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    Main news of October 16

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    RUSSIA

    * The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has asked the Moscow City Court to release a senior drugs official accused of abuse of office, business daily Kommersant said

    * Rescuers have found a fifth body believed to be from a Mi-2 helicopter which crashed into the sea two days ago near the western coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East

    * Military prosecutors of the North Caucasus military district have denied Georgian TV reports that a deputy commander of the Russian peacekeeping force in the breakaway province of Abkhazia was detained

    * Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believed Washington could change its plans to deploy missile defense elements in Central Europe

    * Police in the Urals launched administrative proceedings against a father whose son accidentally shot another boy, local prosecutors said

    * Nine people were killed in a road accident near Kazan, the capital of Russia's Tatarstan republic, local emergencies service said

    * Vladimir Bukovsky, a former Soviet dissident now living in Britain, who plans to run for the presidency in Russia, will arrive in the country on Tuesday after a 15-year absence

    * The tradition of bride kidnapping, outlawed in the 19th century, has seen a surge in Daghestan, a republic in Russia's troubled North Caucasus, the local interior ministry said

    * Rescuers in India are searching the Himalayas for three Russians who went missing in the world's highest mountain range at a height of 5 kilometers  above sea level

    * Boris Yeltsin's family is opposed to plans to build an abstract sculpture in Moscow dedicated to the late president, the Yeltsin Foundation said on its Web site

    * Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will arrive in Tokyo on October 23 on a two-day official visit, his ministry announced

    * Russia will complete the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran, President Vladimir Putin said

    * The board of Russia's largest gold producer Polyus Gold elected metals tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov as its new chairman, the company said

    * Russia may resume imports of wine from Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia by the end of the year, Russia's chief sanitary doctor said

    WORLD

    * A second summit of Caspian nations was held in Tehran

    * The five Caspian Sea littoral states adopted a declaration at their second summit in Tehran, pledging to deny access to third countries who intend to use force against any Caspian state

    * The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is key to international stability and security, participants in a summit of Caspian nations said in their joint declaration

    * Russian President Vladimir Putin told the Caspian summit in Tehran that the bulk of the Caspian Sea should be left for the common use of its five littoral states

    * The presidents of Russia and Iran called for a timetabled withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq, in a joint statement following bilateral talks in Tehran

    * Russia will complete Iran's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr on schedule, the countries' presidents said in a statement, while pledging commitment to the non-proliferation regime

    * Indian Defense Minister arrives in Moscow to attend a session of a Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation, the Indian Defense Ministry said

    * The EU's foreign policy chief will meet with Iran's top nuclear negotiator next week, two months after Iran reached an agreement with the UN nuclear watchdog, the local IRNA news agency said

    * Iran hopes to resolve the issue of its controversial nuclear program in the nearest future, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said

    * The death toll following Saturday's gas explosion in Dnepropetrovsk in south-central Ukraine has risen to 17, including 5 children, rescuers said

    * The Japanese government has decided to reduce financial aid to Myanmar following a crackdown by the ruling military junta on pro-democracy protestors, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said

    * German Minister of Economics and Technology Michael Glos will visit Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan for talks on October 16-19, a ministry spokesperson said

    * Abkhazia demands that Tbilisi withdraw its troops from the breakaway Georgian region's border, a spokesman for the Abkhazian president said

    * Turkey is certain to launch a military campaign in northern Iraq to repel frequent attacks of Kurdish separatists, Russian experts said

    * A resolution passed by a U.S. House committee last week classing the 1915 massacre of Armenians as genocide will harm relations with Turkey, the country's premier said

    * The Belarusian energy minister said that the country would receive 21.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia in 2008

    * Albert II, Prince of Monaco, could join an international expedition to the North Pole on board a Russian airship next spring, a Russian lawmaker said

    * Georgia is planning to reduce the number of its peacekeepers in Iraq from 2,000 to 500 troops in 2008, while enlarging its contingent in Afghanistan, a deputy defense minister said

    * Serbia's prime minister accused the United States of doing everything in its power to stop Kosovo Albanians from accepting a compromise on the breakaway province's status

    * Libya, Vietnam, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica and Croatia were elected non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council for 2008-2009, the UN General Assembly said


    BUSINESS

    * Germany's E.ON and Russia's Unified Energy System signed a document to finalize the German power utility's acquisition of shares in Russian wholesale power generator OGK-4, UES said

    * Fitch has assigned a BBB- rating to Russian energy giant Gazprom's upcoming $30 bln Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) program, the international rating agency said

    * Russia's state-run foreign trade bank VTB said it had signed an agreement with Japanese banks on a $175 mln loan to finance the construction of a new international airport terminal in Moscow

    * Russia's state-controlled crude producer Rosneft said  its US GAAP net profit increased 20.9% year-on-year in January-June, to $2.35 billion

    * The supervisory board of Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, said it had recommended ex-economics minister German Gref as the state-controlled saving bank's president

    * The board of Russia's largest gold producer Polyus Gold elected metals tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov as its new chairman, the company said

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