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News summary for March 19

March 20, 2013, 8:59 UTC+3

All the headlines from the day's news

1 pages in this article

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit the South African Republic on March 26, the Kremlin press service reported on Tuesday. Putin will visit South Africa at the invitation of country’s President Jacob Zuma. “At upcoming negotiations the presidents are expected to discuss the development of trade and economic, humanitarian cooperation, the implementation of the projects in different spheres, including the energy industry.


BEIJING – Xi Jinping’s first state visit to Russia as China’s new leader proves that the two countries have special high-level relations, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said at a joint news conference with Russian ambassador to China Sergei Razov on Tuesday.


MOSCOW – Russia does not supply offensive armaments to Syria, Russia’s EU envoy Vladimir Chizhov said in a Moscow-Brussels video linkup on Tuesday. Chizhov added that Russia had outstanding liabilities only on previous contracts concerning certain spare parts.


MOSCOW – Neither the United States nor Europe are prepared to openly intervene in Syria, the deputy director of the Institute of US and Canada Studies, Pavel Zolotaryov, told Itar-Tass.


MOSCOW – The Syrian armed Opposition has used chemical weapons to kill 16 and harm about 100 others, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “According to reports from Damascus, the use of chemical weapons was registered in the Aleppo province early in the morning of March 19,” the Foreign Ministry said. “The explosion of a warhead containing a chemical warfare agent killed 16 and injured about 100 others.”


MOSCOW – Syrian rebels try to win over to their side as many government troops as possible, Georgy Mirsky, a leading Mideast expert with the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, told ltar-Tass on Tuesday. “The tactic of Syrian rebels is now aimed to draw as many people as possible to their side,” the expert said. “They have now announced a so-called amnesty. Over four weeks, the militants will be pardoning all crimes to servicemen of the government troops if they cross over to the rebels’ side,” he said.


ROME – Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin who’s paying an official visit to Italy on Tuesday attended the enthronization of Pope Francisco I held in the Vatican City.


ROME – Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin who led the Russian delegation at the enthronization of Pope Francisco I in the Vatican City on Tuesday said that Russia and the Vatican held similar views on major international problems. Naryshkin told Russian journalists that he had had a short meeting with the Pontiff after the ceremony. He conveyed the greetings and good wishes to Pope Francisco I from Russian President Vladimir Putin.


NAZRAN – The Ingushetia parliament on Tuesday rejected as null and void the bill passed by the Chechen parliament to make an Ingush area part of Chechnya. The document was signed by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on November 6, 2012. "The regulatory enactment contradicts the Constitution of the Russian Federation, a number of federal laws and federal legislation acts," the Ingush lawmakers said in a resolution on Tuesday.


KIEV – Ukraine is in talks with the Customs Union on getting an observer status, Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov told reporters on Tuesday. “We are now conducting talks on such a format, where Ukraine will get an observer status at the Customs Union,” he said.


MOSCOW – Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) Vladimir Zhirinovsky on Tuesday said that the EU decision on Cyprus's bank tax was ‘Bolshevism’, adding that Russia should protect its investors there.


MOSCOW Russia will take an active part in the discussion over problems of Islamic radicalism at the BRICS summit in South Africa, presidential representative for Africa, chairman of the committee for international affairs under the Federation Council upper house of the Russian parliament Mikhail Margelov told reporters on Tuesday.


KIEV The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday resumed its session interrupted by a brawl between deputies of the nationalistic “Svoboda” (‘Freedom’) party on the one hand and the Communists and the Party of Regions on the other hand. Ukrainian parliament Speaker Vladimir Rybak returned to the presidium and gave the floor to Oleg Tyagnibok, the speaker of the Svoboda (Freedom) faction. In his speech, he accused the government of Nikolai Azarov of holding closed sessions at which they “steal billions of hryvnas.”


BAKU – Azerbaijan will use every opportunity to achieve progress in negotiations on settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliev said on the occasion of Novruz Bayram, the arrival of spring holiday, on Tuesday.


PRETORIA - Currency swaps decrease BRICS trade risks and reliance on the US dollar while the mooted Development bank of the group is necessary to influence global financial architecture, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Tuesday in an interview with ITAR-TASS.


MOSCOW - A large business delegation will represent Russia at the summit of BRICS nations due in South Africa on March 2627, Russian presidential envoy to Africa, chairman of the Federation Council international affairs committee, Mikhail Margelov, told reporters on Tuesday.


KIEV – The creation of a tripartite consortium to manage Ukraine’s gas pipeline network depends on Europe, Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov told a news conference on Tuesday. The European Union “makes no proposals” on this issue, he said.


KIEV – Cyprus’s tax on bank deposits as a plan to rescue its economy will bring about only indirect losses for Ukraine, local and foreign experts working in Ukraine said in their comments on the financial situation in Cyprus.


MINSK – Belarus and Indonesia have inked contracts 400 million dollars worth, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said after talks with his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Jakarta on Tuesday, Belarus state-run media said.


MINSK – The total value of the contracts signed between Belarus and Indonesia may be numbered in the hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars, the state media outlets said on Tuesday, quoting Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei as saying in Jakarta. He said that the two countries were in close proximity to the signing of a package of intergovernmental agreements, the value of Belarusian-Indonesian contracts were estimated at several hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars.


KIEV – The first power unit of the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant (NPP), located in Neteshin (Khmelnitsky region), was re-connected to the Ukrainian national power grid after the end of the repair activities on Tuesday, said the press service of the Energoatom company, which is Ukraine’s NPPs operator.


