Itar-Tass news digest for Sunday, July 31 – 2.

31/7 Tass 150

BALTIYSK, Kaliningrad region, July 31 (Itar-Tass) —— Kaliningrad Governor Nikolai Tsukanov has proposed the drafting of a law, which will give long-term preferences to the Russian westernmost exclave. Two effective laws give tax and customs preferences to the region, Tsukanov told President Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday. “The validity of the law, which provides customs preferences, will expire in 2016. Alas, all the 500 plants in the Kaliningrad region with the total personnel of 80,000 are using these preferences now,” the governor said.

MOSCOW —— Moscow transport prosecutors will check the security of small vessels after the cutter-barge collision in the Moskva River, says a report posted on the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office website on Sunday. “The Moscow regional transport prosecutor’s office will verify the compliance of small vessels with security requirements,” the report said.

LJUBLJANA —— The European Union and NATO should upgrade cooperation with Russia, Slovenian President Danilo Turk said on Sunday. “There is a historic chance for the development of partnership of the European Union and NATO with Russia,” he added. The Slovenian leader called for “following the spirit” of the Russia-NATO Lisbon summit of last year. “Europe should develop partnership with the United States and neighbors, primarily with Russia,” he said.

MOSCOW —— Two people drowned in the Onega Lake in an attempt to rescue their belongings from a sinking cutter, Karelia Emergency Situations Ministry spokesperson Oksana Semyonova told the Russian News Service on Sunday. “A small cuter sank in the Onega Lake at 4:20 a.m. on July 29. The cutter had its last technical examination in 2011. There were four people aboard, all of them were drunk,” she said.

MOSCOW —— Criminal charges have been brought against the first mate of the OM-8 vessel for navigating the ship with 14 passengers onboard in an extremely drunken condition. “Fourteen passengers of the Om-8 (Amurtransflot-1) vessel en route from Verkhne-Tambovskoye to Komsomolsk-on-Amur were endangered on July 29, 2011, as the captain and the entire crew were extremely inebriated,” says a report posted on the Far Eastern transport prosecutor’s office website.

BRUSSELS —— The U.S. Senate resolution on the ‘occupation’ of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is “a usual spit on Russia, which will have no practical results,” Russian Permanent Representative to NATO Dmitry Rogozin on Itar-Tass on Sunday. The Senate once again condemned Russia and demanded its respect for Georgian independence and territorial integrity on Saturday.

SOFIA —— Personnel of the LUKOIL Neftochim Burgas are preparing for mass protests due to the halt of the refinery, head of the Bulgarian petrochemical trade union Minko Minkov told the Bulgarian national radio. The workers demand a meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and his explanations. “The refinery may keep working with due fulfillment of the requirements from financial and customs bodies in the period of the installment of measuring gadgets,” Minkov said.

MOSCOW —— Dangerous maneuvering and overload are the main causes of a cutter’s collision with a barge in the Moskva River last night, a police source told Itar-Tass. “There is a number of main theories, among them sailing along the fairway, overload – the number of passengers was much larger than the norm, and dangerous maneuvering,” he said.

MOSCOW —— Twenty-eight people asked for medical aid after the Sunday hurricane in Blagoveshchensk, Amur region, the Amur regional emergency situations department told Itar-Tass. “Six of them were hospitalized. One of the patients died at hospital,” the source said. The hurricane disrupted power supply in three districts of the city, mostly in private houses.

BRUSSELS —— Russian military presence in South Ossetia and Abkhazia is the only guarantee of regional stability, Russian Permanent Representative to NATO Dmitry Rogozin on Itar-Tass on Sunday. “Russia cannot occupy a country, which it has recognized and which has offered Russia to deploy its forces on the national territory. If Russia had deployed forces on the territory of a foreign state against the latter’s will, it would have been an act of occupation,” he said.

KRASNODAR —— Ninety-nine passengers of the bankrupt Continent airline were transported from Anapa to St. Petersburg on Sunday, a source at the city transport department told Itar-Tass. A Yamal flight took another 87 passengers to Krasnoyarsk, the Basel Aero managing company said. In all, almost 270 Continent passengers are still stranded at the Anapa airport. One hundred and one of them will take a chartered flight to Moscow tonight.

MOSCOW —— The police have detained 43 participants in an unauthorized march from Moscow’s Triumfalnaya Square to Pushkin Square, Andrei Galiabekov from the city police department said. In his words, the police detained no one during the sit-in in Triumfalnaya Square in support of Article 31 of the constitution. “However, the most active participants in the action were detained when they started a provocative march along Tverskaya Street and impeded the movement of other citizens,” he said.

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