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04/21 14:10   Moscow urges int'l community to unite efforts in combating int'l terror in wake of Sri Lanka blasts (Part 2)
 
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Interfax.com  |  Interfax news  |  Daily Headline News for March 5, 2019


News headlines


March 05, 2019 19:05

Daily Headline News for March 5, 2019

Digest of headline news as of 7:05 p.m. Moscow time on March 5:

BUSINESS & FINANCE

*** MOSCOW INTERESTED IN FOREIGN INVESTMENTS, TO SEEK TO PROVIDE COMFORTABLE CONDITIONS FOR FOREIGN PARTNERS - PESKOV

Russia will continue to do all it can to draw foreign investment in its economy and provide comfortable conditions for foreign businesses, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said when asked whether U.S. investor Michael Calvey's prosecution would have an impact on the investment climate in Russia.

"I can reiterate that the Russian president is doing and is continuing to do very much for the investment climate in Russia to be comfortable to foreign investors," Peskov said.

Russia "is interested in foreign investments and will continue to work with foreign partners and investors so that they feel comfortable and advantageous here," he said.

*** RUSSIA INTERESTED IN USING RUSSIAN RUBLES IN SETTLEMENTS WITH BELARUS - PESKOV

Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said he knows nothing about Belarus's proposal that the two countries should use only Russian rubles in their mutual trade.

"Honestly, this is the first time I've heard about this. I don't have any such information," Peskov said when asked by journalists on Tuesday to comment on Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko's remark that he had recently invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to fully switch to using Russian rubles in settlements between the two countries but Russia declined the proposal.

On the contrary, "in our trade-economic relations with our closest partners, among them Belarus, [we are] interested in switching to settlements based on national currencies, including, of course, primarily based on the Russian ruble," he said.

*** ANTI-RUSSIAN SANCTIONS HAVE 'ZERO EFFECT', NO ONE BENEFITS FROM THEM - MEDVEDEV

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says he sees no enthusiasm among European Union states regarding anti-Russian sanctions: no one benefits from these sanctions, and their "corrective effect" is zero.

"What was the principle objective of the sanctions? To undermine our economy. The attempt has failed, as you can see. Today, the sanctions only impede relations with European partners, to say nothing about the losses incurred by everyone," Medvedev said in an interview with the newspaper Luxemburger Wort ahead of his visit to Luxembourg.

Russia imposed sanctions in response, but "we are ready to lift our sanctions as soon as the other side takes the first step," he said.

*** RUSSIA READY TO CONTINUE GAS TRANSIT VIA UKRAINE AFTER 2019 UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS - MEDVEDEV

Russia will continue gas transit through Ukraine after 2019 if certain conditions are fulfilled, and the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 and the TurkStream projects does not stand in the way of this transit, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

"I would like to specially emphasize that we are not terminating transit through existing pipelines. Neither the Nord Stream 2 nor the TurkStream projects include such decisions - neither in relation to Ukraine, nor to other countries," Medvedev said in an interview with the newspaper Luxemburger Wort ahead of his visit to Luxembourg.

"In particular, we are ready to continue the transit of gas through the Ukrainian GTS after 2019 - under certain conditions, of course. We have laid them out more than once. In short, they include a settlement between stakeholder companies, favorable economic and commercial terms in contracts, and a stable political environment," he said.

*** NORD STREAM 2 TO BE ADDITIONAL, NOT ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORT CORRIDOR FOR SUPPLY OF RUSSIAN GAS TO EUROPE - MEDVEDEV

The Nord Stream 2 project will mitigate transit risks to the supply of Russian gas to Europe: this is an additional transport corridor, not an alternative, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

"We value our reputation as a reliable partner. And we want to be sure that we can continue to fulfill our obligations in full. So we are creating an additional transport corridor for the supply of our gas. Please note that I am saying additional, not alternative," Medvedev told the newspaper Luxemburger Wort ahead of his visit to Luxembourg.

Speaking of Russia's motives, Medvedev said, "First, economic feasibility: indeed, in commercial terms, Nord Stream is a very interesting project, for all of its participants. Secondly, it will reduce transit risks."

