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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

12/24/2004

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Press Review

A brief look at the stories making headlines in the Russian-language press

Swimming Star Popov Retires From the Pool

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Alexander Popov of Russia has retired from swimming, French sports daily L'Equipe reported Thursday.

Holy Cash Cow!

If I had to name the one thing I love best about Russia, it's that there's never a dull moment.

Forcing Russia's Hand

President Vladimir Putin's blatant intervention in Ukraine's presidential election has spawned an array of commentary that the Russian president is trying to re-establish the Soviet empire.

Business in Brief

Reserves Dip Again MOSCOW (Bloomberg) -- Foreign currency and gold reserves fell for the second-straight week to $119.8 billion. The reserves declined by $500 million in the week ending Dec. 17, the Central Bank said Thursday in a statement. The reserves, which rose for 15 weeks in a row to reach a record $121.6 billion on Dec. 3, still exceed the country's total foreign debt. The Central Bank has added about $44 billion to its foreign currency and gold reserves since the beginning of the year, Central Bank Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said last week. Dec. Inflation at 1% MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Consumer prices should grow around 1 percent in December, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said in a monthly report on its web site, slightly slower than its 1.1 percent growth previous month. Stubbornly fast price growth has been a nagging problem, exacerbated by a policy of keeping the ruble artificially weak for much of the year. The ministry sees full-year inflation at around 11.

Russia Lifts Veil on Diamond Secrets

The government lifted the veil on Russia’s production and trade in uncut diamonds for the first time on Thursday, paving the way for it to take the chair of a body charged with stamping out trade in so-called blood diamonds.

CB Checks Ruble Gains on Dollar

The ruble held near four-year highs against the dollar on Thursday, lacking momentum to mount a serious challenge to a level the Central Bank was seen defending earlier this week, dealers said.

IMF: Belarus Would Gain From Currency Union

A proposed currency union between Russia and Belarus would lower trade costs and allow Belarus to ""import"" Russia's current economic stability, International Monetary Fund economists said in research published Wednesday.

LUKoil Raising Baltic Capacity

LUKoil, the country's biggest oil producer, will increase crude and fuel exports through its Vysotsk terminal on the Baltic Sea, boosting supplies to the company's network of more than 2,000 U.S. filling stations.

Balts Guard Oil Assets From Russian Investors

Latvia should clarify the ownership of Ventspils Nafta, the country's Baltic Sea oil terminal, and a related shipping company before admitting any new Russian investor, Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga said in an interview published Thursday.

LUKoil's '05 China Exports in Doubt

LUKoil, which has taken over part of Yukos' role in a deal to supply China with oil, said Thursday it was not sure it would supply crude beyond the first quarter of 2005.

Gazprom Inks Deal With Wintershall

Gas monopoly Gazprom and Germany's Wintershall signed documents on Thursday for a joint venture to develop a huge Siberian field, saying they would now move on to develop the deposit.

News in Brief

Fire Kills 3, Baby MOSCOW (AP) -- Three women and a 3-month-old baby died early Thursday in a dormitory fire in Bashkortostan, officials said. The fire raged through a dormitory in the town of Kumertau, said a spokesman for the regional branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry. The spokesman, who asked not to be named, said the blaze was caused by a violation of fire safety rules but did not provide further details. Russia records about 18,000 fire deaths a year -- roughly 10 times the rate in the United States and 12.5 times higher than in Britain. Uranium Returned WASHINGTON (AP) -- About 6 kilograms of highly enriched uranium was returned to Russia from a research facility in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Department announced. The transfer was part of an international program to better secure material that terrorists could use in a nuclear weapon.

Qatar Hands Over Jailed Russian Agents

Qatar handed over two Russian intelligence officers serving life sentences for the assassination of former Chechen President Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev in February, and they arrived in Moscow late Thursday.

Turnout Key in Ukraine's Vote

A deeply divided Ukraine votes Sunday in the race between presidential candidates who have increased the hostile rhetoric since their last fraud-tarnished runoff, sparking fears of violence that could split the nation.

Troops Kill 3 Gunmen in Chechnya

Federal forces in Chechnya killed three gunmen on Thursday, including one wanted for gunning down a federal soldier and three police officers in Grozny three months ago, law enforcement officials said.

Putin Defends State Takeover of Yugansk

State-owned oil major Rosneft's acquisition of the mystery buyer of Yukos' prize asset Yuganskneftegaz is legal and ""perfectly normal,"" President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

President Lashes Out at the West

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused the West of using double standards to pressure Russia's allies in other former Soviet republics and foment velvet revolutions there, saying he wondered whether Western countries are trying to isolate Russia.

A Lesson on How Not to Be Santa Claus

City Hall is helping Ded Moroz ward off Santa Claus.

A Lesson on How Not to Be Santa Claus

City Hall is helping Ded Moroz ward off Santa Claus.
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