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News summary for March 20

March 21, 2013, 8:50 UTC+3

All the headlines from the day's news

1 pages in this article

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin does not plan receiving the Cypriot Finance Minister, Michael Sarris, who is visiting Moscow. “There’s no such meeting in Putin’s agenda for today,” his Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said.


MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin has submitted the agreement on the status of and the conditions for the stay of the Russian united military base in Kyrgyzstan and the protocol to it to the State Duma for ratification.


STRASBOURG – Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko urged the European Union to give up the logic of dividing Europe into old and new democracies.


STRASBOURG – Russian Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko regretted that Belarus has not been admitted to the Council of Europe yet.


STRASBOURG – Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko lauded Cyprus for taking into account Russia’s position when making the decision on anti-crisis tax on bank deposits.


MOSCOW – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had a telephone conversation with Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, on Wednesday, March 20, to discuss the situation in Syria and around it.


MOSCOW – There is no clear evidence that chemical weapons have been used in Syria, Deputy Foreign Minister Genandy Gatilov said on Wednesday, March 20. “The story about the use of chemical weapons in Syria should be thoroughly investigated,” Gatilov wrote in his Twitter account. “There is no clear evidence so far.”


MOSCOW – Moscow and Damascus called for an urgent independent investigation into the use of weapons of mass destruction in Syria. The statement was made at a meeting between Russian president’s special representative for the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Syrian Ambassador in Moscow Riyad Haddad on Wednesday, March 20.


VLADIKAVKAZ – North Ossetia’s head Taimuraz Mamsurov supported the idea of naming a peak in the Great Caucasus Ridge after Hugo Chavez. Thirty North Ossetian mountaineers had earlier scaled a nameless mountain peak 3,695 meters tall, situated in a gorge on the southern slope of the Caucasus Ridge, to commemorate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.


GENEVA – The United States has not changed the position on missile defence and Russia’s stance remains unchanged, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.


DUSHANBE – Dushanbe sees as “an excessive and far-fetched” media hype about an alleged stalling by Tajikistan of the ratification of an agreement on Russian military base 201, Tajik Foreign Ministry spokesman Davlat Nazriyev said on Wednesday.


WARSAW – Poland seeks stronger relations with Russia and hopes for rapprochement between the two countries’ nations, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on Wednesday representing main provisions of Poland’s foreign policy for 2013 at the lower house of parliament.


TOKYO – Japan hopes that the upcoming visit by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Russia will give a new impetus to talks on the disputed Kuril Islands, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said in Tokyo on Wednesday.


MOSCOW – A Just Russia Deputy Dmitry Gudkov said on Wednesday beforehand that he wouldn’t attend today’s ethics commission meeting that was to look into the issue of his trip to the U.S. “I won’t attend this meeting because, as I was told yesterday, it will be held behind closed doors,” he told RSN radio.


MOSCOW– Russia’s State Duma committee for ethics had advised the lower house of parliament to strip the lower house’s member from the A Just Russia party, Dmitry Gudkov, of the right to address the audience for thirty days, as well as to present apologies and voluntarily hand in one’s mandate for “repeated abuse of ethics and for discrediting the Russian parliament.”


MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin nominated Elvira Nabiullina for the post of the chairman of the Central Bank of Russia for voting in the State Duma after the expiry of the tenure of incumbent Chairman of the Central Bank of Russia Sergei Ignatyev, the Russian presidential press service reported on Wednesday.


NOVO-OGAREVO – Russian President Vladimir Putin urged to speed up the work on a strategy for the development of the energy network complex.


NOVO-OGAREVO – President Vladimir Putin urged the government to solve the problem of cross subsidies in the power supply network. “I ask the government to solve the question of cross subsidies by taking a balanced and thoroughly considered approach,” he said on Wednesday, March 20.


MOSCOW – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has instructed the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation to sign an agreement on development of military-technical cooperation with Armenia. He approved a draft agreement submitted by the Defence Ministry and coordinated with the Foreign Ministry.


GORKI – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the European Union and Cyprus were acting on the debt problem like a bull in a china shop. “The actions of the European Union, the European Commission and the government of Cyprus to settle the debt problem remind me, unfortunately, of a bull in a china shop,” Medvedev said in an interview with European media on Wednesday, March 20.


GORKI – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that the financial situation in Cyprus can trigger a series of new crises, can inflict heavy losses on many banks and can lead to termination of the Russian-Cypriot agreement on the avoidance of double taxation.


