News in Brief

Medvedev Speech on Nov. 5

President Dmitry Medvedev will deliver his first state-of-the-nation address on Nov. 5, the Kremlin said Wednesday.

Medvedev has signed a decree confirming that he will speak at noon in the Kremlin's Georgiyevsky Hall to lawmakers from both houses of parliament and other members of the political elite, it said.

Medvedev delayed the speech, initially scheduled for Oct. 23, amid reports that he was dissatisfied with its treatment of the financial crisis. Medvedev's spokeswoman Natalya Timakova earlier said the financial crisis would not be the main theme. Medvedev has said he would raise education reform. (MT)

Duma Ratifies Treaties

The State Duma on Wednesday quickly ratified treaties cementing close economic and military ties with Georgia's two breakaway provinces.

The Duma voted unanimously to endorse friendship treaties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia signed in the Kremlin last month. The treaties envisage the deployment of 3,800 Russian troops in each of the two provinces. (AP)

Nagorno-Karabakh Talks

President Dmitry Medvedev will host the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia for weekend talks on settling their 20-year conflict over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Kremlin said Wednesday.

Medvedev will hold talks in Moscow on Sunday with Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Serge Sarkisian of Armenia, it said in a brief statement. (AP)

10 Governors May Be Fired

As many as 10 governors are likely to be dismissed soon, according to a new study.

A team of 16 researchers at the International Institute of Political Experts and the Petersburg Political Foundation ranked governors' popularity at home and relations with the Kremlin on a scale of one to five to determine how likely they were to keep their jobs.

Eight governors received a low 2, including Khakasia Governor Alexei Lebed and Primorye Governor Sergei Darkin. With 3 points, Mayor Yury Luzhkov also fell into the high-risk group. (MT)