During his Latin American tour, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced a $35 billion debt writeoff for Cuba and prepared a historic military contract with Brazil.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
The Communist Party of Russia held its congress over the weekend to re-elect Gennady Zyuganov as its leader. The party will mark its 20th anniversary in February.
(Kommersant, Moskovskie Novosti, Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Izvestia)
Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava, seen as a close ally to President Mikheil Saakashvili and a likely presidential candidate, was charged with abuse of office, while the president may be summoned for questioning as a witness in the case. Saakashvili's supporters accuse Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and the ruling Georgian Dream coalition of “political repressions.”
South Korea's first female president, Park Geun-hye, will be sworn in on Monday. Experts hint that her term may see a thaw in ties between North and South Korea.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has admitted that international sanctions are having a negative effect on the country’s economy and warned citizens about possible cuts in the country’s public spending.
The growth of the Russian economy in January slowed year-on-year.
The United Kingdom has lost its triple A rating. Meanwhile, the European Commission said 2013 will be Eurozone’s second recession year in a row.
METALS & MINING
Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has sold his 37.8 percent stake in London-listed Polyus Gold, Russia’s largest gold miner, to Russian buyers Zelimkhan Mutsoyev and Gavriil Yushvayev. Analysts expect the company to merge with Polymetal.
OIL & GAS
Ahead of the Ukraine-EU summit due in Brussels on Monday, Kiev took a harsh stance on its gas dispute with Russia, saying it was not going to pay Gazprom for unused gas.
Russia’s five largest oil companies requested that the president bar other companies from exporting oil to Belarus.
The Moscow Region Arbitration Court rejected a lawsuit by the Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation (RKK Energia) to Boeing, Kvaerner and other participants of the Sea Launch consortium, which went bankrupt in 2009.
The Russia’s railway monopoly RZD has chosen partners to organize food services at railway stations, including Russian franchise holders of Sbarro, KFC and Subway.
The Russian Baltic Fleet has started work to design and build a ship to counter non-nuclear submarines, such as the German Type 212 and 214 class. The ship is slated to be ready by 2017.
Russian police have searched a Moscow apartment and holiday home owned by former Moscow administration official Oleg Mitvol.
The Russian government is set to closely monitor age requirements set by employers. The bill will soon be submitted for approval to the Russian cabinet and, if approved, will go to the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma.
Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said the installation of new types of traffic cameras on Russian roads should be considered. The system, currently being tested in Russia’s Volga Republic of Tatarstan, records an average speed on a stretch of a road rather than a particular car’s speed at a particular point.
Pope Benedict XVI delivered his last Sunday sermon.
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News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.