*Russia and Syria have signed a $550-million contract on the delivery of 36 Yakovlev Yak-130 Mitten combat trainer, the Kommersant daily quoted a source close to Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport as saying.
*The Russian Central Election Commission will most likely exclude veteran liberal Grigory Yavlinsky and Irkutsk Governor Dmitry Mezentsev from the presidential race once the check of their collected signatures is completed, the Kommersant business daily newspaper said.
*The “main demand” at the planned opposition rally in Moscow on February 4 must be the registration of Russian liberal leader Grigory Yavlinsky as a presidential candidate, Vladimir Milov, an opposition leader, said.
*Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko topped the list of the 100 most influential women in Russia, compiled jointly by RIA Novosti, Ekho Moskvy radio station, Interfax news agency and Ogonyok weekly.
*The Russian businessman who founded major supermarket chains Pyaterochka and Karusel in Russia plans to open discount stores in the United States with annual revenues of $1 billion, business paper RBC Daily reported.