CHISINAU – Moldova and the European Union cannot sign association and free trade zone agreements this year as was planned earlier, Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti said on Wednesday, March 20.


MOSCOW – Russian billionaire and politician Mikhail Prokhorov is confident that Russian business can help Cyprus to settle its financial problems.


MOSCOW – Cyprus’s decision to impose a tax on banking deposits would undermine confidence in the banking system of not only Cyprus itself, but of the whole European Union, Russia’s State Duma Deputy Speaker Alexander Zhukov said on Wednesday.


ASTANA – Kazakhstan plans to get around 1 million tonnes of fuel and lubricants through tolling operations with China, the director of oil industry development department of Kazakhstan’s Oil and Gas Ministry, Kuandyk Kulmurzin, said on Wednesday.


MOSCOW – Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov held a meeting with Cypriot Finance Minister Michael Sarris here on Wednesday. An official from the secretariat of the Russian first deputy prime minister confirmed the fact of the meeting to Itar-Tass.


KIEV – Talks on Ukraine’s possible involvement in the Customs Union continue, acting director of the Foreign Ministry Information Policy Department Yevgeny Perebeinos said.


KIEV – As of March 1 at least 9.3 billion cubic metres of gas is stored in underground facilities (3 percent less as compared with the same period of 2012), Ukrtransgas’ press service reported.


MOSCOW – About 600 investment projects were implemented in Russia with federal funding under the defence industry development programme, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said at a military-industrial conference on Wednesday, March 20.


MOSCOW – Attempts to impose a tax on bank deposits in Cyprus signify that the neoliberal economic model has outlived itself, Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin said.


VORONEZH – President of the Russian Grain Union Arkady Zlochevsky has pointed to the steady trends to the grain price decline.


MOSCOW – Russia’s consumer inflation rate increased by 0.1 percent in the period from March 12 to March 18, 2013, the Federal State Statistics Service said in its regular report made public on Wednesday, adding that the indicator has gone up by 0.3 percent since the beginning of the current month and has grown by 1.8 percent since the beginning of the year.


BEIJING – The economic growth rates of a big group of emerging-market countries, including BRICS states, have become an important factor to ensure global peace, Chinese President Xi Jinping said.


MOSCOW – Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, considers the participation by the Patriarch of Constantinople in the Pope’s enthronement a significant event.


MOSCOW – The Russian Foreign Ministry invites Russian psychiatrists to go to Cambodia for a medical examination of arrested businessman Sergei Polonsky and the latter guarantees the payment for their trip in the country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a posting, which is made on the official webpage of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Facebook network on Wednesday.


MOSCOW - Editor-in-chief of the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets /MK/ Pavel Gusev dismissed lawmakers' accusations that his newspaper carried sex advertisement. "We've already had such a check; it hasn't found any violations. Let them check, we are ready. The accusations are groundless. There is nothing to prove," Gusev told Itar-Tass in comments on the request by United Russia lawmakers to the Prosecutor General and the Interior Minister to checks MK ads.


MOSCOW – Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and Italian Minister of Tourism Piero Gnudi have signed a statement on holding a cross year of tourism due to start in September 2014.


NAZRAN – The first ski run was opened in Ingushetia, in Armkhi resort in the Dzheirakh district. The run is 1,200 meters long and the cableway 800 meters long. The ski run can be used by 1,000 skiers a day.


VIENNA – A train carrying 376 tonnes of a toxic rocket fuel component, which had been stored in deteriorating containers at a site in Shevchenkove, left Ukraine on Wednesday, March 20, for safe disposal as part of a project supported by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).


MOSCOW – Rostelecom, Russia’s national telecommunications operator, is launching a commercial 3G+ network in Penza, through the Group’s subsidiary ZAO NSS.


MOSCOW – The operations of the space rocket corporation Energia are transparent and open to auditing, its president, Vitaly Lopota, said in response to charges by the head of the federal space agency, Vladimir Popovkin, to the effect some companies in the space rocket industry were not transparent enough.


MOSCOW – At a conference on military and political aspects of European security due in May, the Russian Defense Ministry expects a sincere conversation with its European colleagues, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told reporters on Wednesday.


MOSCOW – The Russian Defence Ministry cannot settle qualitatively the issue of pricing in the State Defence Contract and should not do it, Russian Defence Minister General Sergei Shoigu said at a plenary meeting of the military-industrial conference at the Russian House of Government on Wednesday.


