Russia quit a bilateral agreement with the US under which it received financial aid from Washington to fight crime, including drug trafficking, saying the deal “does not respond to present-day situation.” A diplomatic source told Kommersant that the move was unrelated to the recent diplomatic spat over Russia’s ban on US adoptions and was due to “Russia being unsatisfied with its recipient status in relations with the US.”
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will outline the Russian government’s priorities through 2018 at an extended meeting of the Russian cabinet of ministers.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Izvestia)
The Russian president’s envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District, Alexander Khloponin, introduced Dagestan’s new acting president, Ramazan Abdulatipov.
John Kerry will assume the duties of state secretary on February 4. Russian diplomatic sources describe him as a “wise choice.”
(Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
A number of Georgian politicians strongly denied information about renewed Russian-Georgian talks on the possibility of Georgia’s return to Russia-led Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), made by a Russian diplomat. The Russian foreign ministry said the diplomat's words had been “wrongly interpreted.” Meanwhile, President Mikheil Saakashvili’s supporters in parliament on January 30 introduced a bill to make European integration Georgia’s one and only priority.
METALS & MINING
Two gold producers, Polymetal and Highland Gold, reported an increase in their 2012 gold output.
OIL & GAS
Russian state-run oil company Rosneft supported gas giant Gazprom’s move to preserve state companies’ monopoly for shelf development projects.
Rosneft and PDVSA may jointly develop the Mariscal Sucre natural gas deposit in Venezuela.
BANKING & FINANCE
From February 1, Uzbek nationals will not be allowed to buy foreign currency in cash. Economists say the move is due to the foreign currency deficit that Uzbekistan has experienced in the past years.
Russia will introduce temporary restrictions on frozen pork and beef supplies from the US starting from February 11.
The US will soon create a major base for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Niger to conduct surveillance over Islamist bases in Africa.
The Russian justice ministry banned Pussy Riot videos as extremist starting from Wednesday.
(Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss aid to residents of flood-ravaged Russian city of Krymsk next week, Izvestia said citing presidential administration sources. Meanwhile, a new scandal hit the city as local authorities demanded residents to return 30 million rubles ($1 million) that was “mistakenly” handed out as compensations to those who lost their property in the flood, Rossiiskaya Gazeta said.
(Izvestia, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
Russia has the world’s worst record of suicide among minors, Russian Ivestigation Committee head Alexander Bastrykin said.
FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke visited Brazil to inspect the country’s preparations for the 2014 World Cup. With just 500 days to go until the championship, FIFA warned the country that no further delays in preparing venues are admissible.
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In light of the present situation in the Middle East, Russia and Israel find themselves facing common challenges. Under these newly emerging situations, Russia sees its partnership with Israel as a potential asset in resolving acute regional issues. From a Russian perspective, the compatibility of Israeli and Russian interests could contribute to such a partnership.