At a meeting with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Sulayman, Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged financial assistance to improving the plight of Syrian refugees who flock to Lebanon.
Russia will amend its Foreign Policy Concept, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. The new version of the document, however, is yet to be signed by the Russian president.
(Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
Russia’s State Duma has started reviewing the recent political reform reintroducing direct gubernatorial elections in Russia. Russian regions may be allowed to decide for themselves whether or not they need a popular vote.
(Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Izvestia)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bloc received less support in the country's recent parliamentary elections than it had expected. Experts say the bloc’s poor performance reflects Israelis' dissatisfaction with the country’s economic policy and measures against Palestinian radicals, which many Israelis see as too soft.
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution imposing more sanctions on North Korea following its recent rocket launch. North Korea reacted immediately, saying it would respond by ending its nuclear disarmament process and launching more rockets. Experts say the possibility of nuclear tests by the Communist state in the coming years is also high.
(Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Izvestia)
In his speech at the Davos forum, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev revealed the Russian government’s economic plans for the next decade.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
OIL & GAS
LUKoil, Russia’s largest independent oil producer, may become the first Russian oil company involved in projects in Lebanon.
The Russian Defense Ministry will revoke its contract with Italy’s Defence Vehicles in order to buy Iveco LMV armored vehicles.
Facing a major public outcry, authorities have dropped plans to convert a St. Petersburg hospital with a children’s cancer department into a hospital for judges of Russian top courts.
A law banning monetary payment for blood donors came into force in Russia.
Ahead of Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov’s visit to Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry has sent an official note to the Kazakh side with a list of measures to be taken if Kazakhstan goes ahead with its decision to impose restrictions on rocket launches from the Baikonur space center.
VEHICLES & ENGINEERING
Foreign car production is on the rise in Russia, while domestic car production shrinks. This tendency is set to persist in 2013.
TELECOMS & IT
Intel, a major hardware producer, will end the production of motherboards for personal computers and will focus instead on processors for mobile devices.
Russian airline Red Wings may see its license revoked soon in connection with numerous incidents involving its Tu-204 planes, including a recent deadly accident at Vnukovo airport in Moscow in which a plane overshot the runway.
For more details on all the news in Russia today, visit our website at www.en.rian.ru
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.