Main news of December 8




Election protests:

* Protests against alleged electoral fraud in favor of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party continued for a third night on Wednesday, with arrests in both Moscow and St. Petersburg, police said

*Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said;

 – police would crack down on illegal demonstrations

– accused the U.S. authorities of sponsoring the opposition in Russia and urged harsher punishments for those acting on orders from “foreign states”

* Russia’s most popular social network was asked by the country’s domestic security agency to deactivate accounts of groups that contained posts calling for street protests, but the company rejected the request, a spokesman said

* Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev dismissed a proposal put forward by a senior subordinate to introduce “face control” on the internet

* More than 100 people rallied outside the Russian embassy in Paris in protest against alleged electoral fraud in Sunday’s parliament elections, RIA Novosti correspondents reported from the scene




* The NATO secretary general said the Russian president’s recent remarks about Russia’s countermeasures against the European missile defense system could be influenced by the parliamentary elections

* The United States will continue to support the rights of citizens for peaceful protests everywhere in the world, including Russia, a Department of State deputy spokesperson said

* Ratings agency Standard Poor’s said it had put European Union on the list for possible downgrade of its AAA credit rating

* Georgia was named a NATO aspirant country for the first time on Thursday, the country’s deputy premier said



* Russia’s largest steelmaker Severstal posted on Thursday a 28.7 percent net profit drop in July-September 2011, quarter on quarter, to $429 million to IFRS

* Russia’s VTB Group, which includes the country’s second largest VTB bank, announced its net profit grew 39 percent in July-September 2011, year on year, to 19 billion rubles ($608 million) to IFRS


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