Russian interior minister’s resignation retracted

4 March 2015 - 6:57pm

The press service of the Russian Interior Ministry has retracted information about Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev’s alleged plans to resign. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Spokesman Dmitry Peskov neither confirmed nor denied the resignation rumours. He added that Kolokoltsev’s progress in 2014 had been given a positive evaluation, Interfax reports.

Reconstruction of Baku Passenger Railway Station begins

4 March 2015 - 6:24pm

The reconstruction of the Baku Passenger Railway Station has began. The building of the station will meet the highest standards, its façade will be changed, preserving its distinctive features. Ticket offices, luggage lockers and platforms will be modernized, new escalators will be built, reports.

Russian interior minister plans to resign

4 March 2015 - 6:15pm

Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev plans to declare his resignation at a session of the extended board of the ministry, which will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, reports. The exact date of the session has not been chosen, it is expected in March. Kolokoltsev will stay in office for two weeks after declaring his resignation. 

About 50 hotels lose stars in Sochi

4 March 2015 - 5:50pm

A special commission has revealed 48 hotels receiving guests without validating their qualifications. The hotels will need to pass the rating procedure again, TASS reports. The stars were withdrawn after monitoring conducted by the Ministry for Resorts and Tourism of Krasnodar Territory, the department of the Olympic heritage, the Krasnodar directorate of the Russian Consumer Surveillance Service, the Sochi administration and accredited organizations. As of early February, 983 Sochi hotels and pensions received certificates. 417 of them were mini hotels. 

IMF wants Georgia to raise taxes and make budget cuts

4 March 2015 - 5:42pm

Mark Griffiths, the head of the IMF mission, said that Georgia needed to raise taxes, cut the budget and conduct structural reforms in order to stabilize the economy, News Georgia reports.Griffiths believes that the National Bank of Georgia is going in the right direction, adding that political assaults on the institution were inappropriate at the moment.

Russia and Kazakhstan to play football match at Arena-Khimki on March 31

4 March 2015 - 5:23pm

The Russian and Kazakhstani national football teams will play a match at the Arena-Khimki Stadium on Moscow's outskirts at 8.00pm on March 31. The Russian team is ranked third in Group G of the Euro-2016 qualification, it has gained 5 points in four matches, TASS reports. The Austrian team leads Group G with 10 points, followed by the Swedish team with 6 points. The Russian team will have its first match within the framework of Euro 2016 in Podgorica on March 27, playing against the team of Montenegro.

Chechen leader calls drug addiction as dangerous as terrorism

4 March 2015 - 5:12pm

Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov said at a meeting with heads of self-governance institutions, law enforcers and clerics at the A.Kh. Kadyrov Heart of Chechnya Mosque that drug addiction was as dangerous as terrorism, the Chechen government reports.Kadyrov noted that people taking drugs or psychotropic substances were losing understanding of good and evil, permissible and prohibited, ethical and immoral.

Georgian opposition leader doubts NATO membership will ever be granted

4 March 2015 - 5:06pm

Nino Burjanadze, an ex-speaker of the Georgian parliament and leader of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia, considers talk about Georgia’s membership of NATO to be a provocation. She believes that the country has no chances of joining the Alliance, News Georgia reports.The politician described colleagues speaking about joining the organization as provocateurs and liars trying to earn respect from Western partners.

Three dead in shooting in Nubarashen District of Yerevan

4 March 2015 - 4:54pm

Several people were seen shooting from automatic weapons in the Nubarashen District of Yerevan today. Three people died at the crime scene, two died in hospital later, Trend reports.

Olga Rostropovich thanks Azerbaijani president and his wife

4 March 2015 - 4:33pm

Baku will host the 7th International Mstislav Rostropovich Festival on May 18-24. Olga Rostropovich, the art director and president of the Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation, told Vestnik Kavkaza that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation were actively assisting in organizing the festival. Olga Rostropovich thanked them for their support and respect towards her father. 

