Main news of March 21

RUSSIA

* In a rare faceoff with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday he stood by Moscow’s decision not to veto the UN Security Council resolution on Libya

* The production of ballistic missile systems in Russia will double starting in 2013, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* Russia will not participate in any operations in regard to the no-fly zone in Libya, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said

* Germany’s BASF signed a memorandum of understanding with Russia’s gas giant Gazprom to enter the South Stream pipeline project

* A delegation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) arrived in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Monday to inspect the country’s preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games

* A missile production plant in southern Siberia has produced enough Bulava ballistic missiles to complete its tests and arm the first Borey class strategic submarine, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said

* Russia will invest 3 trillion rubles ($100 bln) in the development of the country’s defense industry in the next decade, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has fired six police generals, the Kremlin press service said

* All air defense regiments in the Russian Armed Forces will be equipped with advanced S-400 Triumf and Pantsir-S missile systems by 2020, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* The use of military force against the civilian population in Libya is unacceptable, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has appointed senior senator Mikhail Margelov special presidential envoy for cooperation with Africa, the Kremlin said

* Moscow police detained five people on Sunday for organizing an unauthorized St. Patrick’s Day Parade

WORLD

* The international coalition has implemented a no-fly zone above Libya and averted “a bloody massacre in Benghazi,” British Prime Minister David Cameron sai

* One of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s sons died in a Tripoli hospital of suffering severe burn wounds, a German website reported

* Libya’s temporary defense committee accused “other parties” of violating a ban on military operations in the country, JANA news agency reported citing the committee’s statement

* Norway sent six F-16 Falcon fighters to join the UN-authorized military operation against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya, the Norwegian NRK television and radio broadcasting station said on its website

* Supporters of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi attacked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in Cairo on Monday, the Agence France Presse news agency reported

* Workers at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant were evacuated on Monday after reactor No. 3 emitted a cloud of gray smoke, Kyodo reported, citing plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.

* The devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan 10 days ago may cost the country’s economy $235 billion, or 4% of GDP, the World Bank said in a report

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