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News summary for April 15

April 16, 2013, 9:11 UTC+3

All the headlines from the day's news

1 pages in this article

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed his readiness to meet with his US counterpart Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland and said that the invitations extended to the US president to pay a visit to Russia remain in force.

The issue of the forthcoming contacts between the Russian and US presidents was discussed during a meeting in the Kremlin with the participation of Vladimir Putin and US President’s National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon.


MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev have agreed to hold a meeting with the government’s economic bloc officials and officials from the Kremlin administration to discuss Russian economic prospects against the background of the negative tendencies on the global market.


MOSCOW – The global crisis is becoming more and more dangerous, but the Russian economy has demonstrated the possibility of further development, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with RF Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.


MOSCOW – Trade turnover between Russia and Uzbekistan has resumed its former dynamics, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday at a meeting with his Uzbek counterpart Islam Karimov.

“It is proved by the fact that in the first quarter alone it grew by 20 percent,” Putin stressed.

The Russian leader also noted that Russian and Uzbek companies were taking effort to resume integration. He stressed that the two countries were cooperating actively in international organizations, at the same time showing support to each other’s interests.


MOSCOW – Russia and Uzbekistan agreed to strengthen bilateral and international cooperation, President Vladimir Putin said.

After the talks with Uzbek President Islam Karimov on Monday, Putin said the talks were very substantial.

The Russian and Uzbek presidents discuss interaction in the political, trade, economic and cultural fields. “We praise bilateral economic relations,” Putin said, adding that last year trade turnover between the two countries had exceeded four billion U.S. dollars.

The Russian president said Uzbekistan ranked first among Russia’s external trade partners.


MOSCOW – Russia and Uzbekistan signed four documents on the enhancement of bilateral cooperation upon results of talks between the presidents of the two countries on Monday. The signing ceremony was held in the presence of the two leaders - Vladimir Putin and Islam Karimov.

The two sides signed, intergovernmental programs of economic cooperation between the two countries for 2013–2017 and the program of cooperation in the cultural, humanitarian, scientific and technical spheres for 2013–2015, as well as two agreements – on the promotion of mutual investments and on readmission. The latter document is also added with an executive protocol on its fulfilment.


MOSCOW – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on the granting of subsidies for co-financing regional water management programs. The relevant document was posted on the official Internet portal of legal information on Monday.

Under the document, the funds will be transferred within the framework of the federal targeted program aimed at the development of Russia’s water management sector in 2012–2020.

The decree envisages that the more than 1.9 billion roubles (USD 1 = RUB 31.31) will be spent for the capital repairs of hydro-technical entities belonging to regions and municipalities and abandoned hydro-technical constructions, as well as for the demolition of the ownerless units.


MOSCOW – The Russian government has drafted a special bill in order to raise considerably investments in the sphere of renewable energy resources, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said during the government’s meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday.


MOSCOW – The contracts under the State Defence Order are fulfilled by two thirds this year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at a traditional meeting with the deputy prime ministers here on Monday.

“The figures are quite dynamic and show that the situation is changing for the better, just slightly, but even in comparison with the previous year,” Rogozin said. “The situation is the following: the volume of the state contracts, which the Russian Defence Ministry concluded, including additional agreements to these state contracts, reached 67.5% of the overall value of the State Defence Order that is 3.2% higher than in the previous year,” Rogozin underlined.


MOSCOW – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes that the amount of the contracts under the State Defence Order is still insufficient so far.

“As a matter of fact, two thirds is not a good result at all. This means that there are some mistakes in the planning and in the very contracting campaign,” Medvedev said at a traditional meeting with the deputy prime ministers. “Certainly, all agencies, the Defence Ministry and other power-wielding agencies should focus attention on this fact,” Medvedev said.


MOSCOW – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on the setting up of the Russian commercial consulate in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh city.

The document was posted on the official Internet Portal of legal information.

Under the document, the Russian Ministry of Economic Development was instructed to form the structure and staffing list of the commercial consulate.


MOSCOW – The Border Service of the Federal Border Service finds it necessary to suspend the railway traffic with Tajikistan unless several serious flaws, which Russia exposed, are eliminated, Deputy Head of the Border Service of the Federal Security Service Vladimir Mochalov said on Monday. Mochalov has made a statement upon the results of a visiting session of the State Border Committee, which was held at the railway station Aksaiskaya in the Astrakhan Region last weekend.


MOSCOW – The ministerial session of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) will take place in the Kaliningrad region early in June, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.


MOSCOW – The delegation of Syria’s “internal” opposition arrived in Moscow on Monday for consultations, a source in Damascus told Itar-Tass.

“Representatives of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation will have meetings with Russian officials. Vice-premier Qadri Jamil and Minister for National Reconciliation Ali Haidar are planning to discuss ways to settle the Syrian crisis by peaceful means,” the source said.


MOSCOW – The Russian Communist Party said it would insist on the resignation of the incumbent Cabinet if its call for a coalition government is rejected by the country’s leadership.

One of the party leaders, MP Valery Rashkin told ITAR-TASS on Monday, April 15, that the party is ready to “assess the present government’s work most strictly” on April 17 when Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is due to appear in the Duma with a government performance report.


MOSCOW – The Russian Economic Development Ministry has decreased the forecast for the country’s Gross Domestic Product’s growth for 2013–2015, the ministry made public the updated forecast of the Russian social and economic development in the period up to 2016.

