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News summary for April 9

April 10, 2013, 8:53 UTC+3
All the headlines from the day's news
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MOSCOW The Russian Foreign Ministry voiced serious concerns over no progress in establishing the dialogue between the government and the opposition in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated after a meeting between Russian special envoy in the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Syrian Ambassador in Moscow Riyad Haddad here on Tuesday.


MOSCOW Russia does not support any party in the internal conflict in Syria, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich said in comments on an upcoming meeting of the G8 foreign ministers in London on April 10-11. The G8 foreign ministers will discuss the current situation in Syria.


MOSCOW The results of several rounds of the Sextet-Iran negotiations passed this year in Almaty and Istanbul show that “this dialogue has real prospects, but no major shifts take place,” spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich said in comments on the agenda of an upcoming meeting of the G8 foreign ministers in London on April 10-11.


MOSCOW Russia shares the concerns of the G8 partners over the development of the current events on the Korean Peninsula, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich said on Tuesday.


PYONGYANG The Russian embassy in North Korea “works as usual,” a spokesman for the embassy, Denis Samsonov, told Itar-Tass on Tuesday. “At present, there is no talk about evacuation of embassy staff,” he said. Russian diplomats keep a close watch on the situation in Pyongyang and other regions of North Korea and monitor all statements made by the North Korean authorities.


SEOUL The Russia embassy in South Korea has no plans to evacuate Russian citizens following North Korea’s call to evacuate foreigners, a spokesman for the embassy, Nikita Kharin, told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.


SUKHUM The Abkhazian Foreign Ministry voiced “deep regrets over the dropping of Abkhazia from the list of the countries, which were invited in the Republic of Turkey for an international children’s festival this year.”


MOSCOW The problem of compulsory membership in the All-Russia People's Front (ONF) for presidential proxies was never raised, the ONF press service told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.


MOSCOW The State Duma has put the proposed punishment to deputy Dmitry Gudkov, as a result of which he will be deprived of the right of speech for one month, to the vote without a preliminary debate on Tuesday. The Duma is expected to announce a final decision at around 5.00 pm Tuesday.


KIEV President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision to pardon former interior minister Yuri Lutsenko should be assessed from the point of view of Ukraine’s European integration, an acting spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Yevgeny Perebeinos, told reporters on Tuesday.


MOSCOW The State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament on Tuesday stripped A Just Russia deputy Dmitry Gudkov of the right to speak at the next nine sessions. Gudkov was disciplined for "gross and insulting remarks" damaging the honor and dignity of the State Duma, as well as for the actions showing obvious contempt of the Federal Assembly, following the recommendations of the house commission for ethics.


KIEV Prospects for the settlement of the frozen conflicts conflicts will be in the focus of the forthcoming South Caucasian trip by Andrei Deshits, a special envoy of Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara who is currently chairing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).


NOVO-OGARYOVO  Russia will send no official delegation to attend the funeral of Britain’s former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on April 17, Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday. “No, we will not go there,” he said. “The funeral is not of state status.”


YEREVAN Peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict remains Armenia’s foreign policy priority, President Serzh Sargsyan said at his inauguration ceremony on Tuesday.


MOSCOW Russia pursues a consistent line “in support of sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Lebanese Republic with the emphasis on the help to the country in the attainment of inner accord, security and stability.”


MINSK – Sweden will resume its diplomatic presence in Belarus, spokeswoman for the Belarusian Foreign Ministry Maria Vanshina said on Tuesday.


YEREVAN Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan met on Tuesday with head of the Russian president’s administration Sergei Ivanov. Earlier on Tuesday, Ivanov laid a wreath to the memorial monument to the victims of genocide of the Armenians.


MOSCOW Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill amending the Tax Code and separate legislative act to refine the principles of pricing for taxation, the Kremlin press service reports. It notes that the State Duma passed the bill on March 22 and the Federation Council endorsed it on March 27.


NIZHNY NOVGOROD Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited a welding shop of the cars Volkswagen and Skoda at the GAZ motor works here on Tuesday. He studied the work of a shop, where the cars Volga were produced, but these cars were already taken out of production so far.


MOSCOW The Russian government has turned down a proposed bill that authorizes doctors to make surgeries in emergency cases even if a patient rejects medical assistance, the Russian Cabinet said in an official comment on the bill proposed by the St. Petersburg legislature.


