Itar-Tass Russia, CIS news summary for Friday, July 8=1.

9/7 Tass 2

(Two takes)

MOSCOW — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has made a rotation of the State Council presidium, the Kremlin press service reported on Friday.

MOSCOW— The main task of Russia and other mediators in the Middle East Quartet is to ensure “the reset” of the Palestinian-Israeli dialogue, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on Friday.

MOSCOW — Russia suffers financial losses over events in the Middle East and North Africa, including those in the military technical sector, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on Friday.

MOSCOW — Russia’s State Duma lower parliament house on Friday closed up its spring session. During the season, the lower house passed 264 federal laws, and three constitutional laws, Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov said summing up the results.

MOSCOW — The United Russia Party welcomes participation in the primaries of the opposition, but warns that they will have to leave alone their party membership, Chairman of the State Duma told reporters on Friday.

MOSCOW — The State Duma faction of A Just Russia proposed to set the 3% party threshold in the parliament election already from 2011. Party leaders Sergei Mironov and Nikolai Levichev submitted a related bill to the house on Friday.

BAKU — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday handed over to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s proposals on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.

MOSCOW — Russian will not change its foreign policy course in the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov responsible for relations with countries of the Middle East and Africa said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on Friday.

KIEV — Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said on Friday he planned to meet with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev later in this month.

MOSCOW — Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has presented for further ratification by the State Duma a law on payment and calculation of export duties when oil and oil products are exported from the territory of Belarus outside the customs territory of the Customs Union.

KIRISHI, Leningrad region — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived here on Friday during his working trip to St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region to chair a meeting at a local oil refinery to discuss the oil refinery situation and the oil market in Russia.

KIRISHI, Leningrad region— Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has supported the idea of signing legally binding agreements with oil companies to upgrade oil refineries.

KIRISHI, Leningrad region, — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin criticized oil companies, which failed to fulfill their liabilities for higher advanced oil refining capacities. “Meanwhile, they fully took advantage of a state benefit, that is lower customs duties on oil products,” the premier noted.

BAKU — Crisis-hit Belarus is working to expand the sales of its products on the Azerbaijani market and attract local investments into its national economy.

On Thursday a memorandum was signed in the presence of visiting Belarussian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich between the Ganja Car Plant and Minsk truck works (MAZ) to produce garbage-collecting vehicles using MAZ trucks and German Haller’s equipment.

BAKU — Three bilateral documents were signed upon results of Friday’s Azerbaijani-Belarusian talks at the level of the prime ministers, Artur Rasizade and Mikhail Myasnikovich.

KIEV — Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has endorsed a law regulating the domestic natural gas market, thus authorizing export of Ukrainian gas to Poland, the presidential press service reported on Friday.

MOSCOW — Russia will not cut financing of the Skolkovo’ s main work in future, Russia’s Presidential Aide Arkady Dvorkovich said on Friday. His comment is placed on the site of the presidential commission on modernization.

KIEV — Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich said on Friday his country has no plans to merge its national gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy with Russia’s gas utility Gazprom.

MOSCOW — Russia’s retail gasoline prices increased insignificantly across the country over the week from June 27 to July 3, the Federal State Statistics Service said in a regular report on Friday.

MOSCOW — Russian-Polish regional cooperation will allow the two countries to overcome economic difficulties, Vice President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Georgy Petrov told the Business Council’s meeting on Friday.

GORKI — Extra measures are needed from regional authorities and employers to boost birth rates, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday. “Offbeat measures” are needed to encourage a family to have a second child, he said at a meeting with Russian Minister of Health and Social Development Tatiana Golikova.

GORKI — The size of maternity capital in Russia will be raised to 387,000 roubles in 2012, Russian Minister of Health and Social Development Tatiana Golikova said on Friday.

MOSCOW — The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the Ministry of Health and Social Development signed a cooperation agreement here on Friday. Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and Minister of Health Tatiana Golikova inked the document at the Saints Marfa and Maria Convent in the Russian capital.

MOSCOW — Dmitry Medvedev has provided rbls 42.9 million from the presidential reserve fund for health and social centres, the Kremlin press service reports. Out of the sum, 12 million are allocated for major repairs of the Magadan regional children’s house.

MOSCOW — Only ten percent Russians have more than three children, which is necessary for net population reproduction. The statistical data was published in results of the latest survey conducted by the Sreda /Environment/ sociology service. Itar-Tass received the survey results on Friday.

MOSCOW — The State Duma has postponed the second (main) reading consideration of the government bill on the Fundamentals of Public Health Care in the Russian Federation till September. The decision was taken during the Friday morning discussion of the lower house’s work, after some opposition members said the document needed improving. Discussion of the bill was earlier included in the agenda for this Friday.

PARIS — Popular Russian singer Alsou was awarded the title of UNESCO Artist for Peace by the organization’s Director General Irina Bokova on Thursday “in recognition of her commitment to help the most vulnerable people throughout the world, her charitable activities aiming to empower childhood development, and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization.”

KIEV — The lawyer of Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Timoshenko, who is facing office abuse charges, has asked a Kiev district court to postpone the hearing to July 11 over his sickness. On Friday, Nikolai Titarenko filed such an application to Pechersky District Court chairman Rodion Kireyev.

KIEV — Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine overnight to Friday passed in the second reading and on the whole the government’s draft pension reform. A total of 248 MPs of 226 required minimum voted for the document.

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