News in Brief

New Monument for Yeltsin

A new monument will be unveiled at the grave of former President Boris Yeltsin at Novodevichy Cemetery on Wednesday, the first anniversary of his death, the Kremlin said Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin will attend the ceremony along with a number of other guests, including Yeltsin's former prime minister, Yegor Gaidar, spokespeople for Gaidar and the Kremlin said.

The sculpture is made of different kinds of stone and includes a Byzantine-style mosaic, said its author, Grigory Frangulyan. "It's a symbolic composition of an unusual design," he said. (MT)

Chernogorov Asks Out

Stavropol Governor Alexander Chernogorov has asked President Vladimir Putin to accept his resignation, Interfax reported Tuesday.

Chernogorov, who has held the post since 1996, said he wanted to step down because of his father's recent death and his mother's serious illness.

As of Tuesday, Putin had not decided whether to accept the resignation, the Kremlin press service said. Chernogorov heads the only region where United Russia lost regional elections in March 2007. (MT)

Lithuania Waffles on Block

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- Lithuania revived doubts Tuesday about lifting its block on European Union talks with Russia, a day after the Baltic country's foreign minister said Vilnius was not vetoing the talks.

"Lithuania has no intention of blocking the talks in principle and would like to see EU-Russia cooperation advanced, however, this cannot happen at the expense of Lithuania's interests," said Violeta Gaizauskaite, a foreign ministry spokeswoman. (Reuters)