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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Delay for OSCE Observers

International observers will be unable to monitor the Dec. 2 State Duma elections properly because Moscow has delayed issuing them invitations, a democracy watchdog said Monday.

Russia says it will invite monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, but with just over with five weeks to polling day, the OSCE says time is running out to set up its mission. OSCE observers monitor for vote rigging on polling day but also operate during the campaign to assess whether parties have equal access to the media and other resources. "It is getting late, and every day counts," said Urdur Gunnarsdottir, a spokeswoman for the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. (Reuters)

Bush, Putin Discuss Missiles

President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush agreed Monday to push forward with talks on a planned U.S. missile defense system in Europe that has strained relations between the countries.

In a telephone conversation, Bush and Putin "discussed the results of the recent meeting in Moscow" of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, concentrating on U.S. plans to deploy elements of a missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland. No progress was made at the talks, but the sides agreed to meet again in six months. (Bloomberg)

9 Years for Berezovsky

Prosecutors on Monday asked Moscow's Savyolovsky District Court to hand a nine-year prison term to self-exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky, who is being tried in absentia on charges of defrauding Aeroflot in the 1990s.

"The prosecutor spoke in court today and asked [it] to sentence Berezovsky to nine years in prison," said Berezovsky's lawyer, Alexander Dudkin, Interfax reported. (MT)

For the Record

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived Monday on his first official visit to the Armenian capital as the two countries steadily strengthen economic and political ties. (AP)

Latvian Prime Minister Aigars Kalviti accepted the resignation of his foreign minister Monday, leaving the already fragile government short by three ministers. (AP)