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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Kursk to Be Raised


THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Russia aims to hoist the sunken Kursk from the Barents Sea next summer in a $70 million international project.

Lifting the submarine is "the best solution because it will remove a potential source of contamination of the waters of the Barents Sea," Russian Ambassador to the Netherlands Alexander Khodakov said Wednesday.

A 500,000 guilder ($191,300) feasibility study sponsored by the Dutch government is under way, Khodakov said.

The Kursk Foundation (, chaired by two former Dutch and Russian ministers, is coordinating the feasibility study.

Russia and international donors are expected to share 50-50 the costs estimated at around $70 million, said co-chairman and former Dutch Defense Minister Willem van Eekelen. The Russian co-chair is former Foreign Minister Alexander Bessmertnykh.

One option might be to cut off the sub’s front portion where the blast occurred and concentrate on salvaging the end with the reactors, he said.

Anthem Candidates

The Associated Press

A group of governors has suggested reinstating the old Soviet anthem to replace the country’s current hymn, but left the final choice to parliament.

A panel of the State Council met Wednesday to consider the anthem dispute. After reviewing eight proposed anthems, the governors deemed two to be the most appropriate — the current one, and its Soviet-era predecessor.

St. Petersburg Governor Vladimir Yakovlev rejected the warnings that the Soviet anthem was too closely associated with Soviet-era repression. He added that polls indicate that most Russians favor the Soviet anthem, with its uplifting, memorable melody.

Far East Fuel Shortages


VLADIVOSTOK, Far East — A local prosecutor said Thursday he was bringing 11 criminal cases against people responsible for energy shortages that have left tens of thousands without heat in freezing conditions.

According to the Primorye region’s Emergency Situations Ministry, some 40,000 people have no heating as temperatures plunge to minus 15 degrees Celsius.

Regional Prosecutor Valery Vasilenko said law enforcement agencies were ready to establish who was responsible.

More Troops to Asia


The Defense Ministry said Wednesday it will beef up combat forces in the southwest and facing Central Asia to tackle local wars. On Monday, President Vladimir Putin told military top brass such forces should be deployed by 2006.

Interfax quoted unnamed military officials as saying the aim was to bolster defenses as NATO seeks to improve ties with Azerbaijan and Georgia and to guard against possible Islamic extremism in Central Asia.

Interfax said the combined strength of the forces would be 50,000 men.

Aid Sent to Ethiopia

The Associated Press

Russia on Thursday sent two cargo planes carrying humanitarian aid to Ethiopia and Eritrea, a spokesman for the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

The Russian planes carried a total of 25 metric tons of food, baby food, tents and wool blankets, said ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov. Another aircraft was scheduled to leave Monday to bring food to Eritrean refugees in Sudan, he said.