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Main news of April 1



* Ukraine's admission to NATO will have a negative impact on European security and on Kiev's relations with Moscow, a Russian deputy foreign minister said

* Russia will send 140 metric tons of humanitarian aid worth some $1.7 million to ethnic Serbs in Kosovo over the next few days, a deputy foreign minister said

* Russia's lower house of parliament could approve Vladimir Putin's candidacy for the post of prime minister on May 8, State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said

* Fourteen more members of a doomsday sect emerged from their dugout in central Russia after five months underground, hours after most of the remaining roof collapsed

* Moscow military prosecutors fear intensified hazing as the one-year compulsory draft begins in Russia, a spokesman for the city Military Prosecutor's Office said

* Russia received an additional $475 billion in revenue as a result of high global oil prices between 2000 and 2007, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said


* U.S. President George W. Bush said at a news conference after talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko:

- The United States supports Ukraine and Georgia's bids to join NATO and will not be influenced by Russia's opposition to the plans

- The missile shield planned for Central Europe would be no threat to Moscow, as Russia has sufficient firepower to overcome the proposed defense system

- There will be no deal with Moscow on withdrawing American support for Georgia and Ukraine's NATO bids in exchange for Russia's acceptance of a U.S. missile shield in Europe

* China's Foreign Ministry issued a statement accusing the Dalai Lama of inciting violence in Tibet and trying to sabotage the Beijing Olympics, charges he has repeatedly denied

* Russia passed the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council on to South Africa, ending its one-month chair of the organization's most powerful body

* The U.K. will postpone a troop withdrawal from Iraq announced late last year due to recent fighting in Basra, the British defense secretary told the House of Common

* The widow and father of Russian security defector Alexander Litvinenko asked U.S. Congress to back a resolution urging the Kremlin to aid his murder investigation, a London-based pressure group said

* Nine Kurdish militants and three Turkish soldiers were killed during clashes in Turkey's south-east, the Turkish General Staff said

* Buffalo mozzarella cheese, one of Italy's much-loved products and primary exports, will be banned from Italian shops for at least 10 days amid dioxin contamination fears, local media said


* The board of Mechel approved a deal to take out a $1.5 billion loan to buy Britain's Oriel Resources Plc, Russia's leading mining and metals company said

* Russian energy giant Gazprom plans to supply about 90 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually to world markets by 2030, a senior company official said

* Russia's largest carmaker AvtoVAZ and its French shareholder, Renault, are considering buying a BMW and Hummer vehicle assembly plant in Russia, the Kommersant daily said

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