Main news of July 24



* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow was against "narrowly-defined" military-political structures in the Asia-Pacific region, and called for pan-Asian efforts to deal with security issues

* Germany has passed on to Russia materials on the 2006 murder of security service defector Alexander Litvinenko, Russia's top investigators said

*  Russia could put in place an orbital ballistic missile system in response to U.S. missile defense plans for Central Europe, said Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin, former chief of staff of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, now vice president of the Academy of Security, Defense and Law Enforcement Studies

* Russia's Northern Fleet Tu-142 Bear and Il-38 May anti-submarine aircraft have tested new electronic equipment and precision-guided weapons over the Barents and Norwegian Sea, a Navy spokesman,  Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo, said

* Russian strategic bombers may soon be deployed at airbases in Cuba, Venezuela and Algeria as a response to the U.S. missile shield in Europe and NATO's expansion, Russian daily Izvestia said

* Ukrainian President  Viktor Yushchenko said that preparations for the withdrawal by 2017 of Russia's Black Sea Fleet from Ukrainian territory should begin now

* Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, the former governor of the remote Far East region of Chukotka, will run for election to the regional legislature, the businessman's spokesman said


* The foreign ministers of the six countries involved in negotiations on North Korea's nuclear disarmament are ready to hold an official meeting in Beijing, Russia's Foreign Ministry said

* Iran denied new reports that customs officials in Azerbaijan had seized Russian equipment destined for Iran's first nuclear plant in Bushehr 

* Venezuela may purchase man-portable air defense systems, Il-76 transport planes and T-90 tanks from Russian in the near future,  said Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies

* Serbia's new government decided to reinstate a number of European ambassadors recalled in protest at their governments' recognition of Kosovo's declaration of independence in February

* Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, arrested on genocide charges, was using the identity of a living man, Serbia's Interior Ministry said

* The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Latvia to pay World War II veteran Vasily Kononov 30,000 euros ($47,000) in damages, the court said

* About 300 Ukrainian protestors have stoned participants in the NATO-Ukraine Sea Breeze military exercises in Crimea, an Interior Ministry spokesman said 


* TNK-BP CEO Robert Dudley has left Russia and will run the Russian-British joint oil venture from abroad, the company said

* The American Depository Receipts (ADRs) of Russian metals company Mechel fell 33% on the New York stock exchange after criticism by the Russian premier of the company's sales policies and its owner's activities

* Stroytransgaz, one of Russia's largest engineering and construction companies, announced it had signed a $400 million contract to build a gas pipeline in the United Arab Emirates

* The Russian-British joint oil venture TNK-BP's net profit went up 128% year-on-year to $4.7 billion in the first half of 2008, the company's chief operating officer, Tim Summers, said

* The Belarusian pipeline monopoly Beltransgaz has no debts to Russian energy giant Gazprom, a company spokesman said

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