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Main news of March 25

A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours


* Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said his government was ready to work to repair damage caused to relations with Russia by the previous 'Orange' presidency of Viktor Yushchenko

* The date for the signing ceremony of a new strategic arms pact between Russia and the United States has not yet been set, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said

* Minsk has filed a lawsuit with the post-Soviet bloc economic court against Russia's decision to charge duties on oil supplied to the ex-Soviet republic and refined for re-export, the Belarusian Justice Ministry said


* Russia's Air Force has denied claims by Britain that Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers violated UK airspace on March 10

* Russia has delivered the first batch of Mi-35M Hind E attack helicopters to Brazil, a Russian state arms exporter said

* The chief of the Russian General Staff said Russia would only buy a fully-equipped Mistral-class amphibious assault ship from France

* Two more sports officials have been given the boot in a Kremlin-led purge of officials responsible for Russia's poor performance at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver

* German auto giant Daimler AG is accused of paying some 5.02 million euros ($6.7 million) to Russian officials to accelerate the orders of more cars for government purposes, a respected Russian business daily said


* Russia and Ukraine will discuss a possible reduction in the price that Kiev pays for Russian gas, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* Former KGB-agent turned tycoon Alexander Lebedev has closed a deal to buy Britain's debt-saddled Independent and The Independent on Sunday for the token sum of one British pound, the newspaper's publisher said

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