Main News of November 1


* Most of Syria’s chemical weapons are likely to be taken abroad for disposal, a Russian first deputy foreign minister said

* Finland’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that its computer networks have been hit by large-scale hacking from abroad, with a local TV station claiming China and Russia were among the suspects


* Russian law enforcers have confiscated over 750 million rubles ($23.3 million) from the managers of a Defense Ministry services company they suspect were involved in a military real-estate fraud, the Investigative Committee spokesman said

* The Kremlin announced on Friday that a new ministry had been established to oversee the country’s troubled utilities sector, a major source of public discontent in recent years

* The top diplomats of Russia and Japan on Friday agreed to hold peace treaty consultations early next year, the Japanese foreign minister said after meeting with his Russian counterpart

* The Russian authorities have now filed hooliganism charges against all the Greenpeace activists detained in mid-September during a protest at a state-owned oil rig in Arctic waters, the environmental organization said

* Two more Moscow government officials were sacked by the Russian capital’s mayor on Friday nearly two weeks after violent anti-migrant protests in a Moscow suburb, sparked by a fatal stabbing

* Ukraine’s Energy Minister said Friday that the country is continuing talks with Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom over outstanding debts

* Russia’s Interior Ministry said two people were killed Friday by a pair of hand grenade explosions in a criminal court in the central city of Kurgan

* Russia reduced its crude oil export duty from $416.4 to $395.9 per metric ton starting November 1 based on monthly monitoring of global oil prices, the Economic Development Ministry said

* Former finance minister Alexei Kudrin has become a member of the presidium of the presidential Economic Council in a move that could signal his possible return to Kremlin’s service

* Russian investors in construction projects for the Sochi Olympic Games are demanding government assistance to help them pay back billions of dollars in state loans they took out to fund unprofitable projects for the flagship event, a media report said


* Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev confirmed this week that he has sold his 4.5 percent stake in the country’s flagship carrier Aeroflot


* Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden says he is willing to meet with officials in Germany to discuss alleged US surveillance programs aimed at the country’s leadership


* The Russian Navy’s newest ballistic missile submarines are not ready to begin operations in their primary role of carrying out nuclear deterrent patrols due to a failed test firing of the Bulava missile last year, a high command source said


* Released on bail after spending a night in jail on kidnapping and assault charges, Russian hockey player Semyon Varlamov is “completely ready” to return to the game Friday, his father told R-Sport

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