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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

05/26/2006

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The Persian Complex

It is easy to label Iran's quest for nuclear energy a dangerous adventure with grave regional and international repercussions.

Searching in Vain

Every once in a while, I hear a common phrase or word and suddenly wonder: Where did that come from? And how would I translate it? Out come the dictionaries, tomes of Russian literature, monographs and reference books. Four hours later, I am either thoroughly confused or totally enlightened and wish, for the zillionth time, that I had taken up French instead of Russian.

Abbas Proposes Referendum on Israel

The Palestinian president says he will call the vote if Hamas does not agree to accept Israel within 10 days.

Business in Brief

Ustinov Warns of New Cases The country's top prosecutor warned of possible new corruption investigations as he steps up a fight against graft demanded by President Vladimir Putin. ""The fight against corruption in Russia remains urgent,"" Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov said Thursday in remarks broadcast by Rossia. ""Don't be surprised if in the near future you see new, major cases opened."" Ustinov's comments came a day after his office detained Alexei Barinov, governor of the Nenets autonomous region, and Thursday's arrest of Chelyabinsk region Deputy Governor Konstantin Bochkarev on corruption charges, state television reported. (Bloomberg) Gazprom '20 Output Target Gazprom plans to boost oil production to 1.6 million barrels per day by 2020 from the current 700,000 bpd, implying a healthy 6.1 percent annual growth, the firm said on Thursday.

Protests Grow Over Barinov's Arrest

The arrest of the oil-rich Nenets region's governor is seen by many as an attack on democracy.

Gas Trader Starts Asset Expansion

RosUkrEnergo, the gas trader that has a monopoly on Russian sales to Ukraine, bought nearly 75 percent of Astrakhan Oil and Gas for an undisclosed amount, Vedomosti reported Thursday, citing Astrakhan region officials.

Yukos to Sell Mazeikiu to Poles After Ruling

Yukos, once Russia's biggest oil producer, wants to sell its stake in a Lithuanian refinery and port for $1.43 billion to PKN Orlen, Poland's largest refiner, a sale that would keep the only refinery in the Baltic states out of Russian control.

News in Brief

Belgian Diplomat in Clash A Belgian diplomat attacked a policeman and broke his nose after being pulled over for traffic violation, Interfax reported Thursday, citing police. The Belgian Embassy confirmed that one of its employees was involved in an altercation and said he had suffered several bruises, had his glasses broken, and later discovered 5,000 rubles missing from his wallet, Interfax said. Police told Interfax that the diplomat left a restaurant Wednesday evening and committed several moving violations as he pulled away in his car. After he was stopped, he unexpectedly attacked two traffic police officers, police said. (MT) Belarus Bans U.S. Flights MINSK -- Belarus, its leaders subject to a visa ban in the West, is to bar flights over its territory by U.S. and Canadian aircraft, the Belarussian Foreign Ministry said Thursday. The move was in response to a refusal by both countries to allow an aircraft carrying Belarus' prime minister to refuel last month on its way to and from Cuba.

Demonstration for Safer Roads

Protesters who want to see fewer bureaucrats with blue flashing lights on their cars are expected to demonstrate Saturday on Volokolamskoe Shosse across the Tyshinskiy Aerodrome.

Sobchak's New Cause: 'Freedom'

The launch of Ksenia Sobchak's youth movement on Thursday was ultra-Sobchak -- hip, self-possessed and just a bit over the top, including Shakespearean actors, a scrumptuous buffet and denim-print wallpaper.

Beggars, Peeing Cats Targeted

Fortunetelling, panhandling and allowing cats to urinate in certain places will become fineable offenses under legislation that is making its way through the Moscow city legislature.

Rally Seeks Saakashvili's Resignation

Thousands of opposition activists and supporters of a wanted former security minister rallied in the Georgian capital on Thursday to call for the resignation of President Mikheil Saakashvili and his government.

New Parliament Convenes in Kiev

Leaders from Ukraine's reformist, pro-Western parties pledged Thursday to bring an end to their messy coalition talks and be ready to present a governing agreement to the parliament and the nation within 15 days.

Free Bus Rides for Putin in St. Pete

President Vladimir Putin has been bestowed with the title ""Honored Citizen of St. Petersburg,"" giving him free rides on the city's public transportation and a higher pension once he retires.

Fund Switch No Big Deal, Officials Say

Keeping the stabilization fund in dollars and euros rather than rubles will not affect rates, analysts say.

Sochi Summit Yields No Energy Pact

President Vladimir Putin and European Union leaders failed to secure an agreement on energy policy at a meeting in Sochi on Thursday in the run-up to the G8's summit in St. Petersburg.

State May Squeeze Sakhalin Majors

The Natural Resources Ministry is considering a recommendation to slash foreign oil majors' stakes in the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 energy consortiums and give Russian companies majority control, a ministry spokesman said Thursday.

Luzhkov and Chubais Forge Power Alliance

A year to the day after a major blackout left swaths of Moscow without light, bitter rivals Mayor Yury Luzhkov and electricity chief Anatoly Chubais buried the hatchet Thursday and agreed to invest $15 billion in the city's ailing electricity grid.
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