Russian President Vladimir Putin approved reforms to the presidential human rights council. The council’s structure will be changed to include a presidium, headed by three co-chairmen.
(Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
US President Barack Obama may mention cutting strategic nuclear arsenals in the United States and worldwide in his annual speech to Congress. The issue may also be discussed during Department of State's Assistant Secretary for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller’s talks with Russian diplomats in Moscow on Tuesday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov started his official visit to Africa by visiting Algeria. Lavrov will discuss the situation in Mali and economic cooperation. Experts believe that the discontent that certain African leaders feel regarding the West’s interference in military and political crises in Africa gives Moscow a chance to strengthen its geopolitical influence in the region.
The State Duma may strip two lawmakers – A Just Russia member Oleg Mikheyev and Communist Konstantin Shirshov – of their mandates this week.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, Izvestia)
According to official statistics released by China and the US, China surpassed the US in 2012 as the world's largest exporter and importer. The country now needs to raise its imports by $460 billion to become the world’s largest economy.
METALS & MINING
A methane blast killed at least 17 miners at the Vorkutinskaya mine in the Komi Republic. The Russian Investigative Committee blamed the tragedy on safety violations.
The Bank of Russia became the world’s largest gold buyer for the past ten years. However, Russia’s gold reserves are the eighth largest in the world.
OIL & GAS
The former CEO of Russian energy giant Gazprom Rem Vyakhirev has died at the age of 78. Over the past 12 years Vyakhirev rarely appeared in public.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
VEHICLES & ENGINEERING
Russia's air transport regulator Rosaviatsiya recommended that the country's flagship air carrier Aeroflot suspend flights of four Sukhoi Superjet-100 aircraft.
TELECOMS & IT
India’s Meridian Group, which produces Fly mobile phones, plans to supply low-cost 4G LTE smartphones to Russia, priced at under 20,000 rubles.
Apple is testing designs for a smart wristwatch that would link wirelessly to the iPhone and allow easy access to some of the smartphone’s features.
BANKING & FINANCE
The Russian government is scrapping an ambitious project to provide everyone in the country with universal identity and payment cards by 2014, saying that the project’s costs are too high for Russian regions.
Starting from Monday, Russia banned the import of all US meat except poultry. Russia’s chief public health official Gennady Onishchenko said the ban is long-term. Rossiiskaya Gazeta quotes experts as saying that the move will not affect Russian consumers.
A total of 79 Georgian winemakers applied for permission to import wine into Russia.
Pope Benedict XVI announced his decision to step down as head of the Catholic Church from February 28 due to old age and failing health. Cardinals from Honduras, Canada, Italy, Ghana and Nigeria are tipped by the media as possible successors.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Izvestia)
The Skolkovo high-tech hub finds itself at the center of a corruption scandal as the Russian Investigative Committee has launched a criminal case against Kirill Lugovtsev, the former head of the Skolkovo Foundation’s financial department. The official is suspected of spending 24 million rubles from the state budget to rent real estate from his mother’s company.
For the first time in 19 years Nigeria won the Cup of Africa. The team includes two players from Russian football clubs.
For more details on all the news in Russia today, visit our website at www.en.rian.ru
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