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Main news of August 22



* A Russian aircraft did not violate Georgian airspace August 21 as Georgia's Foreign Ministry said, an aide to the Russian Air Force chief said

* A second missile battalion, equipped with advanced Topol-M (SS-27) road-mobile ICBMs, will be put on combat duty before the end of the year, Russia's Strategic Missile Forces command said

* Regular flights of Russian strategic bombers do not pose a threat to other countries, and Russia always issues prior warnings of their patrols, an Air Force spokesman said

* A simulated Mars mission, expected to be launched in Russia later this year, could be extended from 500 to 700 days, Anatoly Perminov, the head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, said

* Russian plane maker Sukhoi will hold the first public demonstration of its SuperJet-100 passenger plane September 26, a source in the Russian aircraft manufacturing industry said

* About three million people will be involved in organization work for Russia's parliamentary elections to be held December 2, Vladimir Churov, the head of the Central Election Commission, said

* The Russian and Polish national soccer teams ended their friendly at the Lokomotiv stadium in Moscow with a 2-2 draw


* Fuel oil shipments to the Gaza Strip, hit by electricity blackouts since Sunday as the result of disagreements between European donors and local authorities, have been resumed and power restored, a European Commission (EC) spokeswoman said

* Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Wednesday that a summit of the five Caspian nations will be held October 18 in Tehran

* The United States could deliver a military strike against Iran within the next six months, said Robert Baer, a former CIA field officer

* Belarus has introduced visa restrictions for American officials and simplified visa regulations for ordinary U.S. nationals, the Foreign Ministry said


* Russia's Ilyushin Finance aircraft leasing firm and Iran Air Tours have signed a deal to sell five Tu-204 aircraft to the Islamic Republic

* The Russian leasing company Ilyushin Finance and Cuba's Aviaimport SA signed a memorandum of understanding at the MAKS-2007 air show on the delivery of two Tu-204 and three An-148 planes to Cuba

* Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi and Italian aerospace engineering firm Alenia Aeronautica announced a deal to set up a joint venture for the sale and maintenance of Russia's SuperJet-100 airliners

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