Main news of February 1




* Russia's Foreign Ministry accused the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe of trying to sabotage the monitoring of Russia's presidential elections scheduled for March 2

* Alexander Losyukov, a top Russian diplomat, said North Korea must provide full information on its nuclear activities, not only to the U.S., but to the other nations involved in six-party talks

* Over 30 Russian strategic bombers and long-range interceptors are participating in joint exercises with a naval task group in the Atlantic and Arctic, an Air Force spokesman said

* Russia has transferred $118.4 million to the International Bank for Economic Cooperation (IBEC), settling its final Soviet-era debt to international organizations, the Finance Ministry said

* The widow and son of controversial Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic were granted political asylum in Russia in March 2006, a Russian Federal Migration Service official said

*  Russia strongly condemns recent terrorist acts in Iraq that killed over 70 people, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said

* A court in Moscow refused to release from custody former Yukos vice president Vasily Aleksanyan, diagnosed as suffering with both AIDS and cancer, lawyer Yelena Lvova said

* Russian opposition candidate Mikhail Kasyanov, barred from presidential polls, lodged an appeal against election authorities' decision with the Supreme Court, his press secretary said

* Moscow is seeking the extradition of another Russian oligarch who fled to Britain, a demand that could further worsen the diplomatic crisis in relations between the two countries, the Guardian said

* A leak of fuel oil into the Klyazma River in the Moscow Region in early January caused 1.8-billion-ruble ($72 mln) environmental damage, the deputy head of the country's environmental watchdog said

* Four Japanese captains arrested for illegally fishing in Russian waters have been handed over to Japan, a border guard spokesman said


* A non-official Iranian news agency quoted a top diplomat as saying that Iran is still in talks with Russia on buying advanced S-300 air defense systems, despite an earlier denial from Moscow

* China's heaviest snow storms in 50 years have wreaked havoc on the country's economy causing damage of $7.5 billion, a senior official said

* A 32 year-old woman has died from the H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus in Jakarta, bringing Indonesia's death toll from the virus to 102, China's Xinhua news agency reported

* Kyrgyz Finance Minister Tazhikan Kalimbetova disclosed that Washington pays $17.5 million each year in rent for an airbase at an international airport near the Kyrgyz capital

* Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Warsaw and Washington have agreed in principle on the deployment of a U.S. missile defense base on Polish territory

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