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Main news of November 12

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RUSSIA

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will take part in the EU-Russia summit in Nice, France on November 14, and the G20 summit in Washington to be held on November 14-15, a Kremlin spokesman announced

* The upper house of the Russian parliament ratified friendship treaties with South Ossetia and Abkhazia

* Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin supports President Dmitry Medvedev's suggestion that presidential and parliamentary terms should be increased to six and five years, respectively

* The upper house of Russia's parliament approved the federal budget for 2009-2011, allocating funds to support the domestic financial system and increase defense spending

* Russia and the United States plan to hold talks in the near future on replacing the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expires in December 2009, a deputy chief of the government staff said

* Russia believes that a compromise on a controversial U.S. missile shield in Europe is still possible, but is waiting for more constructive proposals from the new U.S. administration, a Kremlin source said

* The Russian government plans to establish a federal alcohol regulator and set minimum wholesale and retail prices for products, a first deputy prime minister said

* Russia will test fire another Bulava sea-based intercontinental ballistic missile before the end of the year, a source in the Navy headquarters said

* The St. Petersburg Baltiysky Zavod shipyard has completed sea trials of a new diesel-electric icebreaker in the Baltic Sea, the company said

* A Russian defense industry official denied that talks had been held with India on the delivery of the nuclear submarine on board which 20 people died last weekend

* Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said it was not planning to export Iskander tactical missile systems until Russia's Armed Forces have been fully supplied with them

* Rosoboronexport has signed deals to sell six Su-30 Flanker-C jet fighters and 18 BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles to Indonesia, an official at Russia's arms export monopoly said

* The prime ministers of Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Yulia Tymoshenko, will meet on Friday in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, a Russian official said

WORLD

* The North Korean government said that it would close its land border with the South, citing Seoul's confrontational attitude and failure to honor bilateral agreements

* The Russian frigate Neustrashimy (Fearless) and Britain's HMS Cumberland frigate have prevented the seizure of a Danish merchant vessel by pirates off Somalia's coast, a Russian Navy spokesman said

* Ukraine's parliament approved the resignation of pro-presidential Speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a move that analysts say could pave the way for the dismissal of the prime minister and her cabinet

* The Russian-born billionaire Arkady Gaydamak came third in mayoral elections in Jerusalem as a secular businessman took over half of the vote to win, according to results publicized

* A Turkish vessel bound for India was seized near the coast of Yemen, local media reported

* Iran has successfully test fired a new surface-to-surface missile, the Fars news agency said

* The Nord Stream company will provide Finland with the results of an environmental assessment of its gas pipeline construction project in early 2009, the Finnish prime minister said

* A treaty between Russia and Norway on visa facilitation will come into force on December 1, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement

* Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko proposed setting up an $8.6 billion stabilization fund in 2009 to help troubled banks repay their foreign debt

* Georgia is ready to reestablish bilateral relations with Russia, the Georgian economics minister said

* The crew of a Ukrainian cargo ship seized by pirates off the Somali coast almost seven weeks ago have circulated an email saying they have run out of fresh water, food and fuel, a Russian online maritime bulletin said

* Ukraine is increasing its marine group and forming three air defense units in Sevastopol following the conflict between Georgia and Russia in the South Caucasus, a naval officer said

* Israel has banned foreign reporters from entering the Gaza Strip for a week, a move viewed as violating press freedom and applying pressure on the Islamist regime amid increased tensions in the region

* Assailants believed to be Taliban extremists sprayed acid on a group of schoolgirls in southern Afghanistan, injuring 15, of whom three may go permanently blind, the education ministry said

* India successfully test-fired a medium-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, the Department of Defense Research and Development said

* North Korea denied ever having agreed to foreign states taking samples from its main nuclear complex to verify denuclearization data

* Uzbekistan has officially announced it is temporarily withdrawing from the Eurasian Economic Community (Eurasec), the Russian Foreign Ministry said

* China is planning to build at least nine new nuclear power plants in the next two years, the China Daily said

* The new James Bond film Quantum of Solace broke box office records over the weekend as Daniel Craig's second outing as 007 topped the international charts with $106.5 million in ticket sales

BUSINESS

* Russian energy giant Gazprom is considering buying a 20% share in Repsol, Spain's largest private oil and gas company, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said

* Spanish energy companies are interested in developing gas deposits in Russia and implementing liquefied natural gas production projects, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said

* Russian Railways (RZD), the national rail monopoly, has reduced its net profit forecast for 2008 to 5.6 billion rubles ($203.7 million), according to documents prepared for Thursday's government session

* Russia's Anti-Monopoly Service plans to fine oil producers TNK-BP and Gazprom Neft at least $36.4 million each for abusing their market positions, the antitrust watchdog said

* Russia, Iran and Qatar, leading natural gas producers that are set to meet on Wednesday for cooperation talks, plan to set up a joint venture to produce, liquefy and sell gas, a Russian business daily said  

SPORTS

* The Russian national side has risen one place to eighth in the latest FIFA rankings, published on the website of international soccer's governing body

* The long-running transfer saga around Zenit St. Petersburg star Andrei Arshavin took another turn on Wednesday when a Spanish newspaper dismissed rumors that Real Madrid were planning to bid for him

* The global financial crisis could cause long delays in the construction of two new soccer stadiums in the Russian capital, the Sovetski-Sport newspaper said

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