Morning re-cap of main news, January 26

* Russia has lifted a temporary ban on imports of pork and poultry products from Germany and banned Hungarian poultry imports following the discovery of bird flu in the Central European country, Russia's agricultural watchdog said

* Belarus's president said his country has yet to sign a contract for Russian oil supplies in February, but promised there would be no shortfalls in the transit of Russian crude to Europe via Belarusian pipes

* Russia's Foreign Ministry said international aid to Lebanon will not be effective if internal accord is lacking

* McDermott Caspian Contractors Inc., a U.S.-based design and engineering company, said it has been granted a contract by a subsidiary of Russia's largest crude producer, LUKoil, to build an oil pipeline along the bottom of the Caspian Sea

* Kyrgyzstan's president nominated acting Agriculture Minister Azim Isabekov for prime minister

* Russia's top prosecutors have ruled out the extradition to the UK of a key suspect in the murder of security service defector Alexander Litvinenko, a source in the Prosecutor General's Office said

* According to preliminary information, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has upgraded Russia's creditworthiness rating from the fourth to the third group of risk, a Russian Finance Ministry source said

* Three witnesses in a case against two police officers charged with killing civilians in Chechnya said they were forced to provide false testimony against the defendants, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the courtroom

* Russian experts are unable to establish the origin of highly enriched uranium that was allegedly seized from a Russian national in Georgia over a year ago, as an inadequate sample was provided by Tbilisi, a specialist said

* A Moscow court sentenced a Russian citizen to 20 years in prison after he was found guilty of slaying the pregnant wife of a Swiss border guard in 2002

* An explosion rocked a Moscow State University residence hall, linked to MSU's landmark Stalin-era skyscraper, damaging a wall and smashing windows but causing no injuries, the emergencies ministry said

* Bank Zenit, on the list of top 30 banks published by the Central Bank of Russia, said it has acquired 85.3% of the shares in Sochigazprombank, a subsidiary of Gazprombank

* Russia's Foreign Ministry said that U.S. plans to deploy elements of its missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic were "a move in the wrong direction" that could threaten global security

* The Russian Federal State Statistics Service said:

- Individuals' real cash incomes rose 10% in 2006, and real wages increased 13.5%, year-on-year

- The total number of unemployed in Russia in 2006 decreased on 2005 by 4.9%, to 5.3 million people

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