Russia 110908 Basic Political Developments

Yak-42 flight recorders may be located in plane's sunken tail - Investigative Committee

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Yak-42 flight recorders may be located in plane's sunken tail - Investigative Committee
MOSCOW. Sept 8 (Interfax) - The flight recorders of the Yak-42 passenger liner which crashed near Yaroslavl on Wednesday, may be located in the tail part of the liner which sank after the crash.

"Information available to the investigators suggests that the flight recorders may be located in the tail part of the plane, which sank after the crash," Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax.

This part of the plane will be lifted soon, he said.


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09:27 08/09/2011ALL NEWS

42 people found dead at Yak-42 crash site

MOSCOW, September 8 (Itar-Tass) —— Another two people were found dead at the crash site of an airplane Yak-42 in the Yaroslavl Region, a source in the information department in the Ministry of Emergency Situations told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

“Forty-two people were found dead,” the source said.

The emergency works at the crash site continue. The rescuers will have to find one more dead person.

The Yak-42 airplane, which was carrying the ice hockey team Lokomotiv to Minsk, crashed two kilometers away from the airport falling into three parts, two of which dropped in a Volga tributary on Wednesday. The airplane caught fire in the crash. Only two people survived from 45 people onboard the airplane.

Poor quality fuel possible cause of Yak-42 crash - aviation source
02:15 08/09/2011
MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti)

Poor quality of aviation fuel could be one of possible reasons for why the Yak-42 plane crashed in Central Russia on Wednesday, killing more than 40 people, a source in the aviation industry said.

"The aircraft failed to gain the required engine takeoff speed and fell from a low height on a Volga riverbank. Refueling the plane with low-quality fuel is seen as a priority reason for the engine malfunction," the source said on the condition of anonymity.

The plane carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team crashed moments after take-off from Yaroslavl airport at 4:00 p.m. Moscow time (noon GMT), bursting into flames as it hit the ground. Witnesses spoke of hearing two "loud bangs" before the accident.

According to the Russian emergencies ministry, the plane had 45 people on board - 37 passengers and eight crew members. Two people - hockey player Alexander Galimov and flight attendant Alexander Sizov - survived the crash and are currently in hospital in critical condition.

The cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder of the ill-fated plane are yet to be recovered.

Russian ice hockey team wiped out in plane crash
00:57 08/09/2011
YAROSLAVL, September 7 (RIA Novosti)

At least 45 people died on Wednesday afternoon when a plane carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team crashed during take-off, emergencies officials said.

Two people survived the crash, investigators said. The cause of the accident has not yet been established.

The Yak-42 plane was carrying the team to Minsk, the Belarusian capital, for the start of the new Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). The side is coached by Canadian Brad McCrimmon, a former Detroit Red Wings assistant and features top players from Germany, Sweden, Slovakia and Czech Republic, as well as Russia.

The plane crashed moments after take-off from Yaroslavl airport at 4:00 p.m. Moscow time (noon GMT), bursting into flames as it hit the ground. Witnesses spoke of hearing two "loud bangs" before the accident.

"Passenger body parts were found in the Volga River, where part of the fuselage fell," a police source said.

President Dmitry Medvedev, who was due to take part in a political forum in Yaroslavl on Thursday, has expressed his condolences to the families of the victims. His press-secretary said Medvedev would visit the site of the crash.

"Deepest condolences to the loved ones of the Yaroslavl air crash victims, and to all Lokomotiv Yaroslavl fans," the Russian president wrote in his English-language Twitter account.

Russia has a poor aviation safety record. Medvedev has promised to take Soviet-era planes out of service from next year. The Yak-42 has been in service since 1980.

One of the survivors was Russian national side player Alexander Galimov. The other was a member of the crew, a club official said. Galimov is reported to have suffered burns on 80% of his body.

Lokomotiv has a number of former NHL stars on the books. The club's entire first team was on board the plane.

As evening fell, club supporters began taking flowers to the side's arena in Yaroslavl.

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, founded in 1949 as the team of the Railways Ministry, is one of Russia’s leading hockey teams and came runner up in the nascent Kontinental Hockey League in 2008 and 2009. In 1997 it took the Russian Superleague title and won back-to-back championships in 2002 and 2003. It was one of the favorites for this year’s Kontinental Hockey League.

The season-opening game between reigning champion Salavat Yulaev and Atlant in the city of Ufa was cancelled as news of the disaster broke.

Wednesday's crash comes 32 years after 17 players from the Soviet football club Pakhtakor were killed as the team was flying to a match, also in Minsk.

No legal basis to dispute Russian-Ukrainian gas deals – Foreign Ministry
Any attempts to call into question gas agreements between Moscow and Kiev are legally unjustified, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in comments on Thursday. “The extremely clear legal framework of the matter does not require any external audit, and should be understood by all those interested in ensuring European energy security,” the ministry said. On Tuesday, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski proposed that the European Commission could carry out an audit of gas agreements between Moscow and Kiev on the grounds that it had advised both parties at the time the gas deals were concluded.






Russian Foreign Ministry comment


Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland Radoslaw Sikorski announced that the Commission could carry out a audit of the Russian-Ukrainian agreements in the gas sector.