*** NOVATEK, TOTAL SIGN SALE AGREEMENT FOR 10% ARCTIC LNG 2 STAKE

Novatek and France's Total have signed a Sales and Purchase Agreement in relation to the sale of a 10% stake in the Arctic LNG 2 project, Novatek said in a press release.

The parties signed a binding agreement on the terns for joining the project at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in May 2018. The transaction will be closed by the end of first quarter 2019.

The Arctic LNG 2 project has made significant development progress since May 2018, Novatek said. Front-end engineering and design (FEED) work has been completed in October confirming the preliminary cost estimates between $20 billion and $21 billion. Moreover, additional exploration drilling confirmed significant reserve growth at the Project's Utrenneye field, and accordingly, the Russian State Reserves Commission subsequently increased the field's natural gas reserves to approximately 2 trillion cubic meters under the Russian reserves classification.

*** NOVATEK, TOTAL OFFER TO BUILD FLOATING LNG TERMINAL, POWER SUPPLY FOR VIETNAM IN 2023-2024

Novatek, in conjunction with Total, Siemens and A&A plans to carry out an integrated project in Vietnam to supply liquefied natural gas, build a floating terminal to import LNG and capacity to generate electricity for the Vietnamese market at the port of Ca Na in the Ninh Thuan Province, a source with knowledge of the outcome of a meeting of the Russian-Vietnamese intergovernmental commission at the end of last year told Interfax.

Russia suggested that Vietnam include the integrated project with completion in 2023-2024 in the current version of the national plan to develop the power sector.

*** RUSSIA ASKS VIETNAM TO CONSIDER NON-DISCRIMINATORY TAXATION FOR ROSNEFT

The Russian side has asked Vietnam to consider instituting non-discriminatory taxation for Rosneft Pipelines Vietnam B.V. and applying legislative norms concerning income tax, a source informed about what took place at the meeting of the intergovernmental commission at the end of last year told Interfax.

The Russian side also asked Vietnam to help Rosneft settle disputes with Vietnamese tax bodies concerning a deal to purchase assets and promptly amend licensing documents in cases including the restructuring of ownership of Vietnamese assets.

It is also proposed that the Vietnamese side provide support to Rosneft in the extension of the validity of a production-sharing agreement if Block 06.1 is judged to be promising following exploratory drilling in 2019-2020.

*** LUKOIL TO SUPPLY UP TO 5 BCM OF KANDYM GAS FROM UZBEKISTAN AT 12.5% BELOW EXPORT NETBACK

Lukoil has agreed to supply up to 5 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Kandym project in Uzbekistan to the domestic market at a 12.5% discount compared with to the export netback price, Azat Shamsuarov, senior vice president, oil and gas production, said on a conference call.

According to the terms of the Kamdym production sharing agreement (PSA), it was envisaged that all gas would be exported.

*** RUSSIAN GOVT APPROVES SALE OF UP TO 35% MINUS 1 SHARE IN GEFCO IN IPO

The Russian government has agreed to the sale during an initial public offering of at least 25% plus one share but not more than 35% minus one share in French logistics company GEFCO.

According to an instruction dated February 28 and posted on the legal information website, the Cabinet agreed to the relevant proposal by the Russian Economic Development Ministry, cleared with the Russian Transport Ministry and Russian Railways (RZD), which owns 75% of GEFCO.

*** MIRATORG BEGINS EXPORTING POULTRY MEAT TO CHINA

The Miratorg Agricultural and Industrial Holding has become the first Russian company to export poultry meat to China, the company said.

"Exports are a priority area for the company, since the enterprise's capacities allow it to meet the demand of the domestic market and deliver competitive products to foreign markets. Miratorg sees fantastic opportunities for the expansion of its business in China. This is doubtlessly important for the development of our countries' trade-economic relations," the company said.

*** RUSSIA, BULGARIA SIGN JOINT PROGRAM TO PROMOTE TOURISM

Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin and Bulgarian Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova have signed a joint program to promote tourism in 2019-2021, the press service of the Russian Economic Development Ministry said in a statement.

