Russia 101014 Basic Political Developments

Moscow urges Tbilisi to normalize relations with Abkhazia, S.Ossetia

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Moscow urges Tbilisi to normalize relations with Abkhazia, S.Ossetia

Oct 14, 2010 11:19 Moscow Time

Russia has called on Georgia to normalize its relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.“It’s decision time for Tbilisi – further maneuvering makes no sense and offers no prospect,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said in an interview with the Interfax agency.Karasin led the Russian delegation at international talks on stability and security in the Caucasus.A regular, the 13th, round of the talks is beginning in Geneva on Friday.A relative calm on the Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian-South Ossetian borders is the practical result of the Geneva talks Mr. Karasin said.Tensions in the region mounted sharply after Georgian troops stormed Tskhinval in August 2008, killing Russian peacekeepers and civilians and prompting Russia to interfere to force the aggressor to accept peace.
FTA session launches with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan
Thursday, October 14, 2010, 15:00 (GMT + 9)

This week saw the beginning of the first working session of the research team to shore up a free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and a customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The deal will result in mass economic, trade, services and investment benefits for all the countries involved.

Taking place in Hanoi, the session followed 10 months of researching efforts and bred a document on upcoming assignments for the team and a draft platform to examine the FTA’s influence on the countries, according to Dang Hoang Hai, leader of the Vietnamese team.

The visiting customs union research team was headed by EE Mairova, vice director general of the Department for Trade Negotiations under Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development, and joined by economic officials of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, commented Hai, who is director general of the Europe Market under Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, reports VietNamNet/SGT.

“They are not yet FTA negotiations but (such documents are) important to do the next steps to hasten the progress,” Hai explained.

The next discussion ought to begin next December in Moscow. The FTA negotiations start only once an agreement is reached between the countries’ leaders, he added.

Hai noted that he does not know which sectors would be talked about, as progress remains limited to the feasibility study. Still, it is expected that the FTA negotiations will entail discussions on tariff barriers, services and investment and intellectual property. 

This potential FTA would be the first for Russia, Hai said.

“Russia has decided to start its first-ever FTA with Vietnam because the South East Asian country is its strategic partner. In addition, Russia wants to increase its presence in Asia as well as Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),” he told.

The FTA may bolster trade between the pertinent countries. Vietnam, for instance, can boost its exports of farm products, seafood and garments to Russia, while Russia can stimulate its exports of fertilizers, gas, nuclear energy, vehicles and heavy industry products.

When Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung visited Russia last December, the two countries’ leaders agreed to start feasibility studies for the FTA between Vietnam and the customs union.

The two-way trade between Vietnam and Russia is expected to obtain almost USD 3 billion in 2010 and eventually reach USD 10 billion.

Vietnam thus far has signed some FTAs, including membership in the ASEAN FTA plus agreements between ASEAN and China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Further, the export revenue of some key exports to the Republic of Korea (ROK) has recently jumped, as Vietnamese enterprises have reaped the full benefits of the FTA between ASEAN and Korea.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien believes the two-way trade revenue between Vietnam and South Korea will reach USD 10 billion this year and USD 15 billion by 2015.

By Natalia Real

Trade beween Russia and Ukraine to double

Oct 14, 2010 02:42 Moscow Time

Trade turnover between Russia and Ukraine this year will be doubled compared to last year and will reach $ 50 billion. This forecast was made First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Klyuev at a meeting with First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov in Kiev. During the meeting the sides discussed the preparations for the upcoming October 27th gathering of the Ukrainian-Russian committee for economic cooperation. In particular, it addressed issues of bilateral cooperation in nuclear energy, aviation, the space industry, shipbuilding and transport.

Russia and Ukraine team up to produce helicopter engines
Today at 09:40 | Interfax-Ukraine

The manufacturing of the modernized helicopter engines TV3-117VMA-SBM1V developed by the Zaporizhia Engine Design Bureau in Ukraine should be launched at the Russian Defense Ministry's 218th Aircraft Repair Plant near Gatchina, the Leningrad region, Anatoly Sitnov, the chairman of the board of the Russian-Ukrainian joint venture Vladimir Klimov-Motor Sich, told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday.

"A decision has been made to launch the serial production of the TV3-117VMA-SBM1V helicopter engines on the basis of the 218th Aircraft Repair Plant. Preparations for government tests of this engine are under way at this plant now, and they should be completed by the end of this year," Sitnov said.

The 218th Aircraft Repair Plant incorporates two plants and has quite significant production resources. "In addition, there is no shortage in qualified workers and engineers near St. Petersburg," he said.

The 218th Aircraft Repair Plant is capable of producing as many helicopter engines as the Russian Defense Ministry would need, he said.

The TV3-117VMA-SBM1V is a turbo-shaft free-turbine engine comprised of a single-shaft gas generator with an axial turbine compressor, an annular combustion chamber and a free axial turbine.

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Russian-Ukrainian talks on Ukraina cruiser proceeding constructively
Today at 09:26 | Interfax-Ukraine

Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine on selling the cruiser the Ukraina are going in a constructive manner, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

"Very constructive and substantive negotiations are proceeding now at the level of special government institutions, and the issue is fully within their competencies," Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Voloshyn told Interfax-Ukraine on Wednesday.

Ukraine and Russia are determined to complete the negotiations as soon as possible, and the price issue is far from being a key factor, he said.

"We regret that some media outlets wrongly interpreted the Foreign Ministry's relevant commentary of October 12," Voloshyn said.

A number of media outlets had reported earlier, citing the Foreign Ministry, that the price was a stumbling block in the negotiations.

The construction of the Ukraina missile cruiser (formerly, the Admiral Flota Lobov, renamed in 1998) was launched at the 61 Communards Shipyard in Mykolaiv in 1984 under a contract with the Soviet Navy and was to become the fourth warship of Project 1164, known as Atlant.

The cruiser was set afloat in 1990, but its construction was suspended due to a lack of funding in 1996. The cruiser was to join the Ukrainian navy in 2000 or 2001, but a later decision was that the national navy did not need a warship of this class. The ship's maintenance, which was earlier said to cost about UAH five million a year, is currently funded by its manufacturer.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said following negotiations with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in May 2010 that Russia would complete the Ukraina cruiser, which is 95% finished but which Ukraine is unable to complete on its own.

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Russia allocates $1 mln for Kyrgyz children
14.10.2010 13:10

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 14 / Trend E. Ostapenko /

The Russian government decided to provide the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) with $1 million to help Kyrgyz children, the organization said.

"This step is a confirmation of the very active participation of Russia, as a donor country, in solving global problems, in particular, related to assistance for children in difficult situation, " UNICEF representation in Russia said.

At present, more than half a million children need assistance in Kyrgyzstan, which suffered the outbreak of ethnic violence, the UN said.

UNICEF makes every effort to provide children with clean drinking water, food, tents, blankets, warm clothing, as well as organizes temporary schools for children to continue their education. The UN Children's Fund collected only half of the necessary funds for these purposes.

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