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Main news of September 16

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WORLD

* Ukraine's bid to sign an association agreement with the European Union would be threatened if former premier Yulia Tymoshenko is sentenced to serve time in prison, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule said

* The Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, has rescheduled the launch of its next manned mission to the International Space Station (ISS)

RUSSIA

* Law enforcement agencies have detained 53 militants and 85 militant accomplices in the Russian North Caucasus republics of Chechnya and Dagestan since the start of the year, the Interior Ministry reported

* An Arkhangelsk regional court ruled that the earlier refused parole petition by ex-Yukos executive Platon Lebedev was legal, and his current appeal was again refused

* Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that new people are required in the government, social sector and economy

* Three crewmembers of the International Space Station (ISS) returned to Earth safely on Friday morning, the Russian Mission Control said

BUSINESS

* Russian oil major Rosneft and U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil will begin seismic surveying of the East Prinovozemelsky Blocks on Russia's Arctic shelf in two years, Rosneft head Eduard Khudainatov said

* Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom and Italy's Eni signed an option agreement, which allows Gazprom to buy half of Italian Eni's 33 percent share in the Elephant oilfield in Libya, Eni said

* Ukraine has filed a bid to buy 27 billion cubic meters of gas in 2012 from Russia's gas giant Gazprom after a 33 bcm bid this year, President Viktor Yanukovych said

DEFENSE

* A joint Russian-Belarusian military exercise started near north Russia's port city of Arkhangelsk

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