Main news of October 31

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* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the final draft of the UN resolution on Syria is not ideal, but workable

* The Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft said in a press release Monday that its profits had increased 14 times quarter-on-quarter

* A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Russia would support a draft resolution at the UN General Assembly to lift the economic, trade and financial blockade of Cuba

* President Vladimir Putin said manufacturing industries, rather than high oil prices, are the driving force behind Russia's economic growth at present

* Russian President Vladimir Putin told members of the Dutch media Monday that he does not have the intention, or the possibility, of controlling the Russian media

* Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko nominated incumbent Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko for the post of prosecutor general

* The Latvian Cabinet has approved tax law amendments granting bigger tax breaks to surviving members of the Forest Brothers guerilla movement, which collaborated with the Nazi regime during World War II

* Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, now serving an eight-year prison term for fraud and tax evasion, announced his resignation from the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Monday, putting an end to speculation that he might be expelled in spring

* The head of Russia's Federal Energy Agency said feasibility studies for the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Coast oil pipeline, which is to be built by Russian state-owned pipeline operator Transneft, could be approved before the end of the year

* Oleg Kiselyov, the president of Renaissance Capital, one of Russia's largest investment banks, resigned in the wake of Interior Ministry allegations of attempted embezzlement leveled against him

* Mass deaths of migrant birds were registered outside Yekaterinburg in the Urals

* Russia's foreign minister said the co-sponsors of a draft UN resolution on the involvement of high-ranking Lebanese officials in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik are mixing legal, procedural issues with international relations, thereby interfering with the UN Security Council's work

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