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Putin says Astana talks set up mechanism for monitoring Syrian ceasefireRussian Politics & Diplomacy February 27, 10:54
Russian diplomat believes Kurds need to join intra-Syrian talks in GenevaRussian Politics & Diplomacy February 27, 10:11
Russian combat engineers continue mine clearance operation in eastern AleppoMilitary & Defense February 27, 8:46
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Russian military delivers humanitarian aid to some 3,800 Syrians over past 24 hoursRussian Politics & Diplomacy February 27, 7:16
International talks on Syria conflict settlement may take up to several months — sourceWorld February 27, 7:13
MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin has signed an executive order on budget support to NGOs that implement socially important projects and participate in the development of civil society institutions.
These NGOs will get subsidies in 2013 in the amount of 2,320,000 roubles for holding tenders and, based on their results, providing grants to other NGOs for socially important projects.
NGOs have been encouraged to create tender commission to select bids, organise tenders and, based on their results, issuing grants to other NGOs for implementing socially important projects, while ensuring transparent and public bidding.
The president also ordered that these NGO be provided with necessary information support for their tenders, including by publishing information about them and their results on the official websites of the Public Chamber and regional public chambers, as well as in mass media, the presidential press service said on Saturday, March 30.
MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to draft Russian citizens for military service and discharge those whose service term ends.
According to the decree, 153,200 citizens aged from 18 to 27 are planned to be drafted into the army during the period from April 1 to July 15, this year.
MOSCOW – The U.S. intention to continue to finance some nonprofit organizations in Russia is open interference in the country's internal affairs, the Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Saturday.
"We consider the statement of official representative of the Department of State Victoria Nuland that the United States intends to continue financing some NPOs in Russia through intermediaries in third countries bypassing the Russian legislation as uncovered interference in our internal affairs," the diplomat said.
In his words, in fact the question is one of direct instigation of known non-governmental and public structures to violate the laws relating to activities of nonprofit organizations in the Russian Federation's territory.
MOSCOW – The active phase of the sudden check of the combat readiness in South Russia was concluded with firing from warships of the Black Sea Fleet on Saturday, the Russian Defence Ministry's press service reported.
MOSCOW – Russia urges all parties to show maximum restraint in order to avoid a war on the Korean Peninsula, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday, March 30.
Moscow “is closely watching the situation on the Korean Peninsula where military rhetoric and tensions have been constantly escalating over the past several weeks,” the ministry said.
“On March 30, the government of the DPRK declared a ‘state of war’ in relations between the two Koreas and issued a warning about an ‘all-out … nuclear war’,” the ministry said. “Large-scale military manoeuvres of the U.S. and Republic of Korea Armed Forces are underway in the south of the peninsula, with the participation of strategic bombers which can carry nuclear weapons.”
MOSCOW – The European logistics operator GEFCO, which is 75 percent owned by Russian Railways, has begun cooperating with Toyota in Russia and will provide warehousing for Land Cruiser Prado SUVs in Greater Moscow.
Serial production of the Land Cruiser Prado at Sollers-Bussan in Vladivostok started at the end of February 2013. Initially, the production capacity is 1,000 units per month. The vehicles are aimed at customers in most regions of Russia and will be delivered in rail-car transporters to GEFCO's storage complex in the Domodedovo District of the Greater Moscow Region.
MOSCOW – Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), the leading telecommunications operator in Russia and the CIS, and VimpelCom, a leading international provider of telecommunication services, expressed their joint interest in the acquisition of Tele2 Russia, a subsidiary of Tele2 AB.
In a letter to Tele2 AB Chairman Mike Parton and Tele2 AB President and CEO Mats Granryd, MTS and VIP said they would be prepared jointly to acquire 100 percent of Tele 2 Russia for 4.0 - 4.25 billion U.S. dollars, including 1.15 billion U.S. dollars of net debt. This represents a premium of up to 30 percent for Tele2 AB and its shareholders relative to the equity value of the recently announced offer from VTB Capital.
KRASNOYARSK – Since November 2013, Naftogaz Ukrainy has been receiving gas on the Polish border under a contract with from German RWE.
The gas is supplied across the Ukrainian border with Poland. RWE may supply up to 5 billion cubic metres of gas to Ukraine until May 2013. Last year Naftogaz Ukrainy imported 55 million cubic metres of gas using the reverse flow scheme.
Naftogaz Ukrainy has signed a contract with RWE Supply and Trading (RWE ST, Germany) for the purchase of natural gas on the border between Poland and Ukraine.
