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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Ciampi for Integration

The Associated Press

Visiting Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi on Tuesday urged Russia to enhance its cooperation with the European Union and NATO and abandon concerns that the West could threaten its security.

"For the first time in our history, the strength of a united Europe is no longer a threat to Russia," Ciampi said in a speech at the Moscow State Institute for International Relations. Ciampi insisted that Russia’s fears of NATO were unfounded.

On Monday, he discussed Russia’s integration into Europe and boosting bilateral ties with President Vladimir Putin. They met again Tuesday at a farewell ceremony in the Kremlin’s ornate St. George Hall.

On Tuesday, Ciampi also met with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II, and opened a monument to Dante in the Hermitage Garden.

Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini met separately Tuesday with his counterpart, Igor Ivanov.

Italy is Russia’s fifth-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade expected to reach about $7 billion this year, up from $4.9 billion for all of 1999. Russian exports of oil and gas and other raw materials account for a large part of the trade.

Italian and Russian officials Tuesday signed agreements on joint space research and cooperation in archive studies. Ciampi’s visit includes planned stops in St. Petersburg and the city of Tambov, southeast of Moscow.

Egypt Nabs Spy Suspect


CAIRO, Egypt — Egypt said Tuesday it had arrested an Egyptian national on charges of spying for Israel, and had also charged an alleged Russian accomplice in his absence.

Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency said public prosecutor Maher Abdel-Wahed had referred Sherif Fawzi Mohamed al-Filali, 34, and the Russian national, whose name MENA gave phonetically as Grigory Jefins, to the higher state security court on charges of spying for Israel.

Israel on Tuesday denied that Filali and his accomplice had spied for the Jewish state.

Aeroflot Emergency

The Associated Press

An Aeroflot passenger jet flying from Vietnam to Moscow made a safe emergency landing in Novosibirsk on Tuesday when a panel light indicated the nose gear had failed.

The Airbus-310 touched down at the Tolmachevo airport outside of Novosibirsk, Itar-Tass said. None of the passengers was injured during the landing.

The report did not say whether the nose gear was fully in place when the plane landed. Most of the passengers on the flight from Ho Chi Minh City boarded another flight to Moscow, while the remaining passengers were to be flown to Moscow later in the day, Itar-Tass said.

U.S. Against Iran Sales


WASHINGTON — U.S. officials will travel to Moscow next week to discuss Russia’s plan to break an agreement barring the sale of conventional arms to Iran, State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said Monday.

Moscow shows no sign of a change of heart on scrapping the arrangement and sanctions will be considered, though in many cases actual transfers of weapons must occur for sanctions to apply, another State Department official said.

Reeker said Secretary of State Madeleine Albright brought up the agreement with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on the eve of the OSCE ministerial council in Vienna on Sunday.