ITAR-TASS news digest for Thursday, July 14 (2).

14/7 Tass 295

MOSCOW— Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said it necessary to maintain permanent contacts with the business community in order to immediately react to its changes and wishes.

MOSCOW—— Russian President Dmitry Medvedev believes that all attempts to reform the customs services in Russia were futile so far.

BERLIN, July 14 (Itar-Tass) — Construction of the OPAL gas pipeline, the siding of the Nord Stream gas pipeline which will link Russia and Germany along the bed of the Baltic Sea, is over, said on Thursday the press service of the German Wingas Gas Company, noting that the commissioning of OPAL is scheduled next autumn after tuning-up operations.

TBILISI—— Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili met with visiting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Konstantin Grishchenko to discuss prospects for closer cooperation between the two countries, the press service of the Georgian president reported on Thursday.

LONDON—— An unveiling ceremony of the Monument to Yuri Gagarin was held near the British Council headquarters not far from the Trafalgar Square here on Thursday.

DONETSK—— A farm in Ukraine’s Donetsk region has reported the death of 24,500 turkey-cocks, a spokesman for the Ukrainian emergencies ministry told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

WASHINGTON— The significance of the signed bilateral agreement on cooperation in the sphere of adoptions of children between the United States and Russia cannot be overestimated, it is unique, RF Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Pavel Astakhov said during his visit to Washington where he met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

MOSCOW— Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has met ambassadors of the Holy See, Japan, India, Argentina, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea and El Salvador Republic.

MOSCOW—— The death toll from the Bulgaria cruise ship wreck has reached 113, a spokesman for the Volga regional emergencies centre told Itar-Tass.

MOSCOW—— Unemployment in Russia has regained its pre-crisis level, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

YEKATERINBURG— First interregional agreements were achieved on Thursday at the Innoprom 2011 show in Yekaterinburg.

GORNO-ALTAISK—— The driver of a hydrofoil that sank on July 11 in Teletskoye Lake in Russia’s republic of Altai has been taken into custody, the press office of the republican administration of the Russian Investigative Committee reported on Thursday.

KIEV— Ukraine is ready to lease to Russia the Crimean NITKA range for the training of pilots of deck-based aircraft, the country’s Defence Minister Mikhail Yezhel said on Wednesday at a meeting with the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces – First Deputy Defence Minister General Nikolai Makarov.

SOCHI—— The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi will be smoke-free.

ROSTOV-ON-DON— A daughter of the mayor of Russian southern city of Rostov is suspected of fraud and money laundry, the region’s prosecutor Valery Kuznetsov told a news conference on Thursday.

BEIJING— According to official data of late 2010, in Russia there are 21,000 Chinese workers, mostly employed in the Far East and Siberia in construction, forestry and agriculture, China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told Russian reporters on Thursday.

MOSCOW—— The Moscow police have detained a mafia boss Ramaz Dzneladze on suspicions of heroin trafficking, the press service of the main Interior Ministry department in the Central Federal District told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

WASHINGTON— The United States agrees that the United Nations Organisation should lead the efforts to end the Libyan armed conflict, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a press conference on Wednesday after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the US capital.

MOSCOW—— A former captain of the Bulgaria cruise ship that sank in the Volga River on July 10 said on Thursday the wreckage was no surprise for him, since the ship’s renters economised on the ship in a bid to make more money.

MOSCOW—— Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a law envisaging several amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code.

Under one of the amendments the preliminary investigation bodies were granted the right to destroy under a court ruling, but before a court verdict, the drugs or psychotropic substances, which were found as material evidence and a long keeping of which is dangerous for the life and health of people or the environment.

MOSCOW—— VTB’s developing company, VTB Real Estate /VTB owns 100 percent shares/ starts buying land plots along the Moscow region’s Rublevo-Uspenskoye highway, the company’s COB Dmitry Yakubovsky said on Thursday.

MOSCOW— Specialists of the Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA) have left for Tatarstan to the site where the Bulgaria cruise ship sank, FMBA spokeswoman Svetlana Marchenko told Itar-Tass.

MOSCOW—— Russia’s national telecommunications company, Rostelecom, and administration of Sochi, which is preparing to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, signed an agreement on organization of the electronic government, the company’s press service said on Thursday.

ROSTOV-ON-DON—— The fire at a gas-filling station in Russia’s southern Rostov Region poses no threat to populated localities, since the nearest settlement is located three kilometres away from the scene of the accident, a spokesman for the Southern regional emergencies centre told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

MINSK—— An option to have joint Belarus-Russia cinema projects was on the agenda of a meeting between Belarus’ Minister of Culture Pavel Latushko and his Russian counterpart Alexander Avdeyev in Vitebsk on Thursday.

KIEV—— Ukraine’s former President and leader of the Our Ukraine Party Viktor Yushchenko will not be on the list of that party for the 2012 parliamentary elections, the party’ s press service said on Thursday referring to the statement made by Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Our Ukraine Party Sergei Bondarchuk.

KHABAROVSK—— A ceremony to lay down the cornerstone into the foundation of a monument to a famous Russian reformist Pyotr Stolypin was held here on Thursday involving Governor of the Khabarovsk Territory Vyacheslav Shport. The monument will be built in the center of the city near the territorial government compound.


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