8 anti-monopoly cases initiated against Kizilyurt authorities

4 March 2015 - 4:23pm

The Dagestani directorate of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia has initiated 8 cases against the administration of Kizilyurt today for violating anti-monopoly laws. In particular, the administration is suspected of violating the federal law on protection of competition by giving state preferences without the approval of the anti-monopoly service when leasing out 8 land lots for construction, RIA Dagestan reports.

New circus prize to be awarded in Sochi in June

4 March 2015 - 4:19pm

The director general of the Russian State Circus Company, Vadim Gagloyev, said that the first Master Prize for circus art will become a new annual award. The first award ceremony will be held in Sochi on June 27-30. The ceremony includes a gala concert, theater and circus performances, charity events, master classes, RIA Novosti reports. The prize was created by sponsors. Gagloyev expressed hope that it would become a self-sufficient award in 3-5 years. 

Power restored for over 10,800 Crimeans

4 March 2015 - 4:04pm

Power has been restored for 10,800 people in 18 residential areas in Crimea. The power cut had been caused by breaks on power lines caused by intensive wind, TASS reports.

Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council calls Ukraine an excuse for pressure on Russia

4 March 2015 - 3:16pm

Speaker of the Federation Council of Russia Valentina Matviyenko, commenting on the US extending anti-Russian sanctions, that the Ukrainian crisis was an excuse to put pressure on Russia, TASS reports. In her words, U.S. President Barack Obama’s sanctions were proving Washington’s interest in instability and war in Ukraine.She added that the Kiev authorities had violated the ceasefire three times.

Weather to worsen in Sochi

4 March 2015 - 3:04pm

The weather in Sochi will worsen in the next two days: northwesterly and southerly winds will reach speeds of 18m/s, fog and ice on the road may occur, heavy sleet may fall in highland areas, reports.

Turkish businesses continue investing in Volgograd Oblast

4 March 2015 - 2:55pm

Turkish businessmen plan to invest in road and housing construction, growing and exports of grain, shipbuilding and trade in the Volgograd Oblast, RIA Novosti reports. Authorities of the region signed a two-year cooperation memorandum with the Confederation of Entrepreneurs and Industrialists of Turkey in November 2014. The Confederation consists of about 55,000 businessmen. Since the signing of the document, the sides have been modernizing transport infrastructure, forming refrigeration facilities and greenhouses. 

Chechen referee to judge Premier League matches in Russia

4 March 2015 - 2:35pm

Adlan Khatuyev from Grozny will assist the chief referee at Premier League matches in the spring stage of the 2014/2015 season in Russia, the Chechen government reports.

Bulgaria wants to revive Nabucco Pipeline project

4 March 2015 - 2:14pm

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said that his country wanted to revive the Nabucco Pipeline project. He clarified that Bulgaria wanted part of the gas pipeline to run through the country, Trend reports.

Iran and U.S. achieve progress at Montreux talks

4 March 2015 - 2:06pm

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have both noted achievement of progress at the bilateral nuclear talks in Montreux (Switzerland) today, RIA Novosti reports.Political directors of the Group of Six and Iran will have a meeting in Montreux tomorrow.

Azerbaijan plans to organize direct charter flights to Spain in summer

4 March 2015 - 1:36pm

"The opening of direct flights from Baku to Spain is expected in the summer," the head of the Azerbaijan Tourism Association (AzTa), Nahid Bagirov, said.  The Spanish side has already agreed to the opening of direct charter flighst from Baku, "however, due to the unstable economic situation in the world economy, they are still observing the course of events and analyzing the statistics of the influx of tourists to the country," cited Bagirov.

Lukashevich: an extension of sanctions is rending the air

4 March 2015 - 1:34pm

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said that the Obama administration has again issued threats announcing the extension of the old sanctions and the possibility of introducing new ones.  

EU considers Russia as "neighbor of their neighbors"

4 March 2015 - 1:28pm

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said that the European Union considers Russia to be "a neighbor of their neighbors. "Talking about relations with Russia, Mogherini said the EU intends to develop relations with "neighbors of our neighbors" and that European neighborhood policy is not directed against them.