* The opposition candidate in the South Ossetian presidential elections, Alla Dzhioyeva, who claims to have won the November 27 runoff vote that was later annulled, said no agreement has been reached with the authorities.
* Russia and the European Union will discuss early in 2012 the possibility of exempting Russian companies from the provisions of the EU Third Energy Package, which requires the separation of energy production, transportation and sales, European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger said.
* Russian Ambassador to Britain Alexander Yakovenko has proposed rewarding British rescuers involved in the operation in the Irish Sea following the sinking of a cargo ship with Russian sailors onboard.
* Belarus has received $2.5 billion from Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom from the sale of the remaining 50 percent stake in the national gas pipeline operator Beltransgaz, the National Bank of Belarus said.
* Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin confirmed on Thursday that he would switch posts with outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev if voters support the pro-Kremlin United Russia party and Putin's candidacy in upcoming elections.
* Despite Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s efforts to fight corruption, its level in Russia remains extremely high, with the country ranking 143rd out of 182 countries in Transparency International's 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index published.