The throughput capacity of Ukraine’s gas transportation system on the Western border is about 40 billion cubic metres.
LANGKAWI, Malaysia – Six Indian MiGF-29 fighter planes have been upgraded in Russia and the remaining 63 will be upgraded in India, an official from the Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG said at the aerospace exhibition LIMA 2013 on Saturday, March 30.
He said the modernisation is carried out in two stages. At the first stage, six planes were flown to Russia, accompanied by an Indian project team, which will then teach specialists in India.
Three of the six planes have already gone back home. The other three are being upgraded at Nizhny Novgorod’s Sokol, which is part of MiG. They will be handed over to India before the end of the year.
At the second stage, the remaining 63 fighter planes will be upgraded in India by Indian specialists.
LANGKAWI, Malaysia – Russia’s Central Design Bureau Rubin does not rule out that China can copy the newest submarine Amur if it buys it.
Rubin Director-General Igor Vilnit told ARMS-TASS at the aerospace exhibition LIMA 2013 on Saturday, March 30, that “the decision to sell the Amur submarine should be made at the political level.”
The United Shipbuilding Corporation, of which Rubin is a part, says such a sale is possible.
LOS ANGELES – Russia is interested in deeper cooperation with innovation centres in America’s Silicon Valley, Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Oleg Fomichev said.
He attended the Global Technology Symposium in Palo Alto, California, on March 27-29.
“We had set ourselves two tasks: to invite top managers of leading technology and development companies to the Second ‘Open Innovations’ Forum to be held in Moscow from October 31 to November 2. Also in the centre of attention was the discussion of concrete steps to deepen cooperation between Russian technology companies with American corporations and incorporation of our players in the global innovation agenda,” Fomichev said.
TBILISI – The Georgian Foreign Ministry has voiced its concern with Russia’s large-scale army exercises in the Black Sea.
“The exercise is being held in the vicinity of Georgia’s sea and land border while the Russian authorities did not spread any information about the exercise’s duration and the exact location of military units involved in the maneuvers,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on Friday.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry noted that the exercises could not be considered as proportionate reaction to projected threats due to their scale. Georgia believes that the maneuvers are exceeding the boundaries of conventional dislocation of military units as provided for by the 2011 Vienna document on Confidence – and Security-Building.
At the same time, Georgian Defense Minister Irakliy Alasaniya told journalists that Georgia did not feel a direct threat in connection with the Russian military exercises.
KIEV – The Odessa refinery on Friday launched preparations for resuming normal operation. The ceremony marking the start of tune-up work was attended by Energy and Coal Industry Minister Eduard Stavitsky, the refinery’s press-service said.
According to the official, the refinery has every opportunity to provide products meeting European quality and ecological security standards.
The East European fuel and energy company VETEK purchased the Odessa refinery from Russia’s LUKOIL. The transaction will be finalized by June 1.
LUKOIL suspended the Odessa refinery in October 2010 due to its low profitability and an unfavorable market situation in Ukraine.
BISHKEK – A court in Bishkek on Friday sentenced three parliament members to various prison terms for their calls for forcible seizure of power.
According to court sources Kamchybek Tashiyev was sentenced to 18 months in jail, and his fellow members of the oppositional Ata-Zhurt (Fatherland) party, Sadyr Zhaparov and Talant Mamytov, to 18 months and one year in prison respectively. The time spent in detention will be included in the prison term.
LANGKAWI, Malaysia – Iran maintains the operation of its submarines (type 877 EKM) despite showing interest in Russian submarine technologies, Igor Vilnit, the general director of the Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering, told ARMS-TASS at the LIMA-2013 exhibition that closed on Saturday.
He said that Iran’s deputy defense minister had visited an exhibition stand of the United Shipbuilding Corporation that featured the Rubin exposition and had shown great interest in the Russian submarine and naval technologies.
TBILISI – Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili did not rule out that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili will be interrogated during the investigation of several cases.
“There are several cases where the president’s awareness is being examined,” he said on Saturday.
“Prosecutors who conduct this or that investigation should take decisions on expediency of this interrogation,” Kbilashvili said. “Until now prosecutors have taken no decisions on the president’s interrogation.”
According to local media, these cases concern the authorities’ violent dispersal of peaceful opposition rallies on November 7, 2007, and May 26, 2011, the mysterious death of the former Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania and the acquisition of Imedi TV company in 2007.