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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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EU's Tough Talk on Russia Is Good News

President Vladimir Putin may long have wanted to get rid of his prime minister, Mikhail Kasyanov, as a hangover from the Yeltsin era.

A Good Word for Misha Kasyanov

Mikhail Kasyanov's firing was being predicted almost from the moment he was confirmed as prime minister in May 2000. He was labeled a ""technical prime minister"" and given a maximum shelf-life of two to three months. It was widely and firmly believed that, as he was not a member of President Vladimir Putin's team, he would not be able to hold on to his post for long.

Demobbed Defenders Don't Do Too Badly

Once upon a time Feb. 23 was ???? ????????? ????? (Soviet Army Day), then it got sanitized into the blander (but politically correct) ???? ????????? ????????? (Defender of the Fatherland Day). But it has always been a ??????? ????, a day when women give gifts to the men in their lives, make fancy dinners, and don't even ask their husbands to help with the cleaning up.

Business in Brief

Trade Gap Surges 25% MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The foreign trade surplus rose to $6.1 billion in January, a 24.5 percent increase compared with $4.9 billion in the same month a year ago, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said Thursday. $2Bln TNK-BP Profit MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Oil major BP's Russian joint venture TNK-BP reported nine-month 2003 net profits of $1.95 billion on Thursday amid booming crude output. The net profit figure is the first released since BP closed a deal to buy a 50 percent stake in TNK in August for around $7 billion. Comparative figures were not available. Alfa-MegaFon Dispute MOSCOW (Reuters) -- An investment fund squabbling with Alfa Group over a 25 percent stake in mobile operator MegaFon said a Moscow court has thrown out an Alfa challenge to agreements between MegaFon's shareholders.

Sibneft, Yukos Shares Are Arrested

A Moscow court has arrested Yukos' 57 percent stake in Sibneft as a result of a court case challenging the legality of a Yukos share issue during the two companies' merger process, sources familiar with the situation said Thursday.

Russia Warns Turkey Over Bosporus

Turkish authorities are restricting traffic through the Bosporus and delaying Russian oil exports to promote their plans to build pipelines across the country, acting Deputy Foreign Minister Viktor Kalyuzhny said Thursday.

Cabinet Moves to Create Special Economic Zones

The interim Cabinet on Thursday approved a plan to create tax breaks for investors in certain regions, helping the country double the amount of foreign investment it attracts, said acting Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

Eurasian Highway Opens for Business

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday opened a stretch of highway in the Far East that will make it possible for the first time to drive by road across this sprawling nation -- setting off in Europe and ending in Asia.

RTS Expects Huge Jump in Volumes

Russian Trading System's new market for trading shares will boost volumes by at least five times as the exchange edges closer to a possible float, RTS president Vladislav Streltsov said Thursday.

News in Brief

U.S. Critical on Russia WASHINGTON (AP) -- Russia ""manipulated"" elections in Chechnya, threatened financial backers of opposition political parties and kept up pressure on the media, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday in its annual report on human rights around the world. On the positive side, the report said the judiciary system continued to show some increasing independence despite a shortage of resources, corruption and undue influence from other branches of government. Children's Curfew MOSCOW (MT) -- The Moscow City Duma passed in a first reading a bill Wednesday that will ban children under 14 from going to places of entertainment after 10 p.m. without their parents or a close relative. Any casino, cafe, restaurant or other kind of entertainment venue with unaccompanied children will face a fine of 1,000 to 2,000 rubles ($35 to $70).

Putin's Words and Deeds Dominate Newscasts

From national television newscasts over the past two weeks, viewers could be forgiven for thinking there was only a single candidate running in the presidential election.

Cafe Blast Kills 17 in Siberia

At least 17 people were killed and 17 more injured Thursday in a cafe explosion in Chita that apparently was caused by a natural gas leak.

2 Agents Charged in Qatar Killing

Acting Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said Thursday that Qatar has arrested and charged two Russian security agents on suspicion of involvement in the car bomb assassination of former Chechen rebel president Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev. He flatly denied the allegation.

Kadyrov Jr. Flexes His Muscles in Chechnya

Ramzan Kadyrov's personal empire is a sports complex filled with boxers and bodybuilders. But his influence emanates far beyond the sweaty halls of the ""Ramzan"" boxing club in Chechnya's tattered second city.

Air Crash Widower Arrested in Zurich

A man who lost his wife and two children in the midair collision of the Bashkirian Airlines Tu-154 and DHL Boeing 757 has been arrested on suspicion that he stabbed to death the air traffic controller who had been on duty at the time, police said Thursday.
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