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Russian News Time… (12/16/2010)

South Korea to hold artillery drills near border with North:
South Korea plans this weekend to hold artillery drills on the island in the Yellow Sea that was attacked by North Korea last month, the Yonhap news agency said on Thursday.

Russia and India fix T.50 fighter design contract cost at $295 mln:Russia and India have agreed the estimated cost of a design contract for their joint fifth-generation fighter project at $295 million, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Chairman Ashok Nayak said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Gazprom gets 50% of Bulgarian South Stream gas pipeline JV:Russian gas giant Gazprom has received a 50% stake in South Stream Bulgaria AD, the joint venture operating the Bulgarian sector of the South Stream pipeline project, which will pump gas to Southern and Central Europe, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Senate agrees to open talks on new arms treaty with Russia:After months of wrangling over the future of the U.S. atomic-weapons complex, the Senate voted Wednesday to take up a new nuclear arms-reduction treaty with Russia, opening debate on a pact that President Obama regards as critical to his foreign-policy agenda.

Russia’s main New Year tree found and cut down in Moscow region:Russia’s main New Year tree has been cut down in the suburbs around Moscow and is being prepared for transportation to the Kremlin.

Uncertain World: Arguments against Russia joining NATO:This past year saw a lot of speculation about whether Russia will ultimately join NATO. Prominent analysts and former politicians took to the pages of Western publications to voice their opinion on the desirability of Russian membership.

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