights within a period from March 18 to 23 under the Treaty on Open Skies (TOS) over the territories of the FRG and Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg). Simultaneously a team of inspectors of the United States and the Czech Republic will make such flights over Russia's territory, an official at the RF Defence Ministry's press-service and information department told Itar-Tass.


IRKUTSK  Six people have died in a house fire on Monday morning in Yelantsy Settlement (Olkhon District of Irkutsk Region), the Russian Ministry for Emergencies (RME) regional center reports. A message about a private house fire came from eyewitnesses at about seven a.m., local time. "Two minutes later, firemen arrived at the indicated address. When the first unit of firemen came to the scene at 07:16, the house was burning from the inside," an RME center official specified.


ULAN-UDE – The Prosecutor’s Office in the Baikal Territory demands real terms in prison for four former policemen, who were found guilty of tortures of the detainees. “The public prosecutor did not agree with the sentences, which on March 6 the Mogochi District Court handed down on former policemen from the Mogochi police station Alexander Nikitin, Alexander Borodin, Alexei Nikitin and Murata Zakuyev, who were passed suspended sentences from three to five years for abuse of powers committed with the use of violence and special tools.”


MOSCOW – The train traffic is restored in the Amur Region, after it was disrupted by the derailment of the wagons of the freight train, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations told Itar-Tass on Monday.


GROZNY - A breakdown left 71,000 people without electricity in the Chechen Republic on Monday, the Russian Emergencies Ministry press service in the republic told Itar-Tass. Socially important facilities in the region have reserve power supply sources and are working as normal.


NALCHIK – A heavy snowfall on the Elbrus Mount prevents rescuers from resuming the search for two tourists from Poland and Iran who went missing on March 15, the emergency situations department in Russia’s southern republic of Kabardino-Balkaria told Itar-Tass on Monday.


BAKU – The terrorist threat in the Commonwealth of Independent States requires a collective response from all its member states, CIS Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev said on Monday, March 18.


BAKU – Combating terrorism must remain on the global agenda, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev told on Monday the International Conference in Baku on strengthening cooperation in combating terrorism. Stressing the need to rally efforts against terrorism, he said that “not one country can fight terrorism effectively on its own and protect itself completely against terrorist acts.”


MOSCOW – Almost 360 kilograms of drugs were seized in an anti-drug operation in four Russian regions, sources from the Federal Drug Control Service (FDCS) told Tass on Monday.


MOSCOW – According to the preliminary reports, lawyer Sergei Kuznetsov was shot down in the Moscow Region, a source in the law enforcement agencies told Itar-Tass on Monday.


MOSCOW – As many as 308 underground gambling parlors were closed in Moscow in ten weeks of 2013, which is actually thrice the index for the same period in 2012, sources in the regional security department stated on Monday.



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