MOSCOW Russia’s State Duma, or lower parliament house, on Tuesday approved Elvira Nabiullina as chairperson of the Russian Central Bank. Nabiullina will take office on June 24, 2013 after the office term of her predecessor, current Central Bank governor Sergei Ignatyev expires.


MOSCOW Russian president’s chief economic adviser Elvira Nabiullina, who had been approved as head of the Central Bank by the State Duma on Tuesday, said she planned no revolution as far as the bank’s personnel policy concerns.


MOSCOW Russia’s gas giant Gazprom has no plans to sing any binding documents related to the third and fourth strings of the Nord Stream gas pipeline project within the upcoming six months, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said on Tuesday.


MOSCOW Russia’s national gas utility Gazprom will decide on the future of the Yamal-Europe-2 project by October, after the feasibility study is over, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said on Tuesday.


MOSCOW  The Tuesday earthquake in Iran did not affect the operation of the Bushehr nuclear power plant and did not result in a higher radiation level, the department of communications of the Russian state-run nuclear corporation Rosatom told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.


MOSCOW Loans for real sectors of economy should be affordable, the president’s chief economic adviser and Russian Central Bank head nominee Elvira Nabiullina told a State Duma meeting on Tuesday.


MOSCOW Vertolyoty Rossii /Russia’s Helicopter/ holding company is exhibiting new multirole helicopters at a major aerospace show that opens in Rio de Janeiro Tuesday, the company’s press service told Itar-Tass. The Latin American exhibition and conference for aerospace and defense technologies /LAAD Defense & Security/ is held biennially and is one of the key events in the sphere of defense and security maintenance in the region. This time it continues from April 9 through to April 12.


BEIJING Pipeline oil exports from Kazakhstan to China totaled 50.8 million tonnes at the end of 2012, China National Petroleum Corporation said in its statement. “The pipeline between China and Kazakhstan stretches over 1,200 kilometers. Annually oil exports through the route increase by 20 percent on the average,” a CNPC representative said.


ASTANA  The Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts a growth of 5.2 percent of Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the current year, the press service of the ADB mission in Kazakhstan reported on Tuesday.


MOSCOW The residue export duty may be increased by three to four percent starting from 2014 in order to fill road funds, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov told reporters on Tuesday.


MOSCOW  Russia’s gas export in the first three months of the year exceeded the same indicator of January-March 2012, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told reporters on Tuesday, adding that the forecast for the year is favourable in general.


KIEV  Ukraine is ready to offer partners in Latin American countries to modernize An-32 airplanes, the press service of the Ukrainian state-run aircraft manufacturer Antonov said on Tuesday. The company has delegated its representatives to the LAAD-2013 international aerospace and defence technology exhibition, which opened in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday.


MOSCOW Russian nuclear experts have set up a special commission to inspect equipment at the Bushehr nuclear plant in Iran after an earthquake that hit the country on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Nizhny Novgorod-based engineering company Atomenergoproject incorporated into the Rosatom state corporation told Itar-Tass.


MINSK Belarus and Russia’s republic of Tatarstan have agreed to develop cooperation in the chemical and petrochemical sectors, and in the area of the production of agricultural machinery. An agreement to this effect was reached at a Tuesday meeting between visiting Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko and Tatarstan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Ravil Zaripov, according to the press service of the Belarusian government.


MOSCOW Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to hold the Russian-British Culture Cross Year in 2014, the Russian presidential official website reported on Tuesday. The cross year will be held “for further development of Russian-British relations,” Putin said in the decree.


YEREVAN The Russian language “was never an unfamiliar language to the Armenian people,” said Vigen Sargsyan, the chief of staff of the Armenian president. Together with the head of the Kremlin administration, Sergei Ivanov, he took part in the ceremony of the inauguration of 20 centers of Russian language studies.


BANGKOK Nine million tourists visited the Thai province Chonburi, where the sea resort Pattaya is situated, in 2012. As many as 6.14 millions of them were the foreign tourists, the Tourism Authority of Thailand reported on Tuesday. As many as 2.2 million Russian tourists are leading in their numerical strength among the foreign tourists in the province Chonburi.


MOSCOW Members of the United Russia faction at the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament demanded the resignation of senior Education Ministry officials. The relevant statement was read by lawmaker Vladimir Burmatov within "the ten-minute slots" allocated to the factions for political statements.


MOSCOW The State Duma has passed a bill on sport fans at first reading on Tuesday. The bill aims to ensure order and security during official sport events.


