14:27 GMT +319 September 2018
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    RUSSIA

    * Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin urged on Wednesday the provision of stable electric power supplies after Russia's electric power monopoly ceases to exist

    * Two explosions have hit a railroad platform in the suburbs of Sukhumi, the capital of Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia, the head of the Abkhazia Railroad said

    * Moscow demands that Tbilisi review its stance on Russian peacekeepers deployed in the Georgian breakaway republic of Abkhazia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said

    *  Russian carrier rocket will orbit on Thursday six U.S. commercial satellites, Russia's Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said

    * The head of Russia's environmental regulator has dramatically reduced the role of his outspoken deputy Oleg Mitvol, known for high-profile campaigns against oil companies, a source in the regulator said

    * Russia's industrial safety regulator Rostekhnadzor said on Wednesday it will start a series of large-scale checks of coal mines in southwest Siberia from next week, following a series of major accidents

    * Russian investigators said they had completed the investigation into the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya and filed formal charges against four suspects

    * A total of 23 workers, who have not been paid for three months, are now on hunger strike at a tungsten production plant in Russia's Far East, a regional trade union official said

    * The upper house of the Russian parliament ratified an intergovernmental agreement with Syria on settling the country's $3.6 billion Soviet-era debt to Russia

    * Russia's embassy to Ukraine denied media reports that Ambassador Viktor Chernomyrdin was about to be dismissed from his post

    * Russia's new Superjet 100 medium-haul passenger jet is set to become the safest plane in the Russian fleet of civilian aircraft, a leading test expert said

    * Russia's Foreign Ministry totally condemned the terrorist attack on the Iraqi capital of Baghdad which left 63 dead and over 70 injured and called for national reconciliation in the country

    WORLD

    * The Israeli leadership has agreed to a ceasefire deal with Gaza-based militant group Hamas, entering into force early on Thursday morning, Kol Israel International radio reported

    * The death toll from a coal mine blast in north China's Shanxi province has risen to 31, and the search for the three miners is continuing, Xinhua news agency reported

    * Georgian police released on Wednesday four Russian peacekeepers detained on Tuesday night allegedly smuggling arms out of breakaway Abkhazia, police said

    * The United States and Lithuania denied reports they were formally discussing deploying elements of the U.S. missile shield in the ex-Soviet Baltic state if talks with Poland failed

    * The European Court of Human Rights has rejected an appeal from Russia to reconsider its decision to award 10,000 euros in compensation to jailed Russian businessman Platon Lebedev over his arrest and detention in 2005

    * The Indonesian Armed Forces will soon receive a delivery of six Russian Mi-35 Hind attack helicopters, the Antara national news said

    * Iran will never leave the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but will continue uranium enrichment despite demands by world powers to suspend its controversial nuclear program, a senior nuclear official said

    * The cost to China's economy from the devastating earthquake which hit southwest China in May could amount to $58-70 billion, a government think tank said in a report

    * Georgia's Interior Ministry denied Abkhazia's accusations that the country has resumed unmanned reconnaissance flights over the breakaway province

    * The expansion of a U.S. military airbase in Kyrgyzstan is expected to top the agenda of a visit by the U.S. assistant secretary for South and Central Asian affairs to the former Soviet republic, Kyrgyz media said

    * NATO and Afghan army units have launched an offensive against Taliban insurgents in the Arghandab district, near Kandahar in the country's south, a source at the Afghan Defense Ministry said

    * The Chinese authorities are evacuating some 110,000 people from the Sichuan province, hit by a powerful earthquake in May, as aftershocks and floods continue to threaten the area, national media reported

    * Moscow's move to waive visa requirements for Latvia's 'non-citizens' harms the naturalization process and puts at risk Russian-EU negotiations, the Latvian Foreign Ministry said 

    *  Kosovo's President Fatmir Sejdiu signed a decree on Wednesday to open embassies in countries that have backed the former Serbian province's independence, according to local media reports

    * The U.S.-proposed European missile shield will eventually spread along Russia's borders and may neutralize Russia's nuclear potential by 2012-2015, a Russian political analyst said  

    BUSINESS

    * Gazprom plans to export over 163 billion cubic meters of natural gas worth an estimated $64 billion to non-CIS countries this year, the Russian gas monopoly said

    * Oil and gas supplies from the Sakhalin II project off Russia's Pacific Coast may start in December 2008, Gazprom's deputy CEO said

    * Dutch gas transportation company Gasunie has joined the Nord Stream project to build a pipeline under the Baltic Sea to pump Russian natural gas directly to Germany, a Gazprom official said

    * Britain's Highland Gold Mining Ltd. will invest $500-550 million to launch a gold deposit in the Chukotka Region in Russia's Far East, the company said

    * Russia's government has gained a controlling stake in the country's largest diamond producer Alrosa [RTS: ALRS] through the purchase of Alrosa's newly issued shares, the diamond firm said

    * Britain's BP is demanding that TNK-BP CEO Robert Dudley be granted powers to dismiss top managers without waiting for approval from the company's board, a spokesman for the Russian shareholder consortium AAR said

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