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The Congress of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has chosen a new president, Sergey Katyrin, who replaces Yevgeny Primakov in the post, RIA Novosti reports.All in all, 47 delegates voted for Katyrin.56-year Katyrin previously served 19 years as vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce (from 1992). 

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The mayor of Makhachkala, Said Amirov, has ordered illegal parking lots to be removed, RIA Dagestan reports.The road police of Makhachkala have raided 3 neighbourhoods. The operation, codenamed “Perekryostok”, started on March 3. Dagestan’s capital is suffering from many drivers parking their cars in unsuitable areas, thus creating traffic jams and problems with street cleaning.

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Turkey and the USA have held the 6th session of the Council of Economic Partnership in Washington today, TRT reports.The session was chaired by the Turkish Deputy Minister of Foreign, Affairs Selim Yenel, and the US Deputy Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Jose Fernandez. The sides discussed economic and trade cooperation, investments, business, the pharmaceutical industry, energy and agriculture.Before starting the session they talked about private business and development of trade and investments.

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Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan called tourism a promising sphere of the country’s economic development at a presentation of the Armenian online hotel booking service www.armhotels.am, ARKA reports. 95% of Armenians living abroad have never visited their ethnic homeland. Sargsyan plans to increase tourism to 3 million visitors daily. Armenian tourism grew by 4% in 2009, 17% in 2010, he emphasized.

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Ziyad Sabsabi, the Chechen president’s representative for relations with the Middle East, has met with potential investors, Yuga.ru reports. He had a meeting in Abu Dhabi with the president of “Royal Group”, Sheikh Tahtun . The sheikh said that his company plans to invest in housing construction in Chechnya’s Staropromyslovsky District. Sabsabi visited Jordan where he met the head of the Jordanian king’s protocol service, Sheikh Yakhya al-Majali.

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The Central Bank of Armenia is taking measures to prevent the devaluation of the national currency, dram, Aykakan Zhamanak reports. The currency rate yesterday was $1 = 367.75 drams. The average currency rate is $1 = 368.28 drams. The reason for the currency rate change may be explained with the Central Bank’s currency intervention equal to over $7 million. The Central Bank expects the situation to improve in the second half of March, when tourists start arriving from Iran to celebrate Nowruz.

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A passenger bus crashed into a truck on Zanjan-Qazvin highway on Friday at 07.45. There were 41 people in the bus. 12 died and 19 were injured. They were hospitalized in Zanjan. 13 are in a grave condition. The bus was carrying locals from Bandar-Abbas, MEHR reports.

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The Board of Directors of Gazprom has prolonged its contract with Alexey Miller, the company’s CEO, Interfax reports. The decision will be officially announced on March 22. Alexey Miller has been working in Gazprom since 2001. He was appointed the board chairman of Gazprom in 2001. He became the deputy CEO in 2002 and became the CEO on July 7, 2008.

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The Azerbaijani parliament proposed improvement of children’s rights on Friday, Trend reports. Parliamentary member Gulyar Ahmedov said that the police are receiving complaints from children and women about violation of their rights. She said that the latest event was the murder of a child by his parents. Ahmedova proposed adding special emergency buttons on mobile phones to call the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the ombudsman.

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The police have found 149 million out of 199 million rubles stolen from a subsidiary of the Bank of Moscow in Vladikavkaz, RIA Novosti cites Alla Akhpolova, head of the press-service of the North Ossetian Interior Ministry as saying. The bank was robbed on February 28. Pistols and ammo have been confiscated within the search operations.

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The authorities of Stavropol Territory will award approximately a hundred  “Mother’s Glory” medals to mothers with over 5 children, RIA Novosti cites a member of the regional government’s section for information policy as saying. The ceremony will start in cities and districts of the region on Friday. Stavropol will start awarding the mothers at the Stavropol State Agrarian University at 12.00 (Moscow time).

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The Daily Telegraph published a libellous article on the Justice and Development Party of Turkey and will pay 25,000 pounds as compensation to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The paper reported that Erdogan had received money from Iran. The paper acknowledged the mistake and apologized. Erdogan’s lawyer Emma Edhem initiated the suit against The Daily Telegraph. The court ordered The Daily Telegraph to pay the sum on March 3.

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The US State Department has published a report on fighting drug trafficking. Georgia was mentioned in the report. The Georgian government called the problem a priority. The national drug control strategy and an integrated action plan will be an efficient step, the report says. The report also mentions the simplified visa regime between Georgia and Iran. Drug trafficking to Georgia may increase, unless there is proper inspection. 40% of Afghan opium is transported through Iran and may benefit from the visa-free regime with Georgia.

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The air forces of Muammar Gaddafi have attacked a military base taken over by the resistance in Adzhdabia in the east of Libya, Al Jazeera reports. The air forces are only attacking the areas around the base. There are no injuries, RIA Novosti reports. Al Arabia said on Friday that combat aircraft attacked oil facilities at the Marsa Brega Seaport, controlled by the resistance. There is no information on the injuries.

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The US Assistant Deputy Secretary of State Philip Gordon disagrees with the view that Russia has taken the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement under control by initiating a meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The US diplomat made the statement at the Global Security Conference in Bratislava, Mediamax reports. Gordon said that Russian geographical position allows it to organize the meetings in Sochi, Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and Astrakhan easier that in Washington.

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The administration of Krasnodar Territory has held a telephone conference on budget issues. The conference was chaired by Vice-Governor Ivan Peronko. Heads of municipalities took part in the process, Yuga.ru reports. The income of Krasnodar Territory has exceeded the pre-recession level. The region collected 127 billion rubles more than planned in 2010. All structures of power and municipalities earned 140 billion rubles.

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A power сut has happened in mountain areas of Dagestan, leaving, 21 villages without electricity. The cut happened on the night of February 26 as a result of strong winds and heavy snow, press-service of Ecoenergoset said, Interfax reports. RIA Novosti says that 2,800 consumers are still left without electricity. Power is planned to be restored by March 8.

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