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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Saratov's Ipatov Sworn In

Pavel Ipatov, the former director of the Balakovskaya Nuclear Power Station, was inaugurated as the new governor of the Saratov region on Tuesday, while his ousted predeccessor Dmitry Ayatskov prepared to leave for Minsk as Russia's new ambassador to Belarus.

Ipatov took the oath of office at a ceremony attended by presidential envoy Sergei Kiriyenko, State Duma deputies and Raul Khadzimba, the vice president of Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia. (MT)

Fradkov at Pope's Funeral

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and Metropolitan Kirill, the Russian Orthodox Church's foreign minister, will attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II on Friday, Interfax reported.

Ukraine will be represented by President Viktor Yushchenko, his office said Tuesday. (MT)

Putin, Solana Discuss Deal

President Vladimir Putin and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana on Tuesday pledged to increase efforts to conclude a key Russia-EU agreement, planned to be signed in May.

"We are actively moving toward preparing documents that are scheduled to be signed on May 10 of this year in Moscow," Putin told Solana at his residence in Sochi. (AP)

Chopper Crash Conviction

An Air Force officer was sentenced to four years in jail by a military court for negligence that caused a 2003 collision between two military helicopters over a Far East airfield, killing six people.

The court on Monday found Lieutenant Colonel Gennady Golobochansky, who was the deputy commander of the airfield, guilty of violating flying safety rules. (AP)

Georgia Rejects Demand

TBILISI, Georgia -- Georgia on Tuesday flatly rejected Russian demands that it pay several hundred million dollars in compensation for Moscow withdrawing from two Soviet-era military bases.

"Georgia has no intention of paying any form of compensation for the withdrawal of the Russian military bases," Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli told reporters.

The atmosphere soured further Tuesday when Moscow protested Tbilisi's refusal to allow a Russian radar plane into its airspace. (AP)