Main news of November 15


* The Syrian opposition has dismissed any talks with President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the leader of the rebel Syrian National Council (SNC), Burhan Ghalioun, said

* The Ukrainian parliament threw out a bill that would have exonerated jailed ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with the leader of the dissident Syrian National Council (SNC), Burhan Ghalioun, in a landmark move towards a peaceful settlement in Syria

* Prosecutors in Tajikistan have appealed against a jail term handed down to a Russian pilot last week

* Presidential elections in Moldova have been canceled after the parties failed to agree on possible candidates, raising the possibility of early parliamentary polls in the former Soviet republic

* Lawyers for two men accused of carrying out a bomb attack that claimed 15 lives in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, will address the court on Tuesday, a day after prosecutors demanded they face the firing squad

* U.S. Department of State Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said Sunday’s presidential elections in Georgia’s former republic of South Ossetia were illegitimate


* Russia has deported at least 300 Tajik migrant workers following the jailing of a Russian pilot in the Central Asian republic, a migrant movement leader said

* Former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov testified in a police probe into the embezzlement of funds from the Bank of Moscow, the capital’s former investment vehicle

* Russia’s Central Electoral Commission believes a PACE fact-finding mission in Russia ahead of upcoming parliamentary elections contravenes national legislation, CEC head Vladimir Churov said


* Ukraine is planning to save about $6 billion annually after reviewing gas contracts with Russia, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said

* Gas producing and exporting countries should continue using a formula that links gas prices to prices on oil markets to stimulate a wider use of the fuel, the Qatari ruler said

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