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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

De Gaulle Monument



The French and Russian presidents unveiled a monument to French wartime leader General Charles de Gaulle on Monday.

The monument, designed by sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, features a metal statue of de Gaulle atop a tall red granite column erected in front of the Kosmos Hotel.

"Today we remember the immense joint sacrifices to free our nations from the grip of Nazi barbarity. And, here in Moscow, we remember in particular the very decisive commitment of the Russian people in the final victory," French President Jacques Chirac said. (AP)




Indian Nuclear Energy



NEW DELHI -- India and Russia agreed to widen nuclear energy cooperation and economic ties at a meeting in Moscow between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Vladimir Putin, Indian news reports said Tuesday.

Singh and Putin, meeting on the sidelines of the Victory Day ceremonies Monday, discussed energy cooperation, Indian investment in the Russian oil and gas sector, and ways to increase trade, The Hindu reported. (AP)




Putin Thanks Hu



President Vladimir Putin thanked Chinese leader Hu Jintao on Monday for the aid Chinese people offered to Russian soldiers fighting in China during World War II and for tending soldiers' graves today.

Putin said Moscow is happy with the level of cooperation between the two giant countries, including the implementation of all agreements, and that he was looking forward to a visit by Hu in July. (AP)




Shr?der Honored to Attend



German Chancellor Gerhard Schr?der called his invitation to Victory Day ceremonies "a great honor and a sign of trust in the German people."

"This big-hearted gesture shows: Bitter enemies have become friends and partners," Schr?der told Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Schr?der coupled that with a plea for "forgiveness for what Germans inflicted in Germany's name on the Russian people and other peoples." (AP)




No Progress on Kurils



Japan and Russia failed to make any progress on ending their decades-old territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands at talks late Monday between leaders of the two countries.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi met with President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of Victory Day celebrations, and Putin thanked him for attending the event together with dozens of other world leaders. (AP)




Kim Sends Holiday Wishes



North Korean leader Kim Jong Il sent a congratulatory Victory Day message on Monday to President Vladimir Putin.

"We highly appreciate the Russian people's great merits and historic feats," Kim said. (AP)




Fire Destroys Synagogue



A fire roared through a synagogue in Malakhovka, a Moscow suburb, early Tuesday, burning down much of the wooden structure in an incident Jewish leaders called arson.

The synagogue in Malakhovka, 20 kilometers southeast of Moscow, caught fire at about 6 a.m., quickly engulfing the entire one-story building. Firefighters rushed to the scene but were unable to prevent damage to the building's interior and roof.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear. (AP)




Poland Frets About Ties



WARSAW -- Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski acknowledged Tuesday that Poland's involvement in solving last year's Ukrainian election crisis led to a cooling of relations with Russia and said everything must be done to prevent permanent damage.

Kwasniewski was among European leaders who helped mediate in the dispute over the presidential vote in Ukraine, and President Vladimir Putin later suggested Poland was working with the West to isolate Russia -- an idea Kwasniewski rejected.

"The cooling [in relations] is due ... to a certain situation in which Russia's serious strategic interests were threatened," Kwasniewski told state radio. "I am thinking mainly of Ukraine, of Poland's and the European Union's involvement in solving the Ukrainian crisis." (AP)




Minister Never Got Degree



Ukraine's U.S.-born justice minister acknowledged Tuesday that he never earned a master's degree from Columbia University despite listing the achievement on his government sponsored web site.

The disclosure by Roman Zvarych, 51, follows weeks of controversy over his educational background -- troubles he said were created by his political opponents. (AP)