Press review: US 'gears up for war' in Europe and experts doubt stability of Syrian peacePress Review February 28, 13:00
Envoy says Sakhalin may be linked to Russia’s mainland via tunnel and later to JapanBusiness & Economy February 28, 12:55
Russia’s energy minister hopes gas dispute between Russia, Belarus will be settled soonBusiness & Economy February 28, 12:16
Foreign Ministry says Russia open to discussion on strategic issues with USRussian Politics & Diplomacy February 28, 12:06
Diplomat says Russia not holding any talks with US on criteria to lift sanctionsRussian Politics & Diplomacy February 28, 11:55
Russian diplomat says messages Trump sends in address to Congress important for MoscowRussian Politics & Diplomacy February 28, 11:48
Construction cost of Moscow - Kazan high speed railway currently estimated at $22.4 blnBusiness & Economy February 28, 11:38
Russian ice hockey legend Vladimir Petrov passes away at 69Sport February 28, 11:34
Russian rocket-system maker produces drone enclosed in missileMilitary & Defense February 28, 11:09
NOVO-OGAREVO – Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for applying positive experience of military-technical cooperation with Belarus in other countries.
Speaking at the meeting of the commission for military-technical cooperation with foreign states he recalled that Russia and Belarus signed a new treaty to develop military-technical cooperation, which introduces easier rules for military exports.
This step helped raise efficiency of supplies of advanced arms samples and build effective cooperation chains.
NOVO-OGAREVO – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia's weapons exports increased 12 percent to 15.2 billion dollars in 2012. Putin said so at a meeting of the commission for military-technical cooperation with foreign states, noting that the portfolio or orders was worth 46.3 billion dollars.
"It is one of the best indicators in this area; it is safe to say that Russia is one of the obvious leaders in sales of arms and special equipment; we have more than a quarter of the world market; next to us is the USA with a slight lead," Putin said as he summed up the results of last year weapons exports.
"Russia supplies special military equipment to 66 countries and has military cooperation agreements with 75 countries, i.e. there a prospect for developing these relations with a considerable number of states," the president noted reminding that the portfolio of orders had reached 46.3 billion dollars.
NOVO-OGAREVO – Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for more active use of modern credit schemes in military-technical cooperation and expansion of supplies of major types of armaments.
“It is necessary to most actively use the activity of special intergovernmental commissions and broadly apply the practice of issuing government export credits,” he told a meeting of the commission on military-technical cooperation on Wednesday.
He noted that “these should not be such loans that the Soviet Union had disbursed not on market conditions, but by ideological considerations. Then these loans had already never been seen.”
MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed the law on the ratification of the Russian-Venezuelan intergovernmental agreement on the establishment and terms of operation of the centres of science and culture, adopted by the State Duma lower house of RF parliament on March 22 and approved by the Federation Council upper house on March 27. The document is posted on the official Internet portal of legal information.
The document defines the tasks of the centres, as well as provides that, in order to conduct their activities, they can establish direct contacts with ministries, other government agencies and organisations, local authorities, non-profit organisations, as well as citizens of the host state.
According to the agreement, the imported items necessary for normal operation of the information and cultural centres shall be exempt from the national taxes and customs duties set by the legislation of the host state.
MOSCOW REGION – President Vladimir Putin asked Gazprom to return to the Yamal-Europe-2 gas pipeline project and assess again the possibility of implementing it.
“We have basically given up the Yamal-Europe-2 project in connection with North Stream and South Stream. We have practically started work under South Stream and I would like to ask you to return to the Yamal-Europe-2 project,” Putin said at a meeting with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller on Wednesday, April 3.
According to the president, the project will increase the reliability of gas supply to Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.
MOSCOW – Gazprom and its British partners are studying the possibility of building an extra Nord Stream extension to Great Britain, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller on Wednesday, April 3.
MOSCOW – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has approved the state program “Economic Development and Innovation Economy,” which determines the basic tools and mechanisms of state regulation in the field of innovative socially-oriented economic development for the 2013-2020 period, the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers reported on Wednesday.
“The document is aimed at creating a favourable business climate and business environment, intensifying the innovation activity of businesses, as well as at ensuring higher efficiency of state administration,” the press service said.
MOSCOW – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed an executive order on the formation of an independent system for the assessment of quality of work of the organisations that provide social services. The press service of the RF government reports that “the document was adopted in order to improve services to the population in the spheres of education, culture, physical culture and sports, health and social welfare.”
The executive order approves the rules for the formation of an independent system of assessment of the work of such organisations, the main stages of this assessment, the responsibilities of the bodies of state authority and local self-government bodies, performing the functions of the founders of such organisations, as well as ensures transparency of information about the activities of institutions.
GORKI – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev hopes Russia and Yemen will strengthen economic cooperation.
