Main news of October 26

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RUSSIA

* Russian President Vladimir Putin said he has no plans to take any government post or transfer presidential powers to the Cabinet

* Russia's Strategic Missile Forces will conduct five launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles by the end of 2007, the SMF commander said

* Russia has successfully conducted a delayed launch of a Proton carrier rocket from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, the Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) said

* A large uranium field will be developed in Yakutia in East Siberia, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said

* Russia's Supreme Court ruled that a life sentence given to Nurpashi Kulayev for his part in a terrorist attack at a school in Beslan in 2004 was lawful, a court spokesman said

* Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, who was granted political asylum in the United Kingdom in 2003, denied  media reports that he had been allegedly seeking South African citizenship

* The military board of Russia's Supreme Court reduced a prison sentence by two years for Vladimir Ganeyev, ex-security chief at the emergencies ministry, convicted of corruption charges

* Two Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers will practice launches of cruise missiles at a testing site in southern Russia, an Air Force spokesman said

* A memorial ceremony to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the 2002 Dubrovka theater siege in which 130 hostages died was held in Moscow

* Russia's Foreign Ministry said the country praised the start of direct dialogue between Myanmar's government and the opposition

WORLD

* The 20th Russia-EU summit ended in Portugal on Friday with a host of announcements on energy and economic issues from both Russia and the European Union

* Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the Russia-EU summit in Portugal:

- U.S. missile defense system plans for Central Europe can be compared with the 1962 Cuban crisis

- Russia will only make a final decision on joining the World Trade Organization if admission terms are in accordance with its national interests

* The North and South Korean heads of government will meet November 14-16 in Seoul, the Yonhap news agency said

* The Czech parliament voted against holding a referendum on the deployment of U.S. missile defense elements in the country

* U.S. troops will stay in South Korea after a peace treaty with North Korea is signed, South Korea's foreign minister said on Friday, the Yonhap news agency reported

* Former Philippine President Joseph Estrada was released after six and a half years in detention, the PNA news agency said

* Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has pledged to thwart a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, a government spokesman said

* Hungary's defense minister said his country would be among the first to ratify the amended Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty if Russia and NATO were to agree on the issue

* At least six Palestinian gunmen were killed and a dozen wounded in Israeli air strikes and troops clashes in Gaza, Palestinian radio said

* The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan could sign a framework agreement on resolving a dispute over Nagorny Karabakh by spring 2008, a co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group said

* Poland agreed to grant Russian inspectors access to companies exporting meat to Russia, a Russian presidential aide said

BUSINESS

* Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said:

- Inflation in Russia was likely to exceed 10% in 2007

- The Russian government has offered an additional 1 billion rubles ($40 million) to subsidize borrowing rates for purchases of agricultural produce

* Sakhalin Energy, operator of the Sakhalin II oil and gas project off Russia's Pacific Coast, said it would rectify violations, identified by Russia's environmental watchdog, within a year

* Regulations on non-discriminatory gas pipeline access could be adopted in January 2008, if the Federal Antimonopoly Service reaches terms with energy giant Gazprom, FAS head Igor Artemyev said

* British investment in Russia totaled $15 billion in the first half of this year, twice as much as in the whole of 2006, a Russian diplomat said

* Atomenergomash, a Russian supplier of equipment for nuclear power plants, bought a 51% stake in Czech company Arako, a top manufacturer of industrial valves, the company press service reported

* Payments to creditors of Russian bankrupt oil company Yukos have been completed, with claims for 76 billion rubles ($3 billion) outstanding, bankruptcy receiver Eduard Rebgun said

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