11:25 GMT +3 hours28 November 2014
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Rusal Pledges to Modernize Troubled Urals Plant

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Russian aluminum company Rusal has said it earmarked more than 200 million rubles ($6 milllion) to modernize an aluminum smelter in the Urals in the next two years, following demonstrations on Sunday about the future of the facility.

Russian aluminum company Rusal has said it earmarked more than 200 million rubles ($6 milllion) to modernize an aluminum smelter in the Urals in the next two years, following demonstrations over the weekend about the future of the facility.

The firm also said it had made "a principle decision" not to lay off workers at the Bogoslovsky Aluminum Smelter, as earlier planned, in comments made by Rusal's press service. The company has said Bogoslovsky, in the town of Krasnoturyinsk, has been unprofitable because of increased energy costs.

The move comes after two separate rallies in the town on Sunday: one protesting cutbacks in production at Bogoslovsky announced by Rusal last week, and the other electricity cost hikes.

In the statement, the firm also dismissed a threat by Krasnoturyinsk lawmaker Ildus Khakimov to launch a hunger strike in a bid to "save the plant" as "self-advertisement" ahead of mayoral elections in the town.