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News summary for April 13, 14

April 15, 2013, 8:19 UTC+3
All the headlines from the weekend's news
Material has 1 page

MOSCOW Specialists of Russia’s federal drug control service FSKN will be training drug police for India, FSKN chief Viktor Ivanov said on Friday.

“We are prepared to consider various options,” Ivanov said at a meeting with a visiting Indian delegation, adding that instruction might be arranged for in India or in Russia.


DONETSK – Ukraine’s losses from corruption this year have reached 8 million hryvnias (1 million dollars), Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko told a news briefing in Donetsk on Friday.

Since the beginning of the year Ukrainian police have terminated the operation of nine organized criminal groups and proved guilt in 243 cases of corruption. As result 187 officials were brought to justice.


MOSCOW The published "Magnitsky list" is open blackmail to which Russia has no right not to respond, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Saturday, commenting on the list of 18 Russian officials published by the American government on Friday. Unilateral sanctions are imposed against the officials in accordance with “the Sergei Magnitsky act on the rule of law and accountability” adopted by the U.S. Congress in December last year.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed regret in this connection.


MOSCOW State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov said Moscow’s response to the U.S. Magnitsky list is “adequate and normal”.

“We did not want to turn it into a political war, but Russia’s reaction will always be identical,” Pushkov said on Saturday, April 13.

In his opinion, by introducing the Magnitsky list, the United States created a strong anti-Russian background in the world. “We can already speak of a negative background for the visit to Moscow by President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, the purpose of which is to continue the dialogue on the reset,” he said.


MOSCOW Russia will not support the new resolution on Syria and will vote against it, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

The authors of the new resolution try to achieve the approval of their unilateral plans through the U.N. General Assembly. They are guided by the only aim -- to change the regime in the country. As long as time allows, consolidated work should be started with all the Syrian parties with the aim to implement the Geneva Communique provisions, the ministry urges.


GROZNY Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said he would not travel to the United States even if reports claiming that he has been included in the classified section of the U.S. Magnitsky list prove wrong.

If they prove correct, Kadyrov stressed that he is proud to be an undesirable person for the U.S. because that country is violating justice and law throughout the world.


MOSCOW Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin has evaluated the company’s performance in March and the first quarter of 2013.

According to Yakunin, loading volumes in the first quarter of 2013 decreased by 4.1percent or 3 percent in terms of the daily average compared to the same period in 2012, which as a leap year included the extra day of February 29, 2012. The fall was due to the deterioration in the amount of cargo delivered for shipment.

In these circumstances, the company is giving priority to improving its operational efficiency.


MOSCOW Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet with his Sudanese colleague Ali Ahmed Karti on April 16 to discuss the situation in Darfur and ways to normalise it.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has noted progress in the settlement process. “It is important now to support both sides’ efforts in order to strengthen the atmosphere of trust and good-neighbourliness, and the joint search for solutions to problems that arise in the course of final delimitation between the two states,” the ministry said.


MOSCOW  The Russian government has approved the national programme “Reproduction and Utilisation of Natural Resources in 2013-2020.”

According to the document published by the Ministry of Natural Resources this week, the federal budget expenditures for uranium exploration will amount to 13.95 billion roubles (450 million U.S. dollars) in current prices.

In particular, the planned activities include the advanced projection and mineragenetic analysis and targeted reconnaissance operations to identify and justify exploration areas in promising regions of the Far East and northern Siberia.


MOSCOW The Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations will launch a project for protection of the population from space threats next year, according to Irina Rossius, an official spokesperson for the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

She explained that a Ministry’s working group which deals with protection of the population and territories from space threats is working over this project.

Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov has said that the project will be ready late this year. “We will start implementing it step by step on January 1, 2014, along with the necessary structural reorganization in the Emergencies Ministry system,” Puchkov said. He explained that special services would be created at the Ministry’s scientific units to deal with meteorite hazards.


VILNIUS Lithuania has not received any proposals from the Russian gas concern Gazprom yet regarding the possibility of lowering the price of gas, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkievicius told the media on Friday.

According to Lithuanian mass media, the Russian gas concern allegedly said it would be prepared to cut 20 percent off the gas price for Lithuania, if the country agreed to prolong the gas import contract with Gazprom till 2020 and guaranteed unhampered gas transit to Russia’s westernmost exclave region of Kaliningrad.


ST. PETERSBURG The archives and personal belongings of members of the Romanov House will return from the United States to Russia. Over a hundred photographs, dozens of books, pictures, letters and portraits of the imperial family’s closest relatives from the private collection of Michael Ilyinskiy will be put on view at the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo (tsar’s village), the summer residence of the Romanov tsars, near St. Petersburg.


