Russian News: May 27th, 2008!

RBC, 27.05.2008, Moscow 14:45:29.Russia’s government has filed a lawsuit in France against Swiss company Noga requesting the payment of significant damages caused by Noga’s unlawful arrest of Russia’s assets in France, the Finance Ministry reported today.

RBC, 27.05.2008, Moscow 14:39:48.Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered his government to curb inflation, stressing that this is a key task for the time being, the Mayak radio station quoted the President as saying at a meeting with Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin. In turn, Kudrin noted that the government had been able to bring the growth rate of the money supply in the economy into line with the plans that had been endorsed by the State Duma and the government’s monetary policy guidelines. The Deputy PM promised that the measures taken by the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank of Russia will permit to not only reduce further consumer price growth, but also quash inflation within the next half a year. The Finance Ministry is monitoring the major monetary policy parameters, and, according to Kudrin, at the moment they look much better than they did a year ago.

RBC, 27.05.2008, Moscow 13:50:48.A meeting of the Working Party on Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will begin on June 16, 2008, the Russian Economy Ministry’s press office reported. The Working Party will meet for a week to review the latest version of the consolidated report on Russia’s entry to the WTO, which was adopted at the previous meeting.

RBC, 27.05.2008, Moscow 13:28:56.A transition to equal profitability of natural gas supplies on the domestic market and abroad will be completed in 2014-2015, Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach said during today’s meeting of a trilateral commission for the regulation of social and economic relations. The government decided to stick to its plan providing for bringing the prices of domestic gas supplies to the level of export prices excluding duties and transportation costs. However, the fulfillment of the plan was postponed by several years, so equal profitability of gas supplies will not be attained in 2011, as originally planned, Klepach said.

RBC, 27.05.2008, Moscow 12:42:54.Foreign Ministers Eduard Nalbandian of Armenia and Sergei Lavrov of Russia will discuss cooperation between the two countries as part of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Russian ministry’s representative Andrei Nesterenko reported. He indicated that the Armenian Foreign Minister would pay a working visit to Moscow on May 29-June 1 to touch base on Russia and Armenia’s approaches to international issues of primary importance and to further coordinate Moscow and Yerevan’s foreign policies, particularly as part of continuing their joint work as part of the CIS and the CSTO, international organizations, such as the UN, the Council of Europe, and the OSCE, and multilateral forums.

RBC, 26.05.2008, Moscow 18:56:18.Russia has written off a $20bn debt of Africa’s poorest countries, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today. He added that Russia was doing a lot to ease the debt burden of poor countries owing large debts to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Development Association (IDA). Lavrov indicated that Russia had cancelled roughly half of the sum over the last two years.

RBC, 26.05.2008, Moscow 17:57:09.The Russian Defense Ministry has refuted the claims of the UN mission in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict that the Georgian unmanned aircraft was shot down by the Russian air force on April 20, the head of the ministry’s press office, Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky told RBC. He reiterated that Russian military airplanes had not violated Georgia’s state border either on April 20 or on any other day, nor had they shoot down Georgian unmanned aircraft.

RBC, 26.05.2008, Moscow 14:32:31.The US Department of Commerce has set a zero import duty on carbamide supplied by EuroChem, the Russian mineral and chemical company said in a statement today.

RBC, 26.05.2008, Moscow 13:45:19.Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has requested that a bill on trade regulation is introduced in the government before Friday, the government’s press officer reported today. The decision was made on the basis of a meeting on improving Russia’s agricultural policy that was held in Yessentuki on May 19. Putin also commissioned several ministries and government bodies to take steps to carry out the federal program on the development of agriculture and regulation of agricultural products markets for 2008-2012.

RBC, 26.05.2008, Moscow 13:49:25.Fighting corruption is a top priority for Russia’s new President Dmitry Medvedev. The anti-corruption council could be transformed into a new powerful body to keep a close eye on officials and their families. Medvedev seems to have received carte blanche from Putin to root out corruption, experts say. At the same time, the campaign will allow Medvedev to strengthen his grip on power, making new appointments. Yesterday Medvedev discussed anti-corruption methods with officials and members of the public. In the absence of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the government was represented by his deputy and government chief-of-staff Sergei Sobyanin. After the meeting, reporters were told that Medvedev would chair an anti-corruption council, and an interdepartmental group would be heated by Sergei Naryshkin, chief-of-staff to President Medvedev.