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Georgian export rate increases by 54%

In the first quarter of 2010 export from Georgia  increased by 54% in comparison with the first quarter of 2009 and by 3% in comparison with 2008, reports Business Georgia with reference to  information spread by Georgian authorities. As of import rate, in the first quarter of 2010 it has increased be 6% in comparison with 2009 and decreased by 27 %, compared with 2008. In the first quarter of 2010, the trade deficit, compared with 2009 decreased by 8.7%, and compared with 2008 by 37%.

Iran invites North Korea's leader to visit

The Iranian government has invited North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to visit Iran to promote economic ties, foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on May 4."We are hopeful the visit will take place to serve as a leap forward in cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the field of economics," he said.

Iran launches anti-aircraft guns production

Iran has begun the large-scale production of Misbah 1 anti-aircraft guns, reports FARS. Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi participated in a ceremony to mark the mass production of the guns, which are designed to intercept Cruise missiles, and can fire 4,000 rounds a minute."It can distinguish between enemy and friendly aircraft." Vahidi said.

 Abkhazia residents block railway

Abkhazia residents block railway

Residents of Abkhazia's Ochamchirsky region have blocked a railroad in the village of Baslakhu and are refusing to let 13 cars containing some 700 tons of coal through and on to Turkey.Apsnipress said the residents are protesting against the pollution of the river Aaldzga caused by coal extraction carried out by Turkey's Tamsash company.The protestors are demanding that the company ceases extracting coal and that local authorities take steps to control the situation.

Kazakh premier orders Caspian oil drilling safety check

Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov ordered ministers on Tuesday to draw up proposals for the creation of a commission to check the safety of oil extraction in the Caspian Sea.The news comes after a massive oil spill in the U.S.'s Gulf of Mexico."I order the minister for oil and gas together with the minister for the security of the environment to create a joint working group to look again at how oil is extracted in the Caspian, taking into account the existing problems," the premier said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

Railway to connect Nakhichevan and Turkey

Azerbaijan and Turkey are going to construct a new branch line. Due to these plans, Turkey will commence to research on the supposed territory of the new the Kars-Igdir-Nakhchivan branch line construction, reports APA-Economics with reference to Azerbajani Ministry of Transport official Sadreddin Mamedov.

Kazakhstan acknowledges Iran's right to peaceful nuclear program

The Speaker of the the Kazakh Senate has supported Iran's right to develop its nuclear program within the bounds of international legislation.Each state possesses the right to develop its nuclear program within the bounds of international law and under the oversight of the IAEA, Speaker Kasymzhomart Tokayev said during a meeting with the special aide to the Iranian foreign minister, reports a VK correspondent in Kazakhstan, with reference to the press service of the Kazakh Senate.

New Lithuanian ambassador arrives in Tbilisi

The new Lithuanian ambassador to Georgia, Jonas Paslauskas, has arrived in Tbilisi, Rosbalt said.The former ambassador was withdrawn because of his political statements concerning the internal policies of Lithuania.

USA clashes Iran at the UN nuclear summit

During the nuclear summit, taking place in NY, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling the each other’s nations’ nuclear capability the principal threat to international stability.On April, 3 Ahmadinejad said: “The possession of nuclear bombs isn’t a source of pride; it is disgusting and rather shameful”, emphasizing that his country is not going to create nuclear bomb.British, American and French diplomats left the hall while Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was delivering his speech.

Turkey and Kazakhstan to expand economic cooperation

After meeting Kazakh vice-premier Aste Isekeshiyev in Ankara, Turkish State Minister Zafer Chaglayan reported that a "Zone for free Turkish industry" will be created soon in Kazakhstan, TRT reports.

ADB will assign $2.25 billion to develop solar power engineering

The Asian Development Bank has announced the start of a 3-year programentitled "Asian Solar Energy Initiative" (ASEI), aimed at generating3000 megawatts of solar power, Trend reports."Considering the predicted growth in demand for energy in theAsian-Pacific region until 2030, we have to look for innovative waysto generate power, bearing in mind the greenhouse effect", saidManaging Director General of ADB, Rajat Nag, at a press conference.The ASEI consists of various projects, mechanisms for financial

Persistent heavy rains lead to most of Azerbaijan's rivers breaking their banks

Persistent rain has caused flooding of the rivers of Azerbaijan, Trend reports citing the Azerbaijani Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. High waters in the lower reaches of the river Kura caused water levels in Zardab, Sabirabad, Shirvan, Salyan and Saatlu to rise by a metre. The level of the rivers in the Guba-Hachmaz region is 150-266% that of the norm for the past 10 days, 90-170% in the Balakyan-Shekin region and 120-145 in Lyankaran-Astarin region.

Transport of Russian gas to Armenia not yet resumed

Transit of Russian gas to Armenia has not yet resumed, News Armenia reports citing the press secretary of Armrosgazprom, Shushan Sardaryan. Transit was interrupted due to damage caused by mountain landslides in the North Caucasus section of the pipeline, but "recovery work is in process", she said. According to preliminarydata, three days will be needed to repair the pipeline.

Russia to launch two Iranian satellites

Russia and Iran have reached an agreement over the launching of two satellites, reports Trend, citing news agency MEHR. The satellites are designed to carry out research in the sphere of communications. The satellites will be launched before next year, said the Iranian Information Minister's advisor, Muhammed Huseinpur. He also added that the issue of joint construction of fibreoptic cables along the bed of the Caspian Sea between Russia and Iran had been discussed.

Turkey closes straits due to fog

The Turkish straits have been closed for navigation due to heavy fog, AS reports, adding that visibility has dropped to 200 meters. The Bosporus was closed for navigation at both directions at 4:00 p.m. Istanbul Time. The straits will be opened as soon as fog clears, the Turkish transport department said. The Bosporus is a crucial transit point for Russian oil and grain exports. Its closure could lead to oil-delivery interruptions from Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

Iran may reduce contacts with Britain

An Iranian parliamentary commission for national safety and foreign policy has announced that the Islamic republic may cut back on diplomatic contacts with Britain, reports Trend, citing Iranian media. Commission member Hosein Ebrahimi was quoted as saying Iran was considering reducing "cooperation" with Britain. Tehran expressed anger at London's comments following last year's presidential elections in Iran.

Mudslide hits east Turkey

As a result of heavy rains, a mudslide has hit the town of Angri in eastern Turkey Trend reports. The mudslide occurred after the river Mirada broke its banks. Over 5,000 houses were damaged. There is no information on casualties.

Compensation to be paid to Nalchik terrorist act victims - Putin

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has ordered compensation payments for people injured in Saturday's explosion in Kabardino-Balkaria, RIA Novosti said on Monday, quoting a government spokesperson. An explosive device went off at a racetrack in the capital of the North Caucasus republic of Nalchik on Saturday afternoon, injuring some 30 people. One of the people wounded, a 104-year-old World War II veteran, died later in hospital.

Trains partially halted due to landslides in Armenia

A landslide caused by heavy rains which have hit Armenia has damaged and blocked part of the railway in Armenia on the Yerevan-Tbilisi route, RIA Novosti reports, citing the country's emergencies ministry.

China invited to take part in Armenian-Iranian railroad construction

The issue of China's participation in the construction of an Armenian-Iranian railroad was discussed at a meeting of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Chinese leader Hu Jintao. The leaders also touched upon the topic of operating the joint enterprise "Shansi-Nairat", reports Armenia Today. The Armenian president noted that the development of cooperation with China is a top-priority foreign policy aim.