MOSCOW The Golos association has denied the Justice Ministry's accusations that it gets funding from abroad and engages in politics. "On April 3, we received the prosecutor's demand that we submit documents, while on April 4 they demanded that we come to the Justice Ministry for drawing a protocol of violation. The decision was ready before we had time to submit the documents," Golos deputy executive director Grigory Melkonyats told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.


MINSK Belarus and Russia are deciding the issue of creating a new constellation of satellites for making high-resolution space images. “We are discussing the creation of a constellation of satellites making images with a resolution of 1 metre and coverage of 40 kilometres,” chief of staff of the Belarusian National Academy of Sciences Pyotr Vityaz told reporters on Tuesday.


MOSCOW Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree over the procedure for Russia to fulfil the protocol on the mechanism of military-technical aid to the member-countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in case of a threat of aggression. The document was posted on the official Internet portal of legal information on Tuesday.


MOSCOW Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu has made a working trip to Russia's northern cosmodrome Plesetsk on Tuesday, where he familiarized himself with the condition of the launching pad of Plesetsk cosmodrome and the progress of the work on the Angara uniform launching complex, the press and information department of the Russian Defense Ministry told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.


MOSCOW  A joint group of French and U.S. inspectors is expected to make an observation flight over Russia’s territory in the period of April 9 to April 13, the press service of the Defense Ministry said. “As part of the measures aimed at implementing the Treaty on Open Skies, the inspectors from France and the U.S. will make an observation flight aboard the OC-135B observation aircraft of the U.S. Air Force,” a spokesman for the press service said.


MOSCOW Ships of the Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Group (Blackseafor) on Tuesday left the Bulgarian port of Varna to fulfil the tasks of the sea phase of the BLACKSEAFOR exercises, spokesman for the Russian Black Sea Fleet Captain 1st Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachev told Itar-Tass.


RIO DE JANEIRO  Russia is ready to cooperate with Brazil both in what concerns supplies of arms and military hardware and in the area of technologies, said director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation Alexander Fomin, who arrived here with a Russian delegation to take part in the Latin American exhibition and conference for aerospace and defense technologies /LAAD Defense & Security/ which opened on Tuesday.


PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY An exercise in eliminating the aftermaths of a major earthquake that continued in Kamchatka for almost a month has come to an end. On the whole, experts gave a favorable assessment to the readiness of the Kamchatka territory’s system of response to emergency situations, the territorial minister for specialized programs and Cossack communities, Sergei Khabarov said Tuesday.


MOSCOW The number of flooded homes In the Volga region and Central Russia has almost halved, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM) told Itar-Tass. “In 11 settlements of the Volga and Central Federal Districts 119 houses with 317 dwellers, as well as 288 private land plots remain flooded,” the source specified. On Monday, 200 houses were flooded.


MOSCOW  Seven people died in a road accident in the Vladimir region on Tuesday, an official at the Emergency Situations Ministry told Itar-Tass. The crash occurred in the settlement of Boldino, Petushki district, at 00:15, Moscow time.


MOSCOW Federal Customs Service officials are suspected of involvement in a 26-million-rouble /825,000 US dollars/ theft. The funds were allocated from the budget for purchasing special equipment, the Interior Ministry's press service told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.


MOSCOW Investigators suspect the former director general of a warehouse in the Moscow district of the Air Force, accused in the Oboronservis case, of misusing 250,000 roubles. "Criminal proceedings against Maxim Zakutailo were opened under Article 160, Part 3 /misappropriation or squandering in an especially large amount, committed by organized group/," an investigator said at Moscow's Khamovniki court Tuesday as it mulled extending Zakutailo's arrest.


MOSCOW Moscow's Khamovniki court on Tuesday extended custody of the former director general of a warehouse in the Moscow district of the Air Force, accused in the Oboronservis case, to June 8, a court official told Itar-Tass.


YEKATERINBURG The resident of Surgut, who shot and killed two town administration officials, will undergo a new psychiatric expert examination, senior aide to the director of the Investigative Committee department for the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area /Yugra/ Yelena Sherman told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.


MOSCOW The specialists of the Federal Service for Control over the Circulation of Drugs (FSKN) will train Serbian policemen for the struggle against the drug threat, Chairman of the State Anti-Drug Committee and FSKN Director Viktor Ivanov told reporters on Tuesday.


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