News in Brief

Putin to Keep Home



President Vladimir Putin will retain his Novo-Ogaryovo residence after he steps down next May, Itogi reported.

The estate, where Putin has hosted world leaders such as U.S. President George W. Bush, is located west of Moscow in one of the country's most expensive real estate markets. The Kremlin will provide the next president with a residence of his or her own, Itogi said, citing Kremlin property chief Vladimir Kozhin.

Putin earns 2.01 million rubles ($81,300) per year, more than 12 times the country's average annual income, according to data released by the Central Elections Commission. He owns a 78-square-meter apartment in St. Petersburg and a 1,500-square-meter plot of land in the Moscow region, the commission reported. (Bloomberg)




Tymoshenko Nominated



KIEV -- A coalition of two parties linked to Ukraine's Orange Revolution on Tuesday proposed Yulia Tymoshenko as their candidate for prime minister.

Members of the parliament representing Our Ukraine, the party of President Viktor Yushchenko, and Tymoshenko's bloc approved the proposal unanimously in a room inside the parliament building.

The coalition will now submit Tymoshenko's nomination to the president, who has 15 days to consider it and send it to the 450-seat parliament for approval.

The coalition also approved unanimously a proposal to nominate Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk as speaker of the parliament. (Reuters)




OSCE Decision Criticized



ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- The Kazakh opposition accused Europe's main human rights and security watchdog on Tuesday of putting oil before democracy by choosing Kazakhstan to hold its chairmanship in 2010.

Kazakhstan won approval Friday to take over the rotating annual chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. (Reuters)




Russia Firm on Kosovo



BELGRADE -- A Russian envoy has insisted that the UN Security Council should have the final word on Serbia's breakaway Kosovo province, putting Moscow on a collision course with the West days before mediators report to the United Nations.

The envoy, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, visiting Belgrade with fellow diplomats from the European Union and United States after the failure of talks last week, said the four-month dialogue had been the most serious since the 1998-99 war and should continue. (Reuters)




Tallinn Fire Kills 6



TALLINN, Estonia -- A fire at a Tallinn home on Tuesday killed six people and injured two, the Estonian Rescue Board said.

The blaze started early Tuesday at a two-story wooden house in the Kopli neighborhood in the Estonian capital, rescue board spokesman Toomas Viks said. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear. (AP)




Theft of 4 Kilos of Coins



Police in Kursk on Tuesday arrested a man suspected of stealing 4 kilograms of 5- and 10-kopek coins from a bread stand, Interfax reported.

The suspect, 29, broke into the stand at a local market but discovered that there were no banknotes to steal, regional Interior Ministry spokesman Bogdan Ponomaryov told Interfax.

Instead, the suspect gathered 4 kilograms of 5- and 10-kopek coins and several bread rolls, Ponomaryov said.

A security guard at the market tried to stop him from leaving, prompting an altercation. Police arriving on the scene detained the suspect. (MT)