"The sides have formalized their intention to increase mutual tourist arrivals, to implement joint investment projects and innovations in the field of tourism, to ensure rights and security of tourists, and to promote relations between regional tourism organizations and other tourism entities of both countries," the statement said.

POLITICS & SOCIETY

*** PUTIN, S. OSSETIAN PRESIDENT TO DISCUSS INCREASING BILATERAL INTERACTION ON WED

Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with South Ossetian President Anatoly Bibilov, who is to pay a working visit to Russia, in Moscow on Wednesday, March 6, the Kremlin press service said.

"The parties are to discuss the current state and the prospects of a further increase of bilateral interaction, primarily in the socio-economic sector," the press service said.

*** MOSCOW INTERESTED IN FOREIGN INVESTMENTS, TO SEEK TO PROVIDE COMFORTABLE CONDITIONS FOR FOREIGN PARTNERS - PESKOV

Russia will continue to do all it can to draw foreign investment in its economy and provide comfortable conditions for foreign businesses, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said when asked whether U.S. investor Michael Calvey's prosecution would have an impact on the investment climate in Russia.

"I can reiterate that the Russian president is doing and is continuing to do very much for the investment climate in Russia to be comfortable to foreign investors," Peskov said.

Russia "is interested in foreign investments and will continue to work with foreign partners and investors so that they feel comfortable and advantageous here," he said.

*** FORMAT, COMPOSITION OF WORKING GROUP FOR FOREIGN FORCES' WITHDRAWAL FROM SYRIA TO BE WORKED OUT - PESKOV

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed different issues dealing with steps to normalize the situation in Syria, including sensitive problems, at their recent meeting, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

When asked by journalists to comment on the potential lineup of a working group to be set up under an agreement reached at that meeting to tackle a range of issues, including the withdrawal of foreign forces from Syria, Peskov said: "It is still too early to say what formats it will have and what its composition will be. They will be worked out."

Indeed, at their talks Putin and Netanyahu "discussed various formats of interaction between Russia and Israel as part of efforts to further stabilize and normalize the situation in Syria and around it, including issues that are sensitive for all sides concerned," he said.

*** CONSTITUTIONAL COMMITTEE'S LAUNCH TOPPED AGENDA OF LAVROV-HARIRI TALKS, IDLIB SITUATION ALSO MENTIONED - RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Nasr al-Hariri, the head of the Syrian opposition's Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC), have discussed the establishment of the Syrian constitutional committee and the situation in Idlib, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said in a statement.

"Emphasis was put on the importance of the establishment and launch of the constitutional committee within the nearest future," the ministry said following Lavrov's visit to Riyadh.

"They touched upon the situation taking shape in northeastern Syria and the Idlib de-escalation area, with emphasis on the final liquidation of terrorist hotbeds in Syria and the provision of the country's unity, territorial integrity, and sovereignty," it said.

*** LAVROV DIDN'T DISCUSS KHASHOGGI'S DEATH WITH SAUDI KING - RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov did not discuss the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia at their meeting in Riyadh on Tuesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov said.

"No," Bogdanov said in reply to a relevant question from journalists on Tuesday.

Lavrov and King Salman discussed all aspects of bilateral relations, the crisis in Syria and Yemen, he said. "This was a very good conversation. It was substantive and very positive in its spirit," Bogdanov said.

*** MOSCOW URGES LONDON TO PUBLISH RESULTS OF INQUIRY INTO SKRIPAL CASE

The British authorities should publish results of the inquiry into the poisoning of former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, the press secretary of the Russian embassy in London said in his reply to a media question on Monday.

"Once again, we urge the British authorities to honestly tell the public what exactly happened in Salisbury a year ago and to immediately publish official, although intermediate results of the investigative procedures," the press secretary said.

The embassy "has paid attention to the recent reports published by the British media on the occasion of the Salisbury incident's anniversary that allegedly contain 'new sensational details of the incident'," he said.

