News in Brief

Sochi Mayor Resigns



Sochi Mayor Vladimir Afanasenkov resigned Thursday, citing back problems that require an operation, RIA-Novosti reported.

Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachyov appointed the city's deputy mayor, Dzhambulat Khatuov, as acting mayor. Afanasenkov was elected in July after former Mayor Viktor Kolodyazhny quit to head Olimpstroi, a state corporation responsible for preparing Sochi for the 2014 Olympics. (MT)




Bill Targets Borrowers



The State Duma has drafted a bill that would make it a crime to provide banks with false information on personal loan applications, Kommersant reported Thursday.

The bill, an amendment to the Criminal Code, envisions a prison sentence of up to two years for people convicted of supplying false information or defaulting on loans of more than 10,000 rubles ($385), the report said.

Current law holds private entrepreneurs and company heads responsible for unpaid loans, with penalties of up to five years in prison. Individuals face up to two years in prison for not repaying loans of more than 250,000 rubles ($9,340). (MT)




NATO Chief Presses Russia



CHISINAU, Moldova -- NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer urged Russia on Thursday to comply with its pledge to withdraw its troops and weapons from Moldova.

De Hoop Scheffer was referring to a pledge Russia made at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe summit in Istanbul in 1999 to withdraw from the separatist region of Transdnestr in eastern Moldova. (AP)




For the Record



Prosecutors asked a Moscow City Court jury to jail banker Alexei Frenkel for life on Thursday, two days after the jury convicted him of organizing the killing of central banker Andrei Kozlov in 2006, Interfax reported. (MT)

Yukos lawyer Svetlana Bakhmina has withdrawn her petition for a pardon, Vedomosti reported Thursday, citing a source in the Mordovian prison administration. Bakhmina's lawyer could not confirm the information, telling the newspaper that he had not had access to his client since last Friday. (MT)