The Federation Council approved the US adoption ban on Wednesday. The human rights council criticized Russia’s retaliation for the US Magnitsky Act “for punishing the innocent and promoting corruption.” However, Russian legislators plan to ban adoptions for all foreigners, not just US citizens during their spring session.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, Izvestia)
The 2011-2012 electoral cycle ended not only in reshuffle, but also in reorganization of major state bodies. The reforms, however, are due to continue next year.
Thousands of people who attended protests against the results of the State Duma and presidential elections are reluctant to take part in more protests. Opposition leaders say they have to search for new approaches to protests, while their opponents advise a review of the political agenda.
(Kommersant, Moskovskie Novosti)
The opposition coalition's victory in Georgia has not led to a significant improvement in ties with Russia.
Poor harvests and low international fuel prices, along with negative global economic tendencies, have slowed Russia’s economic growth this year. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev held a government session on Wednesday to discuss how to boost Russia’s economic growth.
In its 2012 report the World Bank called 2012 the peak development year for Russia’s current economic model. This, however, went largely unnoticed in Russia as the country prepared for an anticipated global economic downturn.
After Russia joined the WTO, imports grew significantly, with imports of some goods increasing 10-33 percent.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
OIL & GAS
Novatek is keen to become an independent exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Yamal, while Gazprom opposes the move. The decision is up to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A new oil brand, VSTO, may appear in Russia along with the traditional Urals brand.
VEHICLES & ENGINEERING
The family of a Bentley owner, who died in a car crash, is seeking record compensation of 60 million rubles ($2 million) from the dealer for failed airbags.
The world’s longest high-speed railway link opened in China this week. The 2,298 railroad cuts travel time from 22 hours to eight.
Moscow real estate market grew six percent in rubles and nine percent in US dollars. Companies say the market has stagnated, and attribute growth to inflation
TELECOMS & IT
The Russian authorities are searching for ways to improve the internet blacklist system as sites not containing banned information are quite often being blocked.
The Vnukovo airport near Moscow won 286 million rubles in compensation for losses inflicted by the bankruptcy of the Airunion alliance of air carriers.
A car driver refused to give way and shot at an ambulance vehicle in southern Moscow.
Sonali Mukherjee, a 27-year-old acid attack victim won India's version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." The woman, who became disfigured, blind and partially deaf plans to spend the money for plastic surgery and eye operations.
Greenpeace says there is a 40-percent chance that devastating forest fires, like those seen in summer 2010, will recur in Russia in 2013.
(Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Izvestia)
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