In this connection we would like to remind that the relations between "Gazprom" and "Naftogaz" of Ukraine in matters of Russian natural gas supplies to Ukrainian consumers regulated by the contract of purchase and sale of natural gas in 2009-2019 years. Concluded January 19, 2009. Bound by the contract for Kiev confirmed, in particular, the ratification by the Verkhovna Rada of the Agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on April 21, 2010, pursuant to which the Ukrainian side provided with a discount of up to 100 U.S. dollars from the price set is the current contract between JSC " Gazprom "and" Naftogaz "of Ukraine. Under the Agreement of April 21, 2010 bears the signature of the incumbent President of Ukraine.
Any attempt to question referred to the Russian-Ukrainian agreement legally illegitimate.
Very clear legal framework for this issue does not require any "external audit" and should be learned by all who are interested in securing Europe's energy security.
September 8, 2011

Russia threatens to break the 2010 Kharkiv Accords with Ukraine

Phoenix Capital

September 8, 2011

Event: The Russian government will consider breaking the 2010 Kharkiv Accords it signed with its Ukrainian counterparts in the event that the administration of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych attempts to break the 2009 Ukraine-Russia natural gas agreement with a lawsuit, Russian diplomat in Ukraine Aleksei Urin told reporters on Sept. 7. Breaking those agreements will cost Ukraine the $100 per 1,000 cu m discount on natural gas - an alleged savings of $4 bln annually - it achieved in exchange for extending the presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol for a quarter century.

Impact: The comments are negative for Ukrainian politics.

Rationale: Urin's threat to break the 2010 Kharkiv Accords marks the escalation between the Russian and Ukrainian governments into a full-blown conflict, which Ukrainian diplomats and top officials failed to avoid. President Yanukovych was elected in 2010 with the expectation that he'd improve relations with the Russian Federation, the first major step being the 2010 Kharkiv Accords. Now the foundation of the renewed Russian-Ukrainian relations is under threat. Besides having a serious conflict with Russia, Yanukovych is also failing to deliver on assurances of improved relations for his Russian-oriented electorate.

Zenon Zawada

European Commission says it hopes Ukraine-Russia gas problem won't affect EU
Today at 10:29 | Interfax-Ukraine

The European Commission hopes that any conflict over gas supplies between Ukraine and Russia will not affect the European Union and that there is no reason for concern about this, EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said during a briefing on 7 Sept.

He introduced in Brussels a new concept for the energy legislation and energy policy of the EU in the sphere of its cooperation with the third states. When asked about the EU's actions in the case of there being another "gas war" between Moscow and Kyiv, Oettinger said, "We are watching the political relations of these states. I talked to [Russian Energy Minister] Sergei Shmatko in Moscow and [Ukrainian Energy Minister] Yuriy Boiko in Kyiv."

The EU commissioner noted that during the Russia-Ukraine gas crisis in 2008-2009, "many Europeans lived in freezing apartments." At that time, the European Commission did not sit on its hands.

"We introduced an early warning system with Russia, and it works. Russia immediately sends us information if any supply risks appear," Oettinger said.

He also pointed to the European directive on the security of gas supplies for 30 days in case of a crisis. In addition, he said talks on the construction of a pipeline that would link the northern and southern parts of the EU from the Baltic states to Italy were coming to an end. According to him, "within the next three years various solutions will be found to guarantee energy supplies and react to critical situations."

"We'll see how the talks in Kyiv go and how the situation develops. We hope we will avoid conflicts and difficulties.

"We're ready to be a mediator," Oettinger said.

Read more:


Interview by Russian MFA Spokesman Alexander K. Lukashevich RIA "Novosti" in connection with the forthcoming visit to Moscow, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland Erkki Tuomioja


Q: These days, as far as is known in Moscow will be the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland. How would you describe the current state of bilateral relations? What the ministers are going to discuss during the meeting?
Reply: September 9, at the invitation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will pay a working visit by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland Erkki Tuomioja. This is the first meeting between the two Foreign Ministers Erkki Tuomioja after his appointment to head the Foreign Ministry of Finland in June
Russia and Finland linked lasting relations of good neighborliness and close mutual cooperation, which sets the tone for a frank and trustful political dialogue between the leaders of the two countries.
June 18 this year "in the fields» XV International Economic Forum held ninth meeting between Presidents Medvedev and Halonen. Established active dialogue between heads of government who meet two or three times a year. The next meeting at this level held on the 9th August this year in Sochi, where he held talks with Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Finland Kataynenom Yu.
During the current meeting in Moscow, foreign ministers will discuss the state of Russian-Finnish relations and ways of further strengthening bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on important regional and global issues, will identify promising areas of cooperation in international affairs.
Much attention will be given to international issues that will be considered with an emphasis on Russia's relations with the EU, including work on the move towards visa-free travel. This refers also to discuss a number of regional issues including the situation in North Africa and the Middle East.

08 September 2011, 10:01

Medvedev appointed new Russian envoy to OIC
Moscow, September 8, Interfax - Oleg Ozerov has been appointed Russian permanent representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

President Dmitry Medvedev signed a relevant decree that was posted on the Kremlin website.

By another decree Kamil Iskhakov was dismissed from the duties of the envoy.

Presently Ozerov is also the Russian ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Previously he was deputy director of the Foreign Ministry department for the Middle East and North Africa.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference was renamed in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in June 2011. OIC is the biggest and most influential international organization of Islamic states.

September 08, 2011 11:33

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