ST. PETERSBURG – More than 26,000 cars were sold in St. Petersburg in the first two months of the year, which was three percent more than in the same period of the preceding year, the press service of the Auto-Dealer-SPb analytical agency said on Tuesday.


KIEV – The revival of the competitiveness of Ukraine’s oil refineries is possible only in case of their deep modernisation, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov told a news conference on Tuesday.


KIEV – Ukraine would have dissolved its 2009 gas contract with Russia in court, if there were even the slightest legal grounds to do so, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said on Tuesday at the meeting with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman.


PRAGUE – While commenting results of the talks with Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas, Speaker of the Federation Council, upper house of Russia’s parliament, Valentina Matviyenko told reporters on Tuesday that she urged the Czech leadership to support the bid of Russia’s Yekaterinburg for hosting the World EXPO-2020 Fair.


MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Kazan to inspect the run-up to the 27th World Summer University Games in 2013 and will hold a meeting of the Russian Presidential Council for Physical Culture and Sports, which will be devoted to the preparations to the University Games.


KAZAN – Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggesting letting foreign athletes, due to participate in the Kazan student games, as well as the Sochi Winter Olympics, to come to Russia without visas.


KAZAN, Republic of Tatarstan – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that athletes who would participate in the 2013 World Student Games in Kazan should be selected thoroughly and carefully. He added that the composition of the Russian delegation should be approved by May 20.


KAZAN, Republic of Tatarstan Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday backed up Russia in its dispute with the International Olympic Committee aimed at preserving wrestling as an Olympic discipline. “The International Olympic Committee hasn’t yet made any decision. I think that all of us love sport in general and wresting in particular. We will continue discussing this subject with our friends at the IOC,” Putin told a meeting of the Council for Sport and Physical Culture in Kazan. “Wrestling is a fundamental kind of sport. So, our stance is quite well-grounded,” the Russian president stressed.


CHELYABINSK A new tourist route “In the Footsteps of Meteorite” that runs through Chelyabinsk and Chebarkul was presented at the Inturmarket-2013 international exhibition in Moscow on Tuesday, a regional government source told Itar-Tass.


MOSCOW – The Russian Foreign Ministry has demanded the United States should present without any delay all documents concerning the death of Russian adopted boy Maxim Kuzmin, the Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, Konstantin Dolgov, said on Tuesday.


MOSCOW Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said the Russian Defense Ministry would like to have direct explanations from the Pentagon regarding the decision to give up the 4th phase of the deployment of U.S. missile defense facilities in Europe.


SEVASTOPOL – The structure of the Command of a Russian rapid response naval force, which is being created for permanent operations in the Mediterranean Sea, will be formed finally in the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet before the end of this year. The command system of the Russian rapid response naval force will be tested in action during the inter-fleet naval exercises for the first time in 2014, a source in the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.


MOSCOW The Russian Defense Ministry has laid the emphasis on modernization of nuclear submarines of already existing projects, the press and information department of the Defense Ministry told Itar-Tass on Tuesday in connection with Day of Submarine crews marked on March 19.


MOSCOW – Construction workers have injured an underground pipeline near Arbat street, in Central Moscow to cause a fire, police sources told Itar-Tass. The incident occurred in Gagarin pereulok. An earth moving machine hit a gas pipe and the escaping gas caught fire.


MOSCOW – Moscow resolutely denounces a series of deadly terror acts in Baghdad that killed dozens of civilians, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. “Such crimes cannot have any excuse,” the ministry said.“These acts that are timed to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the deployment of the coalition forces in Iraq are the work of extremist forces that stake on stirring up interconfessional and interethnic hatred and unfolding a spiral of violence on the Iraqi land,” the ministry said.


MOSCOW – The Anti-Extremism Centre of the Krasnodar territorial police department jointly with the Federal Security Service department detained two suspects in the explosions of the main gas pipelines, building and special machinery, the press centre of the Russian Interior Ministry told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.


UNITED NATIONS Russia is concerned with the current situation in Afghanistan, especially with the ongoing spread of terrorism into the neighboring states of Central Asia that are members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the CIS, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said at the open U.N. Security Council debates on Afghanistan on Tuesday.


MOSCOW – The Investigative Committee /SK/ has finished the probe into a property squandering case against Opposition activist, lawyer Alexei Navalny. "The SK main office has finished the investigation into the criminal case against Navalny and director of the Vyatka Timber Company Pyotr Ofitserov. Navalny is accused of embezzlement through squandering the property of the Kirovles state unitary enterprise," SK spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.


MOSCOW – The criminal case over the death of auditor of the Hermitage Capital Management Foundation Sergei Magnitsky is terminated over the absence of the event of the crime, the press service of the Russian Investigation Committee told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.


MOSCOW The Investigative Committee /SK/ opened a criminal case over negligence in the adoption of the Kuzmin brothers by U.S. citizens. Maxim Kuzmin, 3, later died in a U.S. foster family in Texas, United States. "Pskov Region investigators opened a criminal case over negligence in drawing the documents on the adoption of the Kuzmin brothers by U.S. citizens, under Article 293, Part 1," SK spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.


MOSCOW The criminal case against Mikhail Lysenko, former head of the Engelssk district, Saratov region, accused of setting up a gang, has been sent to court. The main office of the Investigative Committee /SK/ charged him under seven articles of Russia's penal code, including assassination plans, kidnapping, extortion, taking a large bribe and money laundering. His accomplices accused of causing serious harm to health, robberies, extortion and hooliganism with use of firearms will go on trial together with him.



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