MOSCOW – Russia’s Defence Ministry will make corrections to the construction of the Novorossiisk naval base due to its category of constant combat readiness, said Roman Filimonov, head of the department of state customer of capital construction.


MOSCOW – Russia should show its determination to maintain peace and its worthy place in the world, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said at a military-industrial conference on Wednesday. “New giants with immense ambitions are coming to the arena of global struggle. This is the reason why the 21st century will not be an easy stroll along a downtown avenue. Russia, while wearing a velvet glove and always ready for a handshake, should be always ready to demonstrate the world its determination to maintain peace and retain its worthy place in the world,” he said.


MOSCOW – Russia’s Military-Industrial Commission should monitor the development of new weapons at all times, presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said at a military-industrial conference on Wednesday, March 20.


MURMANSK – The large submarine chaser Severomorsk of the Russian Northern Fleet is leading the fourth convoy of civilian ships through the security corridor across the Gulf of Aden. The convoy was formed at the destination point in the Red Sea and included two bulk carriers under the flags of Egypt and Panama, as well as a merchant ship under the flag of Saint Vincent and Grenadines, the headquarters of the Russian Northern Fleet told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.


NEW DELHI – India has successfully test-fired the submarine-launched version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile jointly developed with Russia, a source in BrahMos Aerospace told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.


MOSCOW – Over 100,000 Russian military personnel will move into new flats in 2013, the Defence Ministry said.


KALUGA One person died and another was injured in an explosion in a house in the Kaluga region on Wednesday, the press service of the regional emergency situations department told Itar-Tass.


MOSCOW – The Russian Emergencies Ministry has opened a crisis management centre in Dagestan.


MAKHACHKALA Authorities in Dagestan introduced a regime of anti-terrorist operation in the village of Semender, northern Makhachkala, at 06:00, Moscow time, on Wednesday.


KALUGA  The blast in a house in the Kaluga region was caused by an explosive device. One person died and another was injured in the accident, regional police told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.


MOSCOW Moscow's Khamovniki court on Wednesday left former head of Defense Ministry's property department Yevgenia Vasilyeva, a suspect in the Oboronservis case, under house arrest. "The court's conclusion is that the investigator's petition to extend Vasilyeva's house arrest as the measure of restraint, to May 23 has to be granted," judge Olesya Ustinova said in a resolution.


MOSCOW Chechnya native Yusup Temirkhanov, accused of the murder of former Colonel Yuri Budanov, said he was not guilty of the crime. On Wednesday, a jury began a new review of the case, and Temirkhanov pleaded not guilty after the prosecutor read the indictment.


MOSCOW – Russian detectives are investigating the details of the death of the Russian spouses from the Leningrad Region at a Egyptian hotel, the Russian Investigation Committee told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.


ST.PETERSBURG The Russian Investigative Committee intends to prosecute U.S. citizens blamed for death of children adopted in Russia through Interpol, SK Chairman Alexander Bastrykin declared on Wednesday, speaking at the northwestern department of the Russian Academy of Law on Wednesday.


ARKHANGELSK The presidium of the Arkhangelsk region court on Wednesday denied parole to former MENATEP director Platon Lebedev. The appeals panel refused to grant the petition by the businessman's lawyers who had sought to overturn the decision by the Velsk district court.


MOSCOW The criminal case over property squandering against Opposition activist, lawyer Alexei Navalny, has been sent to a Kirov region court. "The criminal case against Alexei Navalny and Pyotr Ofitserov with endorsed indictment has been sent to Kirov's Lenin district court for consideration on the merits," the press service of the Investigative Committee told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.


MOSCOW The criminal case over property squandering against Opposition activist, lawyer Alexei Navalny, has been sent to a Kirov region court. "Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Malinovsky has endorsed the indictment," Prosecutor General's Office spokesperson Marina Gridneva confirmed to Itar-Tass.


NICOSIA – The Nicosia District Court tried the Russian extradition request for Russian citizen Dmitry Zubakha and satisfied it, Councillor of the Russian Embassy in Cyprus Sergei Filimonov told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.


CHISINAU – Officials of Moldova’s Prosecutor’s Office and of the National Anti-Corruption Center in the past day made a number of searches and arrests in units of the Customs Service, spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office Artur Syrcu told reporters on Wednesday.


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