Itar-Tass news digest of July 23 – 3.

23/7 Tass 180

MOSCOW — The pleasure cruiser Bulgaria, which sank on July 10 in central Russia claiming 114 lives, has begun to be towed to shallow waters of the Kirelskoye Zaton and then transported to the shore. Eight people are still missing after the calamity. The vessel will be towed to a backwater some 11 kilometres away by the two floating cranes that earlier dislodged it from the bed of the Volga River. Twelve ships will accompany the Bulgaria to the shallow waters. At the shore, the vessel is awaited by experts who are preparing to examine it. The two cranes are up-anchoring at the moment. The vessel is still full of water, which needs to be pumped out.

KARACHI — Pakistan’s authorities hope for Russia’s aid to carrying out energy projects, chairman of the Committee on Investment Saleem Mandviwalla told journalists. After the talks with Russian businessmen on Saturday, Mandviwalla said, “The sides agreed that Russia would take part in a series of key energy projects in Pakistan and help the country overcome the protracted economic crisis.” “A joint Russian-Pakistani investment commission is planning to be set up soon. It will deal with drafting and carrying out energy projects on the territory of Pakistan,” a Russian official said.

MOSCOW — Russia’s authorities have lifted a ban on vegetables import from the Czech Republic and Greece, the Federal Consumer Rights and Human Well Being Service (Rospotrednadzor) reported. “Since July 11, 2011 vegetables import from the Czech Republic and Greece and their trade on the territory of the Russian Federation has been allowed on the basis of security certificates,” Rospotrednadzor said. So, vegetables import to Russia has been permitted from six EU countries – Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Greece.

TBILISI — Two Georgian citizens have been in a youth camp in Utoya when it was attacked on, Georgian consul to Denmark and Norway Nino Kochorashvili said. The fate of one of the citizens is unknown yet, Kochorashvili told journalists on Saturday. The diplomat, who is currently in Oslo, said two residents of Kutaisi – Natiya Chkhetiani and Tamta Liparteliani – had been in the youth camp in Utoya. “The Georgian consulate’s staff succeeded to contact with one of them – Natiya Chkhetiani. The woman said during the attack, she had not hurt and felt well,” Kochorashvili said.

MOSCOW — Investigators have questioned Yuri Tuchin, captain of the second ship, “Arbat”, that passed by the MS Bulgaria in distress, Investigation Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass on Saturday. “As the captain of the ship reported to investigators voluntarily, he has been released on his own recognizance. During the investigation, he should not leave Kazan,” Markin said.

MOSCOW — Investigators have proved identity of a sunken man found in the Volga River, near Ulyanovsk, downstream the site where the Bulgaria pleasure cruiser sank, Investigation Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told on Saturday. The man has been identified and he has no relation passengers or crewmembers of the sunken MS Bulgaria, Markin said. “At present, the operation continues to tow the Bulgaria ship to shallow waters and transport to the shore where it is awaited by experts who are preparing to examine it,” Markin said.

MOSCOW — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with his Norwegian counterpart Jens Stoltenberg on Saturday to express condolences on the death of people in a bomb blast in Oslo and an attack on the youth camp in Utoya. The prime minister’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said during the conversation, Putin conveyed his sympathies to Stoltenberg on the tragedy. “On behalf of the Russian government Vladimir Putin expressed solidarity with the people of Norway in these tragic days,” Peskov said.

MOSCOW — Hundreds of young people, including activists of Russian youth movements, have laid wreaths at the walls of the Norwegian Embassy in Moscow and lighted candles in memory of the dead in a shooting at the youth camp in Utoya and in a bomb blast at the government’s building in Oslo. Participants in the Seliger-2011 youth forum have also remembered victims of these monstrous terrorist acts. The flags of the forum are dipped and the participants in the forum paid tribute to memory of the dead in the terrorist acts with a minute of silence.

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