* Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin predictably won Sunday’s mayoral election in the Russian capital, but his main rival, opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who came second with an unexpected third of the vote, has demanded a recount, claiming the election was rigged.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
* Low voter turnout at gubernatorial elections across Russia and the mayoral election in Moscow played into the hands of the ruling United Russia party, which has retained its influence in the majority of the regions.
* President Vladimir Putin has nominated his aide and former health minister Tatyana Golikova to head Russia's Audit Chamber. Golikova said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television that she was concerned about wasteful government spending, and that the Audit Chamber should not just oversee budget spending, but also participate in the formation of laws determining budget expenditure.
(Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Izvestia)
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
* The proposed shipbuilding consortium of state-owned oil major Rosneft and Gazprombank may conglomerate all shipbuilding enterprises in Russia’s Far East currently run by the United Shipbuilding Corporation. As a result the emerging company would assume control over the construction of oil rigs and combat and commercial ships, as well as the scrapping of outdated nuclear submarines.
* Shares in Uralkali have jumped more than 8 percent following media reports that the Russian fertilizer giant's biggest shareholder, billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, was close to selling his stake in an apparent move to solve the company’s conflict with neighboring Belarus.
* The management of Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft has agreed to sell 3 percent of the company to private investors by the end of 2014.
* US luxury retailer Neiman Marcus has been bought by two investment funds for $6 billion. Some of the purchase price will go toward paying off some existing Neiman Marcus debt. Texas-based Neiman Marcus, known for decades for its high-end products, includes 41 of its nameplate stores, two Bergdorf Goodman stores in New York City, and 36 outlet centers under the Last Call brand.
* A new concept of the CIS aerospace defense system is expected to be ready by the spring of 2014. According to the concept, the joint aerospace defense system will add a space component to the existing air defense network that will help detect and destroy targets in the airspace of CIS member countries and those in outer space.
* Russia seems to have gained a diplomatic initiative in the Syrian standoff by offering on Monday to persuade Syria to hand over control of its chemical weapons and to have them subsequently destroyed.
* The Russian government has devised guidelines for state policy in the North Caucasus, with a focus on socioeconomic development.
* A Russian diplomat working at Moscow’s embassy in the breakaway republic of Abkhazia, considered by most countries to be part of Georgia, was shot dead Monday in the regional capital Sukhumi. His wife was injured in the attack and is now in hospital. Both the Abkhaz and Russian foreign ministries described the killing as an evident attempt to weaken close ties between Moscow and Abkhazia.
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