In 2013, the ministry projected the GDP growth at 2.4 percent, as compared to 3.6 percent in the previous forecast, the document wrote, adding that the GDP will go up by 3.7 percent (4.3 percent) in 2014, will increase by 4.1 percent (4.5 percent) in 2015 and will grow by 4.2 percent in 2016.


MOSCOW – ALROSA and Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE) signed a Letter of Intent.

As part of the agreement, the parties are to work out principles and conditions of their cooperation, including those for the prospective organization of the sale of ALROSA’s rough and polished diamonds at the auctions held by Shanghai Diamond Exchange.


BEIJING – The Russian government will sell 100 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of enterprises in the next three years.

“Markets have seen better times and the assessment of 100 billion U.S. dollars was made when the global economy was at its lowest point,” Deputy Minister of Economic Development Olga Dergunova said at a Russian-Chinese investment conference in Beijing on Monday, April 15.


MOSCOW – VTB Group has completed the sale of a 7.96 percent stake in OTKRITIE Financial Corporation.

In March 2009, VTB Group became a minority shareholder in OTKRITIE Financial Corporation. In partnership with OTKRITIE, VTB Group has successfully implemented a number of investment banking, M&A and real estate projects.


MOSCOW – Rosneft and Pirelli have signed a protocol of understanding for the construction of Pirelli’s flagship Premium tyre store in Russia, which will be located within the new Rosneft flagship filling station in Sochi.

The protocol signed also envisages the subsequent development of other points of sale at selected Rosneft filling stations and joint marketing activity “Safe Road with Rosneft and Pirelli” (“Safe&Go”), Rosneft said in a statement on Monday, April 15.


MOSCOW – The Russian Energy Ministry will work out a position on the liberalisation of LNG exports by the end of June, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday, April 15.


MOSCOW – Russian industry is stagnating and showed neither growth nor decline in the first quarter of 2013, according a report of the State Statistics Agency released on Monday, April 15.

Electricity, gas and water production and distribution increased by 8.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012 but fell 2 percent compared to the first quarter of the same year.

Processing industries showed a decrease of 1.7 percent from the previous quarter but grew by 1.2 percent year on year.

As for production of natural resources, it is slowed down by 4.1 percent in quarterly terms and by 0.9 percent year on year.


MOSCOW – The Russian government is expected to make a decision on additional budgetary assistance to the agricultural sector this week, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said during the government’s meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday.

“This week, we plan to hold an additional teleconference to discuss the current status of and prospects for the development of the domestic animal and plant farming and to make a decision on the additional funds from the federal budget to the agricultural sector,” he said.


MOSCOW – The Russian Border Guard Service will build a new crossing point on the border with Kazakhstan for Russia-bound trains from Tajikistan.

Border Guard Service First Deputy Director Vladimir Mochalov said at a meeting of the State Border Commission on Monday, April 15, that the Aksaraiskaya-1 Station crossing point in southern Astrakhan Region, visited recently by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, would be reequipped with new communication and border control technologies and systems.


MOSCOW – The Russian Economic Development Ministry has updated its inflation forecast for the current month, the ministry underlined in its weekly survey, which was made public on Monday.

Under the updated document, the country’s inflation will be at 0.4-0.5 percent in April, as compared to 0.3-0.5 percent (as it was projected a week ago).


BEIJING – Russia’s government plans to reduce its presence in Russia’s biggest companies by the year 2016, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Olga Dergunova said on Monday at the Russian-Chinese investment forum.

According to Dergunova, the list includes companies active in the oil and oil transportation sector, in the sectors of transport and air transport, in the financial and machine0building setors, and in the defence sector.


KIEV – Ukraine’s parliament will consider a no-confidence vote in the government on Friday, April 19, speaker Vladimir Rybak said on Monday.

According to Rybak, the Verkhovna Rada, or parliament, will discuss on Friday the issue of the cabinet’s responsibility that was initiated by the opposition.


KIEV – In January-March Ukraine increased goods import and export from EU countries, the Income and Tax Ministry’s press service reported on Monday.

In the first quarter export to European countries increased by 18 percent and reached 4.4 billion dollars while import increased by 2 percent and amounted to 5.6 billion dollars, the press service said.

However, export to CIS countries reduced by 14 percent and reached 5.3 billion dollars while import decreased by 15 percent and amounted to 6.7 billion dollars.


KIEV – Ukraine is experiencing a shortage of water and needs to take measures to address this issue, National Security and Defence Council Secretary Andrei Klyuyev said on Monday, April 15, on the occasion of Environment Day, which is marked in the country on the third Saturday in April.

“The problem of water supply is very relevant for Ukraine because, unfortunately, it is among water-stressed countries,” he said, adding that Ukraine’s water resources make up 1,000 cubic metres per person, compared to the average of 5,000 cubic metres in Europe, 31,000 cubic metres in Russia, 7,400 cubic metres in the United States, and more than 94,000 cubic metres in Canada.


MINSK – Presidents Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus and Viktor Yanukovich of Ukraine have agreed to meet in May to discuss relations between their countries.


MINSK –  The National Bank of Belarus will cut its refinancing rate to 27 percent per annum starting from April 17, the national financial regulator said in a statement on Monday.


BAKU – Azerbaijan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 3.1 percent in the first three months of the year, as compared to the same period of the preceding year, and reached 12.946 billion manats (or 16.498 billion U.S. dollars) by April 1, 2013, the Azerbaijani National Statistics Committee underlined in its report made public on Monday.

Under the document, the GDP growth in the non-petroleum sector was estimated at 11.4 percent more than in the previous year. In January-March 2013, the indicator amounted to 6.644 billion manats (8.467 billion U.S. dollars), the statistics underlined.





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