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    Morning re-cap of main news, September 12

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    * The Russian Foreign Ministry said it welcomes an agreement to form a national unity government in the Palestinian National Authority as a step toward Palestinian unity and stabilization

    * Russian Presidential Aide Sergei Prikhodko said:

    - Israel has no claims to Moscow over Russian-made weapons found on Hizbollah gunmen

    - Moscow has no additional or new information about any intensification of nuclear research or production in North Korea

    - He does not rule out the purchase of a blocking stake in the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) by Vneshtorgbank, Russia's state-run foreign trade bank

    * The Russian economics minister said he is optimistic talks with the U.S. on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization will be completed this year, and that the country will accede to the WTO in the first half of 2007

    * Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia's Federal Agency for Nuclear Power said:

    - His agency intended to increase spending on the geological surveying and production of uranium by five times in 2007 and 10 times in 2008

    - A proposal made by the International Atomic Energy Agency to create guaranteed reserves of low-enriched uranium was interesting, but dangerous

    - Nuclear energy must replace the share of natural gas in Russia's energy mix

    * Yury Zhdanov was dismissed as head of the Federal Agency for Special Economic Zones, the government press service said

    * Russia could lose $10 billion in the Sakhalin II oil and gas project if operators continue to increase expenses, Russia's natural resources minister said

    * Russia's energy giant Gazprom said:

    * It is considering its involvement in a project to build a natural gas pipeline from Panama to the Central American countries

    * The heads of Gazprom and Japan's Marubeni Corporation discussed possible cooperation in the production and sales of liquefied natural gas (LNG)

    * The Sevmash shipyard said it was planning to build facilities for a Gazprom liquefied natural gas plant in West Siberia

    * Rosoboronexport, Russia's state arms trader, has bought a 41% stake in titanium giant Vsmpo-Avisma from a consortium of investors, Renaissance Capital Group said

    * Novolipetsk Steel said its net profit calculated to U.S. GAAP accounting standards increased 13%, year-on-year, in the first half of 2006 to $943.8 million

    * Russia's Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision rejecting a motion against a southwest Siberian news agency following a media scandal over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed

    * The Moscow Arbitration Court dropped an $8.5-billion claim for damages from the former core production unit of Yukos, sold at a December 2004 auction to help pay the parent company's massive tax bills

    * The head of Kyrgyzstan's security service tendered his resignation and the president fired his own brother from the post of the service's deputy head after a 'drugs-smuggling' scandal involving an opposition leader last week

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