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Main news of August 12

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RUSSIA

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's claims that Kiev was responsible for deteriorating relations with Moscow were aimed at President Yushchenko, not the entire country, a senior Kremlin official sai

* Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said:

- Moscow and Sukhumi have drafted a socioeconomic development plan for Abkhazia in 2010-2011 that envisages 10.9 billion rubles ($343 million) in aid to the former Georgian republic

- Russia will allocate 15-16 billion rubles (over $465 mln) in 2010 to boost security along Abkhazian borders

- International organizations must recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia if they want to work in the former Georgian republics

* President Dmitry Medvedev ordered measures to track a Finnish-owned cargo ship crewed by Russians, which was last sited off Portugal's Atlantic coast on August 1 and may have been hijacked

* Ingushetia's construction minister was gunned down in his office, an Interior Ministry official in Russia's volatile southern republic said

 

* A Moscow court sentenced Andrei Taranov, a former top health insurance official, to seven years in jail and a million rubles (about $31,000) fine on corruption charges

* A Proton-M rocket successfully orbited a Chinese telecommunications satellite, the Russian Federal Space Agency said

 

WORLD

* Georgia's Foreign Ministry is preparing a note of protest over the Russian prime minister's visit to Abkhazia, a senior Georgian diplomat said

* Kiev said on Wednesday that claims by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that Ukraine was responsible for deteriorating relations were aimed at the entire country, rather than President Yushchenko

* Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko confirmed Ukraine's plans to launch its own communications satellite in 2011 despite the current political crisis in the country

* The U.S. State Department said Washington will await a decision from the Thai government before making any further steps in the extradition case against an alleged Russian arms dealer

* A police chief and two police officers were killed when Taliban militants attacked a district police headquarters in the country's northern Kunduz Province, an afghan police spokesman said

* The death toll of Typhoon Morakot has risen to 67 people in Taiwan, with 45 injured and 61 missing, China's Xinhua news agency reported

* The number of people injured following a powerful earthquake, which struck the Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan Tuesday, has risen to 116 with one person dead, according to Japanese media

BUSINESS

* Russia's budget deficit totaled an estimated 923.82 billion rubles ($28.9 billion) or 4.3% of the country's GDP in January-July 2009, the Finance Ministry said

* Moscow's electric producer Mosenergo posted a 350% increase, year-on-year, in its net profit calculated to Russian Accounting Standards in January-June 2009 to 6.38 billion rubles ($198 million)

SPORTS

* A strong Russia side lost 3-2 to Argentina evening despite taking an early lead in an entertaining friendly in Moscow

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