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Main news of March 12

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* Two PACE co-rapporteurs for Russian-Georgian relations will visit the region in mid-April, a senior Russian lawmaker told RIA Novosti

* NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the West is no threat to Moscow and that Russia's new military doctrine is off target, the Polish Radio Foreign Service reported

* Russia and India signed a host of high-profile deals during Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's working visit to the country

* India could provide Russia a third site for the construction of new nuclear power plants, Russia's nuclear chief said

* Ukraine now has a unique chance to improve the political and economic situation in the country, political heavyweight Sergei Tigipko said explaining his decision to join the government

* The U.S. 2009 Human Rights Report is not objective, and ignores the country's own record, the Russian Foreign Ministry said

* Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday India should lift restrictions on Russian companies implementing Internet and other high-tech projects in India

* Any solution to the Nagorny Karabakh conflict must ensure interim status for the disputed region, France's OSCE Minsk Group co-chair said

* Two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers that carried out a routine patrol mission over the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans were shadowed by four NATO fighters, the Defense Ministry said

* * Israel's plans to build homes for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem are "unacceptable," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a phone conversation with the Arab League secretary general

* Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said adopting a resolution which recognizes the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire was "the wrong way to go"

RUSSIA

* Russia is not developing military cooperation with Pakistan, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* The Russian government has approved a draft agreement on a joint military base in the former Georgian republic of South Ossetia, the Russian Cabinet published on its website

* A Russian deputy prime minister said the country's environmentalists are aiming to "trash" the 2014 Olympics in Russia's Black Sea resort city of Sochi instead of taking "a constructive stance"

BUSINESS

* The development of the East Siberian Udokan copper deposit, one of the largest in the world, will start in 2011, head of Russia's State Technology Corporation (Rostekhnologii) Sergei Chemezov said

* Russia and India have signed a $1.5-billion contract on the supplies of 29 more MiG-29K carrier-based fighter jets to New Delhi, the head of the Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG said

* Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's ex-prime minister and now main opposition figure, has warned President Viktor Yanukovych she will keep up the pressure on the new government, especially over its energy plans

* Russia may set up a free economic zone worth $3 billion in India intended to involve investors from third countries, the deputy chief of Russia's federal property agency said in an interview with a Russian government daily

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