MOSCOW  The All-Russia People’s Front (ONF) called to ratify the protocol of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Protection of Children, which Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted in the State Duma last Saturday, State Duma deputy Olga Timofeyeva, who is a member of the federal organizing committee of the All-Russia People’s Front, told Itar-Tass on Sunday.


AKSARAISKAYA STATION, Astrakhan region  Russia may make presentation of foreign travel passports by CIS citizens crossing the Russian borders mandatory already before the end of this year, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Sunday.

He chairs a state commission in charge of supervising state border control issues.

“I think we should put an end shortly to the entry of Russia with the aid of the documents that can’t be subjected to identification,” Rogozin said.


AKSARAISK (Astrakhan region)  Russia might toughen control of the passengers arriving from China in case the situation with H7N9 virus or so-called bird flu worsens, Russia’s chief sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko said on Sunday.

Additional measures were imposed on the border between Russia and China on Saturday because of the spread of the virus, the chief of Russia’s consumer rights protection watchdog agency (Rospoterbnadzor) said adding the danger increased as bird flu cases were registered in Beijing.


VILNIUS Tourists from Russia and Belarus leave more money in Lithuania than guests from other countries, the Enterprise Lithuania non-profit organization reported in its annual review of Lithuania’s export services.

"Residents of these two countries left over half of all money spent by foreigners in Lithuania in 2012,” Vadim Ivanov, an expert for Enterprise Lithuania, told Itar-Tass on Friday.

In percentage terms, that accounted for 56.7% of all yearly expenses by foreigners. According to State Department for Tourism, the Russians accounted for 19% of the total number of foreigners who entered Lithuania in 2012; the Belarusians accounted for 10.4 %, respectively.

At the same time, other Europeans are less and less willing to dip into pocket in Lithuania despite the fact that tourist flows from EU are on the rise.


MOSCOW  Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child to the State Duma for ratification, the Kremlin press service said on Saturday. The document on children's rights on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on May 25, 2000 and signed on behalf of the Russian Federation in New York on September 26, 2012.

The press service also said that the president had submitted to the State Duma for ratification the Convention of the Council of Europe on the Protection of Children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (October 25, 2007), signed on behalf of the Russian Federation in Strasbourg on October 1, 2012.


MOSCOW Patriarch Kirill believes the Church's information activity priority must be evangelizing, but not an instant reaction to minor news on Twitter.

The patriarch expressed his view on Friday evening at the meeting of the Supreme Church Council that discussed the Russian Orthodox Church's information policy


VIENNA The Second Preparatory Meeting of the 21st OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum will be held in Kiev on April 16-17, 2013, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said.

Organised by the Ukrainian OSCE Chairmanship and the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, the Economic and Environmental Forum is the main annual event in the OSCE’s second dimension.

In 2013, under the Ukrainian OSCE Chairmanship, the 21st Economic and Environmental Forum will focus on “Increasing stability and security: Improving the environmental footprint of energy-related activities in the OSCE region.”


MOSCOW RUSAL, a leading global aluminium producer, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Israeli company Omen High Pressure Die Casting, which specialises in the production of automotive components from non-ferrous metals.

Together the two companies intend to create a joint venture in Russia to produce automotive components made of aluminium, to be supplied to carmakers in Russia and the CIS, RUSAL said in statement.

The JV, which is to be held in equal share (50/50), will be based on a production site at one of RUSAL’s Aluminium Division West smelters. RUSAL will supply the liquid aluminium alloys and Omen will in turn create cutting-edge automotive components production, in line with the best global standards. The financing will be provided on a parity basis, with the option of external borrowings. The project is to be considered by the parties in the next three months.


MOSCOW The International project “Read Russia” will be presented at London Book Fair 2013 (LBF-2013) to open on April 15, but the Read Russia events are already underway in the British capital and will continue until April 18.

For three days, LBF-2013 will provide a unique opportunity to meet with more than 23,000 professionals in the book industry from 112 countries.

The programme “Read Russia” at LBF-2013 offers a special screening of the documentary “Russia’s Open Book”, with the participation of leading Russian writers, the Russian Cultural Heritage said.

One of the project’s highlights will be a series of meetings with leading Russian writers organised for the British public.

During the fair awards will be presented for the best translation of Russian literature to foreign languages and for translators into English. The awards are given to both translators and publishers of Russian literature.




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