“We hope to strengthen economic cooperation with Yemen,” Medvedev said at the meeting with Yemeni President Abd-Rabbuh Mansur Hadi on Wednesday.
“We hope that we’ll continue and resume contacts on all issues where we maintained a fruitful dialogue on all fields, including military-technical and humanitarian cooperation,” the Russian prime minister said.
Medvedev wished the Yemeni president and the government the success in the development and strengthening of statehood.
GORKI – The Russian government should continue the work to improve the efficiency of the use of the federal budget funds in order to achieve the key socio-economic indicators, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday at a meeting on the guidelines of the budgetary policy in the social sphere for the 2014-2016 period.
“In the conditions of the tough budget rule it is necessary to continue the work to improve the efficiency of the use of the federal budget funds in order to achieve the key socio-economic indicators,” said Medvedev.
MOSCOW – The Russian government has approved the draft agreement on cooperation of CIS countries in the sphere of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The corresponding document was posted on the official Internet portal of legal information on Wednesday.
The draft agreement suggests that the signatory countries shall take concerted action to ensure sustainable development of the nuclear energy industry, promote stabile functioning and strengthen safety of nuclear facilities, as well as take joint efforts to prevent nuclear accidents. The document also provides for the organisation of mutual assistance in maintaining reliable operation of nuclear power plants in emergency situations.
KALININGRAD – More than one trillion roubles will be allocated to finance the program of socio-economic development of Russia’s easternmost Kaliningrad region till the year 2020, according to Russian Deputy Minister of Regional Development Sergei Vakhrukov.
The program was signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on March 27.
MOSCOW – The Russian government has submitted to the State Duma a draft law that regulates the employment of persons with disabilities.
“The adoption of the draft law will make it possible to eliminate the gap in legal regulation of the employment of persons with disabilities in special jobs, introduce uniform key equippment requirements for such jobs at the federal level and facilitate measures aimed at employing persons with disabilities,” the government press service said on Wednesday, April 3, quoting a document signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and posted on the government’s official website.
MOSCOW – The Russian government has submitted to the State Duma lower house of parliament the bill on the establishment of a single regulatory and supervisory authority over participants of all sectors of the financial market, the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers reported.
The bill proposes to transfer to the Bank of Russia the powers of the Federal Financial Markets Service (FFMS) “concerning the legal regulation, control and supervision of financial markets, including the insurance business, credit cooperation and microfinance activities, the activities of commodity exchanges, exchange intermediaries and stock brokers, the formation and investment of the funds of pension savings and other powers,” the document says.
TUAPSE – Russian oil giant Rosneft will buy out refueling assets in airports controlled by investment company Basic Element.
Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Basic Element Oleg Deripaska signed an agreement reviewing the terms of a future deal at the meeting that took place at the Tuapse refinery on Russia’s Black Sea coast on Wednesday.
Rosneft will acquire five refueling units in airports of the Krasnodar Territory and in Abakan, the Republic of Khakassia, Sechin told reporters.
TUAPSE – Russia’s state-owned oil company Rosneft intends to set dividends for 2012 at 25 percent of its net profit according to international accounting standards, the company’s President Igor Sechin said on Wednesday, April 3.
“A standard approach has already been determined - 25 percent is in line with the international level of payments, and this is a very impressive level,” he said.
Rosneft’s net profit in 2012 according to international accounting standards had increased by 7.2 percent from the previous year to 342 billion roubles. Therefore the company’s dividends for 2012 may amount to 85.5 billion roubles.
TUAPSE – The Rosneft company has appealed to the government, asking to authorize additional sectors on the Russian Arctic shelf for oil development, Head of the Rosneft company Igor Sechin declared on Wednesday.
SOCHI – The state-owned oil company Rosneft is planning to supply natural gas to Asia Pacific Region countries under the Point Thomson project.
The company is finalising its accession to the project that will develop a large hydrocarbon field in Alaska, Rosneft President Igor Sechin said on Wednesday, April 3.
MOSCOW – Rosneft has agreed heads of terms to acquire aviation refueling businesses from Basic Element in the airports of Krasnodar, Sochi, Anapa, Gelendzhik and Abakan operated by BASH (Basel Aero Supply and Handling).
MOSCOW – Rosneft President and Chairman of the Management Board Igor Sechin and UC Rusal Chief Executive Officer Oleg Deripaska on Wednesday, April 3, signed a cooperation agreement on supplies of petroleum coke and other Rosneft petroleum products to Rusal enterprises.
MOSCOW – Russia’s Gazprom will supply as much natural gas to international markets as they need, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said on Wednesday, April 3.
At the same time, he said the company has no intention to correct its supply plans following its record supply in March.