*** RUSSIAN, JAPANESE DIPLOMATS DISCUSS PREPARATIONS FOR BILATERAL POLITICAL CONTACTS

The Russian and Japanese deputy foreign ministers have discussed prospects for development of bilateral relations and the schedule of political contacts in Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.

"On March 5, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov had a conversation with Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Takeo Mori," the statement said.

"The parties discussed issues dealing with the current state and development prospects of Russian-Japanese relations, including preparations for bilateral political contacts scheduled for this year," it said.

*** MOSCOW NOT TO LEAVE CZECH REP.'S DECISION TO DENY ENTRY TO RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT UNANSWERED - FOREIGN MINISTRY

The Russian embassy to the Czech Republic has made a representation to the Czech Foreign Ministry over the denial of entry to a Russian diplomat, the embassy has said in a statement.

"The embassy has made a representation to the Czech deputy foreign minister and the director of the Czech Foreign Ministry's territorial department in charge. We pointed out that such actions are unfriendly, do not coincide with the nature of Russian-Czech relations, and will not be left unanswered," a spokesperson for the Russian embassy to the Czech Republic wrote on Facebook.

*** RUSSIA WANTS TO PRESERVE COUNCIL OF EUROPE, RESOLVE ITS CRISIS - VOLODIN

Russia wants to preserve such an international platform as the Council of Europe, according to State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.

"All of us are interested in preserving the Council of Europe," Volodin said in his opening remarks at a meeting of the Russian-Italian Inter-Parliamentary Commission in the State Duma on Tuesday.

He highlighted the situation created by Russia's non-participation in the activity of the Parliamentary Assembly, a key body of the Council of Europe. Obviously, "the Council of Europe is going through a crisis," Volodin said.

*** BELARUS COMMITTED TO BUILDING UNION STATE WITH RUSSIA BUT ON EQUAL TERMS - LUKASHENKO

Belarus is committed to building a Union State with Russia but only on equal terms, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.

"Belarus is absolutely committed to the Union State idea. I would like this statement to be heard by our supporters and opponents within the Russian Federation, above all. However, the main principle of this project is equal conditions for our citizens and economic agents. The Union is impossible on other terms. The principle of equal conditions must be strictly complied with. The sovereignty postulate is also unwavering for Belarus," the state-run news agency BelTA quoted Lukashenko as saying on Tuesday at a conference on the participation in integration unions and cooperation with European organizations which took place in Minsk.

Lukashenko explained why Russia keeps proposing a merger or an unclear process of shifting to the common ruble in its relations with Belarus.

"They understand that we cannot accept that at all. And it is okay if we can't and we won't. The thing is they do not want the integration to happen. So they should not blame us for anything," the state-run news agency BelTA quoted Lukashenko as saying.

*** MOSCOW IRRITATED BY PROGRESS IN BELARUS-WEST DIALOGUE - LUKASHENKO

There should be a balance between the western and eastern vectors of Belarus' foreign policy, but Moscow is so far irritated by progress made in the dialogue between Belarus and the West, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said.

"Belarus must benefit from its unique location on the junction of the EAEU and the EU. Ideally, there should be a balance between the western and eastern vectors of Belarus's policy," the state-run news agency BelTA quoted Lukashenko as saying at a conference on the participation in integration unions and cooperation with European organizations, which took place in Minsk on Tuesday.

*** MARSHAL HAFTAR'S SPOKESMAN DENIES REPORTS OF RUSSIAN MERCENARIES' PARTICIPATION IN LIBYAN NATIONAL ARMY'S OPERATIONS

Reports of the involvement of fighters from a Russian private military company in operations of the Libyan National Army commanded by Marshal Khalifa Haftar are not true, the army's spokesperson said.

"[This is] fake news spread by The Telegraph and The Times. We dare you prove your claim," the spokesperson for the Libyan National Army said in a statement seen by Interfax on Tuesday.

The British media said earlier, citing sources, that hundreds of Russian mercenaries are fighting alongside Haftar's army in Libya and supplying arms to the Libyan National Army.

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(Our editorial staff can be reached at eng.editors@interfax.ru)

/Interfax/
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