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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Bolton in Security Talks



MOSCOW (AP) -- Visiting U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton on Monday conferred with Russian officials about North Korea's bid to build nuclear weapons, the situation in Iraq and U.S.-Russian cooperation on security issues.

"The Russian government shares President Bush's concern about this egregious violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and ... they share President Bush's desire to resolve this matter peacefully and through diplomatic pressure," Bolton told reporters.

He said that his talks in Moscow were part of preparations for a meeting between George W. Bush and President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Mexico this weekend and that the talks covered counterterrorism, nonproliferation and other issues.

Bolton was to hold talks with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Nuclear Power Minister Alexander Rumyantsev, Russian Aviation and Space Agency chief Yury Koptev, Security Council chief Vladimir Rushailo and Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov, a U.S. embassy official said.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry said chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix will discuss Iraq with Ivanov on Tuesday.




Rebels in Pankisi



TBILISI, Georgia (AP) -- Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze said Monday that some foreign militants remain holed up in the lawless Pankisi Gorge despite an ongoing police operation to root them out.

"The bulk of the fighters, the absolute majority, have left Georgia," Shevardnadze told journalists in Tbilisi. "However, a certain number of them remain. Whether they're Arabs, Chechens or representatives of other countries, I don't know," he said.

Shevardnadze earlier said the "active phase" of the police sweep was over and that no groups of foreign fighters were left in the gorge.




Putin to Stop in Berlin



BERLIN (AP) -- German Chancellor Gerhard Schr?der will meet President Vladimir Putin in Berlin this week to discuss the situation in Iraq, the government said Monday.

Putin's planned stopover Thursday "is an expression of the good state of German-Russian relations," government spokeswoman Charima Reinhardt said. She said the two will meet for about two hours at Berlin's Tegel airport during a stopover by Putin en route to a visit to Portugal.




Launch Postponed



MOSCOW (AP) -- The Space Forces said Monday they were postponing a satellite launch in the wake of a rocket explosion that killed one during a launch last week, Interfax reported.

The Molniya-M rocket carrying a military satellite was to be launched during the last 10 days of October from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. A new date will be set after the investigation into Tuesday's explosion is completed.

The Russian Aviation and Space Agency said Friday that the investigation will delay by three or four days the launch of a three-man crew to the international space station. The launch had been scheduled for Oct. 28.




Probe Goes to London



KIEV (AP) -- The U.S.-British team of experts sent to investigate whether Ukraine sold a sophisticated radar system to Iraq has left and will not disclose the results of its work for at least a week, U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual said Monday.

Pascual said the team of 13 nonproliferation experts left Sunday after a one-week visit to investigate whether Ukraine sent any Kolchuha radar systems to Baghdad in violation of UN sanctions. He said the team hopes to complete its analysis in seven to 10 days, but the process could take longer.

"The expert team is presently in London and is in the process of analyzing a very large volume of data," Pascual said. "They need to assess it and determine if there are any gaps and if additional information is necessary."

President Leonid Kuchma denies selling the radar.

"Ukraine was completely open with the investigators on all issues that interested them; we hope for a positive conclusion," Kuchma's spokeswoman said.




OSCE Mission Closed



MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- Belarus said Monday that it was closing down the mission of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe after refusing to extend the visas of many of the group's employees.

"The OSCE mission in its current form will not work in Belarus," Foreign Ministry spokesman Pavel Latushko said.

However, Latushko said Belarus was not refusing all cooperation with the organization. He said Belarus was demanding "mutual trust and respect of the opinion of the receiving side on the basis of clear and understandable goals and tasks."

The OSCE mission refused to comment on Latushko's statement, and a spokesman for the group's headquarters in Vienna said the office had not been informed of the decision.




Businessman Freed



KIEV (AP) -- A Russian businessman has been released from detention a week after being arrested on charges of illegal weapons possession, Interfax reported. The report did not specify the terms under which Konstantin Grigorishin was released Sunday.

Grigorishin, who heads a Russian-Ukrainian company,Z the Group Energy Standard, was arrested after police said they found a gun and packets of white powder assumed to be cocaine in his possession. Grigorishin's arrest came shortly after he and Ukrainian lawmaker Volodymyr Sivkovich were allegedly attacked in Sivkovich's car by armed men purporting to be undercover police.

Grigorishin's Moscow-based lawyer, Genrikh Padva, suggested that the gun and drugs found on his client had been planted.