Russian News: July 18th, 2008!

RBC, 17.07.2008, Moscow 13:35:23.Russia will support Serbia’s appeal to the UN Security Council in order for the International Court of Justice to review the situation in Kosovo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said following talks with his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremic. The Russian official pointed out that each country had a right to get an opinion of the highest international court on any matter, adding that Russia would insist on the rule of law.

RBC, 18.07.2008, Moscow 10:57:56.Aeroflot – Russian Airlines carried 4.385m people in the first half of 2008, which is 16.2 percent higher compared to the same period of 2007, the company said in a statement today. The company’s passenger traffic went up 11.3 percent to 12.704bn passenger-kilometers, and seat occupancy stood at 68.5 percent. Revenue load factor was 54.5 percent in January-June 2008.

RBC, 18.07.2008, Magnitogorsk 10:21:03.The Board of Directors of Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK) has recommended to its shareholders that a dividend of RUB 0.383 (approx. USD 0.016) per share be paid for the first half of 2008, the company’s spokespersons told journalists following the board’s meeting today.

RBC, 18.07.2008, Moscow 09:58:01.The shareholder row at TNK-BP has entered a new phase. A lawsuit was filed by a group of 16 Russian Vice Presidents of the company with a Moscow district court on Thursday, in which the plaintiffs demanded that the employment contract with the Chairman of the Board of TNK-BP Management, Robert Dudley, be terminated, the RBC Daily newspaper reported. The chief executive is accused of discrimination against Russian employees in favor of foreign workers.

RBC, 18.07.2008, Moscow 09:33:03.Australian mineral resources continue to increasingly draw the attention of Russian investors. As reported on Thursday, Evraz Group acquired a 16-percent stake in Australia’s mining company Cape Lambert Iron Ore Ltd., which is in charge of a $400m iron ore project. The Australians now expect Evraz to make an offer for the entire company, although a possibility is not ruled out that Chinese and Indian metallurgical companies will join in the fight for Cape Lambert, the RBC Daily newspaper wrote today.

RBC, 17.07.2008, Petrozavodsk 17:09:20.Russia ranked third in the world after India and China in terms of the amount of orders for software production in 2007, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said during a meeting of the State Council in Petrozavodsk today. He pointed out that the IT sector was growing much faster than other sectors of economy. The Russian President also noted that the development of information technologies not only promoted science and technology, but also influenced the country’s political system, and ultimately, Russia’s democracy. Medvedev reiterated that those factors were considered while drafting federal target programs, and, as a result, business and government sectors had expanded and started using information and communication systems in their work.

RBC, 17.07.2008, Moscow 15:14:45.Russia will only pull out of the treaty on friendship, cooperation, and partnership with Ukraine as a last resort, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today following talks with his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremic. Such steps, which could undermine relations between the two countries, must be avoided at all costs, except for cases when a country’s vital interests are involved, Lavrov said. He expressed hope that Ukraine would also respect existing bilateral agreements, including the pact allowing Russia’s Black Sea Fleet to use the Sevastopol base in Ukraine.