MOSCOW – Russia may join the global Arms Trade Treaty only after it has studied it thoroughly, the Foreign Ministry said in a comment on Wednesday, April 3, following the adoption by the U.N. General Assembly of a resolution that opens the treaty for signature from June 3, 2013.
ASTANA – Kazakhstan raises its export duty on crude oil to 60 dollars per ton, says a government instruction published by official media outlets on Wednesday.
The document will come into effect ten days after being published officially for the first time. Oil export duty was introduced in Kazakhstan in 2010. The current customs duty is 40 dollars per ton.
MOSCOW – Half of Russia’s employable population are engaged in the shadow sector of the economy, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said on Wednesday.
“Now, our labour market is practically illegitimate, with only a tiny sector functioning under normal rules,” she told a conference at the Higher School of Economics. In her words, some 86 million people are employed in various economic sectors, of which only 48 million are employed in legitimate businesses. “We do not understand where and how the rest are employed,” she stressed.
The walloping shadow sector is fraught with serious tax gaps, she added.
MOSCOW – Russia’s consumer inflation rate reached 1.9 percent in the first three months of the year, as compared to 1.5 percent in the same period of 2012, the Federal State Statistics Service said on Wednesday.
Over the period under review, the Statistics Service registered the biggest hike in prices for cabbage (23.1 percent), vodka (22.1 percent), potato (19.5 percent), wheat flour (8.6 percent), millet (6.6 percent), rye bread (5.0 percent) and wheat bread (4.6 percent).
MOSCOW – The Rapid Reaction Force of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) code-named “Vzaimodeistviye-2013” (Cooperation-2013) will be held in Belarus in September, Colonel Alexander Kucherenko of the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday, April 3.
MOSCOW – A joint peacekeeping force of Russia, Moldova and the Dniester region began on Wednesday two-day exercises, a spokesman for the Western Military District told Tass.
“During the maneuvers that will continue till April 4, they will train cooperation of peacekeeping contingents in case of a threat from imaginary armed groups, as well as protection and escorting of humanitarian convoys, protection and defense of peacekeeping check points,” Vladimir Drobyshevsky said.
MOSCOW – ALROSA and EVRAZ plc have signed an agreement to sell the diamond miner’s controlling stake in the company Timir to EVRAZ.
The transaction amounts to 4.95 billion roubles (about 160 million U.S. dollars) to be paid in several instalments. At completion EVRAZ will receive 51 percent stake in Timir, Alrosa will own 49 percent minus one share and Vnesheconombank (VEB) will receive one share.
The transaction was approved by the Supervisory Board of ALROSA in September 2012.
CARACAS – The Russian-Venezuelan intergovernmental top-level commission on Wednesday began its ninth regular meeting, which is the first one after the death of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez in early March.
KIEV – Ukraine will complete the construction of the 3rd and 4th units of the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant, Energy and Coal Industry Minister Eduard Stavitsky told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
At present, Ukrainian and Russian specialists are studying technical possibilities of using the existing abandoned sites, Stavitsky said.
The Ukrainian minister met head of Rosatom State Corporation Sergei Kiriyenko in Moscow to discuss atomic cooperation.
CHISINAU – Moldova has joined rail and sea freight corridor Zubr (Bison) that links the Black and Baltic Seas, a source in the government told reporters on Wednesday.
From now on goods shipped to Moldova’s new port of Giurgiulesti on the Danube will be reloaded to special container trains and dispatched to Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Belarus.
DUSHANBE – Tajikistan plans to deliver about 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to Afghanistan this year, which is more than 100 percent more than in the previous season, Director General of the republic’s energy monopoly Barki Tojik company Abdullo Yerov said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
“The agreement to the effect was achieved between energy companies of Afghanistan and Tajikistan a few days ago,” he said, adding that the two parties signed corresponding document.
BAKU – The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR) lowered oil export through Russia’s Novorossiisk seaport by 17.2 percent to 411,300 tonnes in the first three months of the year, as compared to the same period of the preceding year, the company said in a statement.
In March 2013, SOCAR exported 159,600 tonnes of oil through the Baku-Novorossiisk oil pipeline, which was 4,400 tonnes (2.7 percent) smaller than in the same month of 2012, the document underlined.
MINSK – The U.S. dollar rate has hit this year’s another record high of 8,700 Belarusian roubles per dollar. On Wednesday, the trading session at the Belarusian monetary and financial stock exchange completed with the drop of the national currency rate against the U.S. dollar second day in row. Today the dollar rate went up from 8,690 to 8,700 Belarusian roubles per U.S. dollar as compared to the previous trading session.
Under forecasts of some Belarusian experts, the country’s authorities unlikely to meet the annual average U.S. dollar rate at 8,950 roubles, as it is envisaged by the country’s budget for 2013.