Russia Expects To Liberalise Lng Exports From Jan 1 -minister

Russian IT exports are approaching $5 billion this year, Deputy Minister Mark Shmulevich said in an interview in Moscow. Its a meaningful figure, compared with the countrys arms export of about $15 billion, he said. It shows that Russia has competitive IT products to offer. Russia plans to help its domestic IT companies compete with global technology companies such as Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) , which are expanding in the country, the strategy shows. Search engine Yandex NV (YNDX) and social-networks operator Group Ltd. (MAIL) already dominate the Russian market, beating foreign rivals. Russia has several Internet giants which are mid-sized companies on the global scale, while other market participants are much smaller, Shmulevich said. Thats why for a breakthrough technology startup its often easier to find investors abroad. We plan to change this. The Telecommunications Ministry will support joint projects by Russian scientific institutes and local IT companies to develop technologies such as speech and video-image recognition, robotics, cyber-security and cloud services, the strategy shows. We realize that IT is a global industry, and we dont plan to ban anything foreign, Shmulevich said. Instead, we plan to support domestic companies with state orders for R&D, loans and other market mechanisms to let them develop and gain international success. Besides publicly traded Yandex and, the Ministry names Kaspersky Lab, ABBYY , Dr.Web, 1C and Positive Technologies as examples of Russian IT companies which have gained recognition abroad. To contact the reporter on this story: Ilya Khrennikov in Moscow at To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at

1, and a bill will be submitted to parliament shortly, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday. Novak also said Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) are expected to reach an agreement on gas supplies by the end of this year. President Vladimir Putin said earlier this month that Russia, the world’s biggest energy supplier, would press ahead with opening up LNG exports in a move to meet growing demand from Asia-Pacific markets. “The work as of today has been finalised … It has been coordinated and agreed by all the ministries of the cabinets, and in the near future it is going to be submitted to the State Duma, the parliament of the Russian Federation,” Novak told reporters in a briefing during the World Energy Congress, in South Korea. “We expect the law to take effect since the first of January next year.” Putin has said Russia is keen to expand in the region, where gas demand is driven by China, which expects to consume up to 230 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas by 2015. Removing restrictions on LNG exports would be a big blow to state-controlled Gazprom, which holds a monopoly on Russia’s gas exports. The prospect of an end to that monopoly has injected urgency into its talks to supply China with pipeline gas, which have gone on for more than a decade. Last month, the two sides reached agreement on basic terms for a deal but not on price, which has been an issue for years as China demands a steep discount to prices paid by Western utilities. Asked about a Gazprom deal to supply gas to China, Novak said: “We really expect Gazprom and CNPC to reach agreement by the end of this year.” Russian gas producer Novatek and top oil producer Rosneft have both lobbied for LNG export rights. Rosneft has agreed with ExxonMobil to build an LNG plant in the Russian Far East at an estimated cost of $15 billion.

Russia ‘regret’ over attack on Dutch diplomat

A man looks at a computer screen in Moscow, 16 October

Navalny garnered an unexpected 27 percent of the vote against the Kremlin-backed incumbent. His growing public profile has made it increasingly risky for the Kremlin to put him behind bars. Regardless of his own inability to hold office, Navalny, a charismatic speaker with a popular blog, could still prove a vital political force in Russia. He has vowed to wage an active campaign, even if not a candidate himself, in elections for the Moscow city government in September 2014. His run for Moscow mayor attracted thousands of young volunteers in an unprecedented grassroots campaign effort, and that network could prove a key organizing force in the 2014 race. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, second right, his wife Yulia, and his former colleague Pyo On Wednesday, a judge in the court in Kirov, 760 kilometers (460 miles) east of Moscow, read out the decision. According to current Russian law, even a suspended sentence would eliminate Navalny from political office for life. Navalny lambasted the trial, saying the original sentence had been handed down “on instructions from Moscow” and that the “political motivation of this case is absolutely clear.” The charges against Navalny date back a few years to when he worked as an unpaid adviser to the provincial governor in Kirov. Prosecutors said he was part of a group that in 2009 embezzled 16 million rubles ($500,000) worth of timber from the state-owned company Kirovles. He has denied the charges. The defense said that a company run by Pyotr Ofitserov Navalny’s co-defendant who was also given a suspended sentence of five years as well in the appeal bought the timber for 14 million rubles and sold it for 16 million rubles in a regular commercial deal. Navalny, who spent much of the court session tweeting, was characteristically sarcastic and upbeat. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia react at the end of a hearing in a court After the judge read out the sentence, Navalny told journalists he had no doubts the decision had been made “personally by Vladimir Putin,” and said that “the authorities are doing their utmost to pull me out of the political fight.” The sentence eliminates Navalny for running in any elections in the future, according to a 2012 law that bans anyone with a criminal conviction for serious crimes, even if the sentence is suspended, from political office for life.

Russia: Court decides not to imprison Navalny

The Dutch foreign ministry summoned Russia’s ambassador to explain after the diplomat was attacked in his flat. The incident comes amid rising tensions between the two countries. Last week Russia protested about the arrest of one of its diplomats in the Netherlands, and the Dutch have complained about Russia’s detention of a Dutch-flagged Greenpeace ship. Ironically, 2013 was declared the “Netherlands Russia Year”, with events designed to strengthen bilateral friendships, the BBC’s Anna Holligan reports from The Hague. ‘Regret’ The diplomat, Onno Elderenbosch, was slightly injured in the attack on Tuesday night, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said. Mr Timmermans said he had summoned the Russian ambassador for an explanation. Images of the graffiti on the mirror were shown by Russian media “Our people have to be able to work safely and I want guarantees that the Russian authorities will accept their responsibilities on that point,” he wrote on Facebook. Expressing its regret, Russia’s foreign ministry said police in Moscow were taking every measure to find and apprehend the culprits. Mr Elderenbosch was overpowered by two men posing as electricians who had told him there was no light on his floor and asked if they could check the electricity in his apartment, the Russian tabloid Life News reports. “When the diplomat opened the door, he was hit in the back and he fell, hitting his head on the floor,” it quoted a security source as saying. “The intruders then bound him and turned the apartment upside down.” The attackers also reportedly daubed a heart on a mirror in lipstick with the letters LGBT, an abbreviation for “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender”, a police source told Russia’s Interfax news agency. After the detention of a Greenpeace crew on board a Dutch vessel last month, the Dutch government initiated legal action against Russia. The activists were protesting against plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.

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