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Main news of September 26



* President Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia must upgrade its nuclear deterrent and fully supply the Armed Forces with modern weaponry by 2020

* Russia's Navy has sent a missile frigate to waters off the Somali coast to fight piracy in the region, a Navy spokesman said

* Russia's Foreign Ministry said that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has failed to learn lessons from the conflict over South Ossetia and still poses a threat to stability in the Caucasus

* Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula contains at least 1,200 metric tons of gold and 8,000 tons of silver, a geological expert said


* The six countries negotiating the Iranian nuclear problem agreed on a draft UN Security Council resolution on Iran containing no new sanctions, the Russian foreign minister said

* Venezuela plans to use most of the $1 bln loan granted by Russia to buy air-defense systems, a Russian military analyst said

* The European Union introduced a ban on imports from China of all baby food products containing powdered milk, an EU spokeswoman said

* The European Union has banned all exports of mercury from the 27-nation bloc as of March 2011, as part of a strategy to prevent leaks of the toxic heavy metal into the environment

* Israel is to supply weapons worth millions of dollars to Azerbaijan, an Israeli newspaper said

* Turkmenistan's new constitution, which was approved on Friday, abolishes the top legislative body, the People's Council, set up by the Central Asian state's previous ruler

* A Ukrainian ship seized by pirates off the Somali coast on Thursday contains 33 T-72 tanks along with other armaments that were on their way to Kenya under a contract, Ukraine's defense minister said

* More than 954 kg (2,101 lbs) of drugs were confiscated in Tajikistan in the course of the special operation of regional security organization members between September 16 and 22, country's police official said



* Russia and Venezuela signed two documents on energy cooperation following a meeting of the countries' presidents

* Russian energy giant Gazprom and Italian firms A2A and Iride signed an agreement to set up a joint venture and clinched a long-term deal for natural gas deliveries, the companies said in a statement

* Gazprom may soon sign an agreement with TNK-BP on buying the license to the Kovykta gas condensate field in East Siberia from the Russian-British oil company, the Russian energy giant's CEO said

* Venezuela's state oil and natural gas company PDVSA will hold a controlling stake in an oil and gas consortium to be set up with Russia, Russia's energy minister said

* Rosatom is expecting civilian nuclear cooperation with the United States to resume in spring 2009, a source in the Russian state nuclear power corporation said

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