Morning re-cap of main news, January 12

* Russian and Belarusian officials concluded two days of energy and trade talks in Moscow and signed a bilateral agreement slashing Russia's oil export duty for Belarus from $180.7 to $53 per metric ton and establishing 70% compensation for Russia for Belarus's exports of refined Russian oil in 2007, a source in the Russian delegation said

* Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on the United States to provide security for the Russian diplomatic mission in Iraq following a gun attack on the Russian Embassy in Baghdad

* Russian prosecutors arrested Liana Askerova, a new suspect in the murder of Central Bank Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov four months ago, the suspect's lawyer said

* An eyewitness said a Moldovan cargo plane that crashed in Iraq January 9, killing 34 people, was downed by a missile. Moldovan aviation experts declined to comment

* Amirkhan Yandarbiyev, the security chief of the late Chechen separatist leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, and his two bodyguards surrendered to local authorities

* International ratings agency Standard & Poor's said it raised the long-term credit rating of Rosneft BB+ from BB and removed it from the CreditWatch list

* LUKoil, Russia's largest oil company, reported:

- Net profit calculated to US GAAP in January-September 2006 grew 34.2% on the same period of 2005, to $6.442 billion

- Estimated crude production, including that of subsidiaries, rose 5.7% in 2006, year-on-year, to 95.2 million tons (1.92 million bbl/d)

* Members of the pro-presidential bloc Our Ukraine walked out of a session of the Ukrainian parliament in protest against a law governing Cabinet appointments

* Ukraine's parliament confirmed Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's nomination of Volodymyr Radchenko, a former head of the National Security Service, to the post of deputy premier

* A standoff between the Ukrainian president and parliament continued as the head of state said he would challenge the Supreme Rada's law on Cabinet appointments at the Constitutional Court, a presidential spokesman said

* The arrest of five Iranian consulate officials in Iraq by the U.S. military is in open violation of the multinational forces' mandate, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said

* An extremist group, Revolutionary Struggle, claimed responsibility for an rocket grenade attack on the United States Embassy in Athens early Friday morning, police said, citing an anonymous phone call to the embassy

* Russia is concerned by the tense situation in Bangladesh and has called for an early democratic election there, the Russian Foreign Ministry said

* A mysterious infectious disease that killed over 20 people in Indonesia in the last few months of 2006 remains unidentified, a health official said

* Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, passed a law in its third and final reading, stripping lawmakers of the right to display special government number plates on their cars

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