Main news of May 27

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RUSSIA

* A rotation of Russian peacekeepers in the conflict zone of Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia has started and will continue until June 2, an aide to the Ground Forces commander said

* Russia will withdraw its proposals for the joint use of radar stations in south Russia and Azerbaijan if the U.S. deploys its missile shield in Central Europe, a defense ministry official said

* Russia said it did not have confidence in a UN probe into Georgia's allegations that a Russian aircraft shot down an unmanned reconnaissance plane last month as it was based on unreliable evidence

* The Russian government filed a compensation claim with a French court against Swiss firm Noga for losses caused by the freezing of Russian accounts in France

* Russia and Denmark have signed intergovernmental agreements on visa facilitation and readmission during a visit by Russia's foreign minister to Copenhagen, Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller siad

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told the finance minister that the government must keep inflation below 10.5% this year

* In the first of a series of auctions, Russia's Defense Ministry sold two military properties in Moscow for $110 million and $50 million

* The Russian Communist Party filed a lawsuit with the Russian Supreme Court challenging the legality of last December's parliamentary elections in Russia, a party official said

WORLD

* The death toll from the May 12 earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan province has reached 67,183, a spokesman for the Chinese State Council said

* Iran rejected the UN nuclear watchdog's report on the country's controversial nuclear program, saying concerns over alleged nuclear weapons research are ungrounded

* Georgia wants Russia to discuss its additional troops withdrawal and annulment of a decree for closer ties with its breakaway republics, the country president's press-service said

* Russian Ambassador to Georgia Vyacheslav Kovalenko was summoned to the country's Foreign Ministry over the shooting down of a spy plane in a Georgian rebel region in April, the ministry said

* The Georgian Foreign Ministry demanded that Russia give an official apology and pay compensation following the alleged shooting down of an unmanned reconnaissance drone by a Russian aircraft in April

* Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko reaffirmed his country's aspiration to join NATO while on a three-day visit to Canada and thanked the Canadian parliament for its support of Kiev's bid

* Georgia's United Opposition has begun forming committees of an 'alternative parliament', saying it will refuse to recognize the results of the recent parliamentary election, an opposition member said

* Mongolia wants to cooperate with Russia in uranium production and enrichment, as well as the construction of small nuclear power plants, the country's prime minister, Sanjaa Bayar, said

BUSINESS

* Russia's GDP grew 8.4% year-on-year in April and 8.3% in the first fourth months of 2008, a deputy economics minister said

* Standard & Poor's raised its outlook for Russian oil and gas major LUKoil [RTS: LKOH] to positive from stable, the international ratings agency said

* Gazprom contributes around 20% of the federal budget's revenues, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who used to head the energy giant's board of directors, said

* Russia's Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer expects orders for its Superjet 100 civilian aircraft to double in 2008, the head of the holding company said

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