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Main news of May 31

A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours


* Russia has condemned the Israeli raid on a number of ships in neutral waters that were bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip that led to the deaths of at least 10 people, Russia's first deputy ambassador to the UN said

* The UN Security Council must take measures to punish those guilty for the deaths of people when Israel raided a number of ships in neutral waters that were bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said

* The Georgian foreign ministry said Moscow will violate international law by starting direct flights to Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia which Georgia considers its "occupied" territory

* Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of state terrorism following an attack in neutral waters on an international aid convoy to the Gaza Strip.

* The Israeli military has admitted that it intercepted an international aid ship en route to the Gaza Strip in neutral waters in the Mediterranean Sea

* Russian investigators have completed the first stage of investigation into the plane crash in western Russia, in which the Polish president and other top state officials were killed, Russia's chief investigator said

* The Parliamentary Assembly Council of the post-Soviet Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) bloc has given its support to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's initiative to improve the European security structure, the speaker of the Russian lower house of parliament said

* The international community condemned on Monday Israeli aggression against international ships carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, which claimed the lives of more than 10 people

* The Russian Space Systems corporation and the U.S. Trimble Navigation Group have signed an agreement to create a joint satellite navigation venture in Russia, the Russian company has said


* Russia will send two planes with 80 metric tons of humanitarian aid to the ex-Soviet Central Asian republic of Tajikistan, which has suffered from a series of mudslides

* Russia's military transport aviation will be modernized by 2020, a senior Air Force official said


* Russian Trade Minister Viktor Khristenko expressed hope that French companies would participate in the production of the Russian MS-21 medium-haul passenger aircraft

* The Russian economy needs at least two to three years to recover to the level registered in the country before the global financial and economic crisis hit Russia in 2008, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* Turkmenistan started the construction of a pipeline to link its northeastern gas fields with the Caspian region and further with major transnational gas transit systems, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported

* Ukraine will only negotiate energy cooperation projects with other countries on a parity basis, Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko said

* The world economic crisis has boosted money laundering, the head of the Russian Financial Monitoring Service's legal department said

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